Pension & Benefits NetNews – August 27, 2019

 

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • New DOL opinion letter addresses FMLA intermittent leave
  • Lifetime medical benefits for retirees survived expiration of agreement
  • Many Millennials feel employers aren’t doing enough to support their wellbeing
  • Survey finds roughly one-third of workers have left job due to lack of flexible work options

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • PBGC report shows grim future for multiemployer insurance program
  • EBSA final regs expand multiple employer plan access to small businesses
  • DOL grants five-year exemption for auto portability of retirement account assets

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

New DOL opinion letter addresses FMLA intermittent leave

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has released three new opinion letters addressing compliance issues under the FMLA and FLSA. For more information, see ¶2126X.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Lifetime medical benefits for retirees survived expiration of agreement

Given that an effects bargaining agreement (EBA) unambiguously vested medical coverage for retirees who retired prior to the expiration of the agreement, the Second Circuit affirmed a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of retirees, and their surviving spouses, who retired prior to the expiration of the EBA. Moreover, the district court’s order permanently enjoining Honeywell from terminating medical coverage for those retirees and their surviving spouses was proper. For more information, see ¶2126Y.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Many Millennials feel employers aren’t doing enough to support their wellbeing

More than half of Millennials are a flight risk due to work-related stress, 85 percent are more likely to participate in health programing if personalized, and only one in five confidently know where to access available resources, according to a new report, Millennials: Raising the Bar for Wellbeing by Welltok. For more information, see ¶2127C.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Survey finds roughly one-third of workers have left job due to lack of flexible work options

According to FlexJobs’ 8th annual survey of more than 7,300 respondents, 30 percent of workers have reported leaving a job because it did not offer flexible work options. Sixteen percent are currently looking for a new job specifically because of work flexibility issues. For more information see ¶2127D.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

PBGC report shows grim future for multiemployer insurance program

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has released the findings of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Projections Report, and it paints a distressing picture. The PBGC multiemployer insurance program continues on the path to running out of money by the end of fiscal year 2025, according to the report. This program covers the pensions for more than 10 million people. The news, however, is much better for the PBGC’s single-employer insurance program, which covers about 26 million participants. This program continues to improve—last year it emerged from a negative net position or “deficit” for the first time since 2001. Continued future improvement is expected, but not assured; the program still remains vulnerable to an unexpected downturn in the economy. The projections report, required under ERISA, is the PBGC’s annual actuarial evaluation of its future operations and financial status. The report provides a range of estimates of the future status of insured pension plans and their effect on the PBGC’s financial condition, based on hundreds of different economic scenarios. For more information, see ¶166s.

        (Read Cheetah) »

EBSA final regs expand multiple employer plan access to small businesses

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released final regulations that expand access to affordable quality retirement saving options by clarifying the circumstances under which an employer group or association, or a professional employer organization (PEO), may sponsor a multiple employer workplace retirement plan under Title I of ERISA. Under the final regulations, employer groups or associations and PEOs can, when satisfying certain criteria, be “employers” within the meaning of ERISA Sec. 3(5) for purposes of establishing or maintaining an individual account “employee pension benefit plan” under ERISA Sec. 3(2). Thus, a group or association, or PEO, can sponsor a defined contribution retirement plan for its members, and make it easier for small businesses to offer retirement savings plans through Association Retirement Plans (ARPs). The final regulations are effective September 30, 2019. EBSA explains that the final regulations only address sponsorship of a MEP by either a group or association of employers, or by a PEO, and are limited to defined contribution plans, as defined by ERISA Sec. 3(34). For more information, see ¶166k.

        (Read Cheetah) »

DOL grants five-year exemption for auto portability of retirement account assets

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has granted a five-year exemption for Retirement Clearinghouse, LLC (RCH) that concerns the consolidation of small retirement savings accounts in 401(k) plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) when workers change jobs. The exemption permits RCH to receive certain fees in connection with the transfer under the RCH program, of an individual’s default IRA or eligible mandatory distribution account assets to the individual’s new plan account, without the individual’s affirmative consent, provided that certain conditions are satisfied. Employees leaving their current employment often have small account balances in the company’s 401(k) plan, and either take a distribution of their retirement savings or move the account into an IRA. The same thing often occurs with small retirement accounts when a company terminates its 401(k) plan. For more information, see ¶166o.

        (Read Cheetah) »

 

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