Pension & Benefits NetNews – April 11, 2017

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • More choice in employer plan offerings raises risk of adverse selection
  • DOL review of group health plan filings shows decline in percentage of self-insured
  • Small businesses hold big stakes in federal health care
  • Self-Insurance Protection Act clears House

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • DOL releases final regs extending applicability date of fiduciary conflict of interest regs and PTEs
  • EBSA temporary enforcement policy announced for fiduciary regs’ proposed applicability delay
  • IRS issues temporary excise tax non-applicability policy for delay of fiduciary regs, PTEs

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

More choice in employer plan offerings raises risk of adverse selection

When workers are offered more than one health plan, who switches their plans, and does it lead to adverse selection, causing healthy workers to leave certain health plans saddled with only high-cost sick workers? Evidence suggests it is mostly younger workers or higher-income workers without family coverage who switch―which does indeed raise the risk of adverse selection, according to a recent analysis by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). For more information, see ¶2104Z.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

DOL review of group health plan filings shows decline in percentage of self-insured

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released to Congress its seventh annual report on self-insured group health plans, with data from Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, as well as data from certain financial filings of self-insured employers. For more information, see ¶2105A.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Small businesses hold big stakes in federal health care

Small business owners need affordable and high quality health care in order to maintain successful business operations. However, according to the testimony of several small business owners and representatives at a hearing before the House Small Business Committee, there is little agreement as to how that goal should be obtained. For more information see ¶2105D.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Self-Insurance Protection Act clears House

On April 5, the House passed the Self-Insurance Protection Act, legislation that proponents contend would protect access to affordable health care options for workers and families. For more information, see ¶2105G.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

DOL releases final regs extending applicability date of fiduciary conflict of interest regs and PTEs

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued final regulations extending for 60 days the applicability dates of the fiduciary regulations and related exemptions, including the Best Interest Contract Exemption. The move is unsurprising, as it follows the DOL’s proposal on March 2, 2017 to delay the rule in order to conduct the review directed by President Trump’s memorandum of February 3, 2017. Under the terms of this extension, advisers to retirement investors will be treated as fiduciaries with obligations to give advice that adheres to “impartial conduct standards” beginning on June 9, 2017, rather than on April 10, 2017 as originally scheduled. These fiduciary standards require advisers to adhere to a best interest standard when making investment recommendations, charge no more than reasonable compensation for their services, and refrain from making misleading statements. For more information, see ¶149d.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

EBSA temporary enforcement policy announced for fiduciary regs’ proposed applicability delay

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has announced a temporary enforcement policy in light of questions raised about the Department’s proposal to extend for 60 days the applicability date of the fiduciary conflict of interest final regulations and the related prohibited transaction exemptions, including the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE), the Class Exemption for Principal Transactions In Certain Assets Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs (Principal Transactions Exemption), and certain amended prohibited transaction exemptions (collectively, PTEs). For more information, see ¶19981z60.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS issues temporary excise tax non-applicability policy for delay of fiduciary regs, PTEs

The IRS has adopted a temporary excise tax non-applicability policy that conforms to the Labor Department’s temporary enforcement policy described in Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2017-1, which concerns the fiduciary conflict of interest regulations and related prohibited transaction exemptions issued in April 2016. The IRS noted that, following the issuance of the FAB, stakeholders have raised concerns about the potential application of excise taxes under Code Sec. 4975 and related reporting obligations in cases covered by the DOL’s temporary enforcement policy. For more information, see ¶17097u23.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

 

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