Pension & Benefits NetNews – August 11, 2020

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Featured This Week

Employee Benefits Management News

  • Additional FMLA, FFCRA FAQs issued as workplaces reopen amid COVID-19 pandemic
  • IRS updates premium tax credit table, required contribution percentage
  • Five major health companies to pay over $2 million in fines
  • Court vacates overbroad health care exemptions to DOL’s COVID paid leave rule

Pension Plan Guide News

  • IRS issues Coronavirus-related plan distribution and loan guidance
  • IRS issues guidance and relief for 2020 RMD waiver and required beginning date changes
  • EBSA proposal would clarify plan use of environmental, social, and governance investments

Employee Benefits Management News

Additional FMLA, FFCRA FAQs issued as workplaces reopen amid COVID-19 pandemic

On July 20, the Department of Labor issued two new frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding COVID-19 issues under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and four new FAQs regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The DOL also issued two new fact sheets for employers and employees covering the FFCRA’s paid leave requirements. For more information, see ¶2135J.

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS updates premium tax credit table, required contribution percentage

The IRS has updated the applicable percentage table used to calculate an individual’s premium tax credit and required contribution percentage plan years beginning after 2020. For more information, see ¶2135L.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Five major health companies to pay over $2 million in fines

Five major health insurance companies found to be in violation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) are being fined a total of over $2 million, according to the Illinois Department of Insurance (IDOI) in a recent news release. For details, see ¶2135O.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Court vacates overbroad health care exemptions to DOL’s COVID paid leave rule

Acknowledging that the DOL “labored under considerable pressure in promulgating” the final rule implementing the provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), a federal court in New York nonetheless found invalid several features of the April 2020 rule. Accordingly, the court granted the State of New York’s motion for summary judgment as to the rule’s work-availability requirement, the definition of “health care provider,” and the temporal aspect of the documentation requirements; it granted in part and denied in the motion as to the intermittent-leave provision. For more information see ¶2135S.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Pension Plan Guide News

IRS issues Coronavirus-related plan distribution and loan guidance

The IRS has issued guidance on coronavirus-related distributions and plan loans, applying Act Sec. 2202 of the coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136). The guidance adds three new categories to the list of individuals who qualify due to adverse financial consequences and supplies information on how plans may report coronavirus-related distributions and how individuals may report these distributions on their individual federal income tax returns. The IRS provides examples concerning the reporting of distributions and repayments. The guidance includes safe harbors for employee certification and the plan loan payment suspension period. For more information, see ¶17169w.

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS issues guidance and relief for 2020 RMD waiver and required beginning date changes

The IRS has issued guidance and transition relief relating to the waiver in 2020 of required minimum distributions (RMDs) from certain retirement plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) due to the amendment of Code Sec. 401(a)(9) by section 2203 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (P.L. 116-136). In particular, the IRS provides rollover relief with respect to waived RMDs and certain related payments, permits certain repayments to inherited IRAs, sets out Q&A’s to answer anticipated questions regarding the waiver of 2020 RMDs, and provides a sample plan amendment that, if adopted, would provide participants a choice whether to receive waived RMDs and certain related payments. Distributions that would have been RMDs under old law are treated as eligible rollover distributions. The 60-day rollover period deadline for any 2020 RMDs already taken has been extended to August 31, 2020. For more information, see ¶17169x.

        (Read Cheetah) »

EBSA proposal would clarify plan use of environmental, social, and governance investments

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has announced a proposed rule to update and clarify the investment duties regulation in a manner that, in light of recent trends involving environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, would provide clear regulatory guideposts for plan fiduciaries. EBSA said that the Labor Department has periodically been asked to consider the application of the fiduciary duties of prudence and exclusive purpose under ERISA Sec. 404(a)(1)(A) and (B) to pension plan investments selected because of non-financial objectives, such as environment, social, and public policy goals, that the investments may further. The different iterations of sub-regulatory guidance may have created confusion with about these investment issues. The proposal is designed, in part, to make clear that ERISA plan fiduciaries may not invest in ESG vehicles when they understand that an underlying investment strategy of the vehicle is to “subordinate return or increase risk for the purpose of non-financial objectives.” For more information, see ¶20539x.

        (Read Cheetah) »

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