Retirement, Pension & Benefits

ERISA preempts widow’s state law claims for supplemental life insurance benefits

ERISA preempts state-law claims in a suit contending that an Applebee’s franchise failed to procure life insurance coverage for an employee despite withholding premiums from his pay—only for his widow to be denied an additional $160,000 in supplemental benefits after his death. The Eighth Circuit held the court below properly found that ERISA preemption applied, […]

Fifth Circuit issues mandate officially vacating fiduciary rules

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a mandate officially vacating in toto the fiduciary conflict of interest rules, including the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE), the Principal Transaction Exemption, and revised PTE 84-24. Given the refusal of the Department of Labor to defend the fiduciary rules in the Fifth Circuit or in the […]

Texas cancer center ordered to pay $4.3 million in penalties for HIPAA violations

A Department of Health and Human Services Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) has ruled that The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson) violated the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules and granted summary judgment to the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on all issues, requiring MD […]

IRS proposed regs modify electronic filing requirement for information returns

The IRS has proposed regulations that would change the rules for determining whether information returns, such as the Form 1099 series and Form 5498, must be filed electronically. Under the proposed regulations, all information returns, regardless of type, must be taken into account to determine whether a person meets the 250-return threshold for the electronic […]

Manager whose pay change followed on heels of leave is unable to revive FMLA, contract claims

A district court’s dismissal of the FMLA claims of an O’Reilly Automotive manager against his former employer were upheld by a divided Sixth Circuit in an unpublished opinion. The crux of the suit brought by the employee was that his former employer had pulled the plug on assurance pay that he was receiving in lieu […]

PBGC reports multiemployer program continues to face insolvency by 2025

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Projections Report on the financial prospects of its pension insurance programs. Consistent with findings in last year’s Report, the multiemployer program is likely to become insolvent by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2025 without changes in the law or additional resources. […]

CMS puts risk adjustment payments on hold awaiting resolution of litigation

A ruling issued by the U.S District Court for the District of New Mexico invalidating CMS’ use of the statewide average premium in the risk adjustment transfer formula established under Sec. 1343 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the 2014 to 2018 benefit years, prevents CMS from making further collections or […]

Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – July 13, 2018

About this Newsletter The Spencer’s Benefits Reports is a summary of the week’s news items posted in the WHAT’S NEW pages of Spencer’s Benefits Reports Online. For questions regarding this email service, contact Customer Service at (800)449-9525. NetNews Subscription Want to receive these Newsletters via E-mail? Sign Up / Unsubscribe Resources Online Store Customer […]

Mental health patient’s room, board covered under mental health parity law

A federal district court erred in ruling that an employer-sponsored health insurance plan was not required to cover room and board costs incurred by an insured while receiving treatment at a residential mental health facility, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled. Under the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity […]

Successor employer’s delay in reinstating butcher might be FMLA interference, but no retaliation found

A grocery store butcher whose store was bought by another company while he was on FMLA leave can advance his claims that his FMLA rights were interfered with when he was asked to attend an orientation session and then faced a month-and-a half-delay in returning to work. He also made similar claims under New Jersey […]