Pension & Benefits NetNews – December 12, 2017

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Featured This Week

Employee Benefits Management News

  • DOL postpones final rules on disability benefit claims procedures
  • AHA, community organizations react to CMS’ ‘Benefit and Payment Parameter’ proposed rule
  • CCIIO provides guidance for employers wishing to revoke accommodation for contraception coverage
  • Employers need to respond to IRS ESRP letter within 30 days, experts warn

Pension Plan Guide News

  • PBGC multiemployer program’s deficit continues to grow, single-employer program’s deficit drops
  • EBSA, IRS, PBGC issue advance informational copies of 2017 Form 5500 series
  • PBGC maximum monthly benefit guarantee increases for 2018

Employee Benefits Management News

DOL postpones final rules on disability benefit claims procedures

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced a ninety-day delay – until April 1, 2018 – of the applicability date for ERISA plans to comply with a final rule amending the claims procedure requirements applicable to disability benefits. For more information, see ¶2111J.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

AHA, community organizations react to CMS’ ‘Benefit and Payment Parameter’ proposed rules

The American Hospital Association (AHA) and I Am Essential, an organization representing 138 patient and community organizations, have expressed their concerns that many of CMS’ proposed changes to the rules for the health insurance marketplace included in its Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2019 will diminish patient care and increase beneficiary out of pocket costs. For more information, see ¶2111M.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

CCIIO provides guidance for employers wishing to revoke accommodation for contraception coverage

The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has provided clarification of notice procedures for employers that, based on sincerely held religious or moral beliefs, object to providing contraceptive preventive services. For more information, see ¶2111N.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Employers need to respond to IRS ESRP letter within 30 days, experts warn

The IRS has started sending Letter 226J to employers for the 2015 plan year, which an applicable large employer (ALE) is likely to receive if the IRS determines that, for at least one month during the year, one or more of the ALE’s full-time employees was enrolled in a qualified health plan for which a premium tax credit was allowed. For more information see ¶2111Q.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

PBGC multiemployer program’s deficit continues to grow, single-employer program’s deficit drops

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has released its Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 Annual Report, showing that the deficit in the PBGC’s insurance program for multiemployer plans continued to grow, increasing to $65.1 billion at the end of FY 2017 primarily because of the ongoing financial decline of several large multiemployer plans that the PBGC expects to run out of money in the next decade. However, the single-employer insurance program’s deficit narrowed, dropping to $10.9 billion at the end of FY 2017, as compared to $20.6 billion at the end of FY 2016. The PBGC notes that this improvement is primarily due to premium and investment income, and increases in the interest factors used to measure the value of future liabilities. The Agency protects the pension benefits of nearly 40 million Americans in private-sector pension plans and the PBGC is already responsible for the benefits of about 1.5 million people in failed plans who otherwise might have lost their pensions. For more information, see ¶154n.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

EBSA, IRS, PBGC issue advance informational copies of 2017 Form 5500 series

EBSA, the IRS, and the PBGC have issued advance informational copies of the 2017 Form 5500 annual return/report, related instructions and schedules, and 2017 Form 5500-SF and instructions. The advance copies cannot be used to file a 2017 form. Plans should file Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF electronically using the EFAST 2 system. IRS-only questions that filers were not required to complete on the 2016 Form 5500, Form 5500-SF, and Schedules H, I, and R have been removed from the 2017 forms and schedules. These removed questions include preparer information, trust information, Schedules H and I Lines 4o, and Schedule R, Part VII, on IRS Compliance questions. For more information, see ¶154s.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC maximum monthly benefit guarantee increases for 2018

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced that the maximum monthly insurance benefit for participants in underfunded pension plans terminating in 2018 is $5,420.45 per month or $65,045 per year for those who retire at age 65. On its website, the PBGC has provided a chart that shows the 2018 monthly maximum benefit guarantees for retirees from age 75 to 45. The maximum benefit is adjusted for retirees taking earlier retirement or electing survivors’ benefits. A participant may receive benefits in excess of the maximum guarantee if certain conditions apply. ERISA requires that the maximum guaranteed amount be adjusted annually based on changes in the Social Security contribution and benefit base. For more information, see ¶19981z67.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

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