Pension & Benefits NetNews – July 18, 2017

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Featured This Week

Employee Benefits Management News

  • Offering health plan features separately can forestall COBRA problems
  • Employers view consumer directed healthcare offerings as critical to their future success
  • Washington enacts paid family and medical leave program
  • Cheaper plans, fewer benefits with revised Senate’s ACA replacement bill

Pension Plan Guide News

  • DOL publishes request for information on fiduciary conflict of interest rules in Federal Register
  • PBGC issues final regs on examination and copying of PBGC records that incorporate changes made by FOIA Improvement Act of 2016
  • IRS seeks comments on regs providing requirements for reducing rate of future benefit accrual

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

Offering health plan features separately can forestall COBRA problems

Best practices for employers facing COBRA issues were offered at a recent Lockton webinar “COBRA: The Law that Bites.” Lockton advised that COBRA is one of the most litigated employee benefit issues, and that most of the cases end in the participant’s favor. For more information, see ¶2107N.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Employers view consumer directed healthcare offerings as critical to their future success

With 60 million CDH accounts in the market as of 2016 and an 11% estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2014 to 2020, 86 percent of brokers and 74 percent of employers rate consumer directed healthcare (CDH) to be a critical component of their future benefits strategies and an essential tool to combat the rising cost of health benefits, according to a report from Alegeus. For more information, see ¶2107Q.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Washington enacts paid family and medical leave program

Washington Governor Jay Inslee signed Substitute Senate Bill 5975 on July 5, 2017, to provide a paid family and medical leave program in the state. The new law, which was approved in the state Legislature on June 30, 2017, will be in place by 2020. For more information see ¶2107U.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Cheaper plans, fewer benefits with revised Senate’s ACA replacement bill

Noting an additional $70 billion in funds for states to use to reduce premiums, hold down out-of-pocket costs, and improve the general affordability of health care, the Senate issued a revision draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) (H.R. 1628), which would repeal and replace parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For more information, see ¶2107V.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

DOL publishes request for information on fiduciary conflict of interest rules in Federal Register

The Department of Labor (DOL) has published a request for information concerning the fiduciary conflict of interest rules and accompanying exemptions in the Federal Register. The DOL had previously posted the request for information on its website, providing a 15-day comment period for issues connected with the extension of the January 1, 2018 applicability date of certain issues and a 30-day comment period for all of the other issues raised in the request for information. The comment periods were scheduled begin with the publication of the document in the Federal Register. Comments in response to extending the January 1, 2018 applicability date of certain provisions should be submitted to the DOL on or before July 21, 2017. Comments in response to all other questions should be submitted to the Department on or before August 7, 2017. For more information, see ¶151n.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC issues final regs on examination and copying of PBGC records that incorporate changes made by FOIA Improvement Act of 2016

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued final regulations governing the examination and copying of PBGC records by the public. The final rules incorporate the changes to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) made by the FOIA Improvement Act of 2016. The PBGC is also making one amendment to its FOIA regulations that incorporates a previous statutory change under the Open Government Act of 2007. The major changes include an electronic reading room for records, the expansion of the categories of records in the reading room, an update of the standard for disclosure, the requirement of additional notice to requesters about FOIA resources, the extension of the appeal deadline, and restrictions placed on fees charged by the PBGC. For more information, see ¶150v.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS seeks comments on regs providing requirements for reducing rate of future benefit accrual

The IRS is seeking comments on an extension of a currently approved collection of information that concerns final regulations providing guidance on the ERISA §204(h) notice requirements relating to a plan amendment that is permitted to reduce benefits accrued before the plan amendment’s applicable amendment date. There are no changes being made to the regulations at this time. For more information, see ¶150x.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

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