Pension & Benefits NetNews – February 14, 2017

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • Forecast is mixed for health benefits in 2017 and beyond
  • Honest belief employee was abusing FMLA leave defeats retaliation claim
  • Majority of employers feel overwhelmed with increasing complexity of managing employee benefits
  • Policy analysts ask Congressional committee for leniency for large employers during healthcare overhaul

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • Presidential Memorandum may stall implementation of fiduciary conflict of interest rules
  • IRS announces last day of remedial amendment period for 403(b) plans
  • Investment with lifetime income element might be prudent choice as QDIA even if it fails transfer frequency requirement, DOL says
  • IRS proposed regs update mortality tables for defined benefit plans

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

Forecast is mixed for health benefits in 2017 and beyond

The health insurance industry can expect to see more change in 2017, and employers are concerned about how potential new healthcare legislation may affect their employee benefits programs, according to a new report issued by Wells Fargo Insurance. For more information, see ¶2103M.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Honest belief employee was abusing FMLA leave defeats retaliation claim

Even assuming an employee made out a prima facie case of FMLA retaliation, his employer was properly granted summary judgment because the evidence showed that it fired him based on an honest belief that the employee, who was arrested for a DUI and had court dates coinciding with his intermittent FMLA dates, was misusing FMLA leave. For more information, see ¶2103O.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Majority of employers feel overwhelmed with increasing complexity of managing employee benefits

Six in 10 employers feel overwhelmed with the increasing complexity of managing their employee benefits programs, according to recent research from the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America. For more information, see ¶2103Q.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Policy analysts ask Congressional committee for leniency for large employers during healthcare overhaul

Any replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) should both strengthen ERISA preemption and maintain the tax exclusion for employer-sponsored insurance, said Dr. Tevi Troy, CEO of the American Health Policy Institute (AHPI), testifying recently before the U.S. House Education and the Workforce Committee during a hearing entitled “Rescuing Americans from the Failed Health Care Law and Advancing Patient-Centered Solutions.” For more information see ¶2103R.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

Presidential Memorandum may stall implementation of fiduciary conflict of interest rules

A Presidential Memorandum issued by President Trump on Friday, February 3, 2017, instructing the Department of Labor to undertake an updated economic and legal analysis of the impact of the fiduciary duty conflict of interest regulations, may effectively delay implementation of the rules beyond the April 10, 2017 deadline. Note, the memorandum does not explicitly delay or revoke the rules. The rules have been in effect since June 7, 2016, and the Administration is not empowered to delay them. However, the memorandum certainly lays the procedural groundwork for an eventual revision or rescission of the rules. For more information, see ¶148b.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS announces last day of remedial amendment period for 403(b) plans

The IRS has announced that March 31, 2020 is the last day of the remedial amendment period for Code Sec. 403(b) plans for purposes of section 21 of Rev. Proc. 2013-22. Rev. Proc. 2013-22 sets forth the procedures for issuing opinion and advisory letters for Code Sec. 403(b) pre-approved plans (i.e., prototype and volume submitter plans). This guidance is effective January 13, 2017. For more information, see ¶17299v42.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Investment with lifetime income element might be prudent choice as QDIA even if it fails transfer frequency requirement, DOL says

A fiduciary of a participant-directed individual account plan could, consistent with the provisions of Title I of ERISA, prudently select an investment with lifetime income elements as a qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) under the plan if it complies with all the requirements of ERISA Reg. Sec. 2550.404c-5, except for reasonable liquidity and transferability conditions beyond those permitted in paragraph (c)(5)(i) of the regulation, according to a Department of Labor (DOL) information letter. The Department of Labor has provided guidance in response to a query as to whether Title I of ERISA prohibits a fiduciary of a participant-directed individual account plan from selecting an investment that has an annuity component that fails the frequency of transfer requirement described in ERISA Reg. Sec. 2550.404c-5(c)(5)(i) for a QDIA. The party seeking guidance believes that the investment should still be appropriate for a plan fiduciary to select as a QDIA because the annuity component provides a guaranteed rate of return and guaranteed lifetime income at retirement. For more information, see ¶19981z58.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

 

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