Pension & Benefits NetNews – February 18, 2020

NetNews Subscription

Want to receive these Newsletters via E-mail?

hr.cch.com Resources

About Links in this Newsletter

To access the IntelliConnect™ full text documents you must be a subscriber to the Pension Plan Guide or Employment Benefits Management.

Links within news stories display full text documents including legislation, regulations,
court decisions, rulings and government reports.

The first time you click on a link you will be taken to the IntelliConnect login page, where you will need to enter your ID and password. Subsequent links will take you directly to the desired document.

IntelliConnect

If you aren’t a subscriber call 800-449-9525, or let us contact you about,

Email Us

Contact us by sending an e-mail to

Featured This Week

Employee Benefits Management News

  • To be successful, wellness plans need comprehensive approach
  • Final regulations update fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile base valuation amounts
  • FAQs clarify updates to summary of benefits and coverage for 2021
  • CCIIO guidance addresses how states can request to restrict excepted benefit HRAs from reimbursing STLDI premiums

Pension Plan Guide News

  • Supreme Court remands Jander ESOP fiduciary duty question to Second Circuit
  • IRS releases 2020 TE/GE employee plan procedures for issuing determination letters and letter rulings, and 2020 schedule of employee plan user fees
  • IRS issues revised procedures for letter rulings, information letters, and determination letters

Employee Benefits Management News

To be successful, wellness plans need comprehensive approach

For wellness plans to be successful, organizations need to employ a comprehensive approach, according to recent research from the Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO). The study, Development and Validity of a Workplace Health Promotion Best Practices Assessment, identified four areas of well-being best practices that have proven to be predictive of success, including: organizational and leadership support, incentives, comprehensive programs, and program integration. For more information, see ¶2130X.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Final regulations update fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile base valuation amounts

Final regulations increase a vehicle’s maximum value for eligibility to use the fleet-average valuation rule or the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule. The regulations provide transition rules for certain employers. The final regulations are effective on February 5, 2020. For more information, see ¶2131A.

        (Read Cheetah) »

FAQs clarify updates to summary of benefits and coverage for 2021

In an effort to help people understand the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and benefit from it, as intended, HHS, the Department of Labor and the Treasury have answered some frequently asked questions (FAQs) from stakeholders. For details, see ¶2131C.

        (Read Cheetah) »

CCIIO guidance addresses how states can request to restrict excepted benefit HRAs from reimbursing STLDI premiums

The Center for Consumer Information and Oversight (CCIIO) has issued guidance to applicable state authorities regarding the form and manner in which to submit a written recommendation to restrict excepted benefit health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) from reimbursing short-term, limited-duration insurance (STLDI) premiums for certain employers in their state. For more information see ¶2131D.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Pension Plan Guide News

Supreme Court remands Jander ESOP fiduciary duty question to Second Circuit

In a per curiam opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated and remanded a petition asking for clarification of Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer’s “more harm than good” pleading standard. According to the Court, the merits briefing in Retirement Plans Committee of IBM v. Jander was occupied by two arguments that were not addressed by the lower courts. Accordingly, the case was remanded, leaving it to the Second Circuit to determine the merits of the arguments raised in the briefs. Justice Kagan, joined by Justice Ginsburg, issued a concurring opinion, as did Justice Gorsuch. The petition (No. 18-1165), brought by employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) fiduciaries, asked the Supreme Court to resolve a circuit split over the pleading requirements to state a claim for breach of the duty of prudence as set forth in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer. Specifically, the petition asked whether Dudenhoeffer’s “more harm than good” pleading standard can be satisfied by generalized allegations that the harm of an inevitable disclosure of an alleged fraud generally increases over time. In their Supreme Court briefing on the merits, however, both the petitioners (the fiduciaries of the ESOP) and the government (the Department of Labor and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)) focused on other matters. The fiduciaries argued that ESOP fiduciaries have no duty under ERISA to act on inside information. The government, for its part, maintained that an ERISA-based duty to disclose inside information not otherwise required to be disclosed by the securities laws would conflict with the objectives of the insider trading and corporate disclosure requirements imposed by the federal securities laws. Because these arguments had not been raised before the Second Circuit (Jander v. Retirement Plans Committee of IBM), the court declined to address them, believing that the lower court should be given the chance to entertain the arguments in the first instance. To that end, the judgment below was vacated and the case remanded to the Second Circuit to determine the merits of the arguments and take “such action as it deems appropriate.” For more information, see ¶24026w.

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS releases 2020 TE/GE employee plan procedures for issuing determination letters and letter rulings, and 2020 schedule of employee plan user fees

The IRS has updated its procedures for employee plans (EP) to obtain guidance on issues under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner, Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (TE/GE), Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements Office. The procedure also details the types of advice available to taxpayers, and the manner in which such advice is requested and provided. In addition to minor non-substantive changes, including changes to dates, cross references and citations to other revenue procedures, among the changes made are the following: (1) revisions have been made to provide that a determination letter issued on the qualified status of a plan will include the status for exemption of any related trusts or custodial accounts under Code Sec. 501(a), except for a determination letter submitted by an adopting employer of a pre-approved plan with respect to the third (and subsequent) six-year remedial amendment cycles applicable to pre-approved plans; (2) the “Appeals Office” has been changed to “Internal Revenue Service Office of Appeals (Independent Office of Appeals);” and (3) a list of applicable documents that should be submitted to enable the IRS to process determination letter request applications more effectively has been provided. For more information, see ¶17299w24

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS issues revised procedures for letter rulings, information letters, and determination letters

The IRS has issued a procedure explaining how it provides advice to taxpayers in the form of letter rulings, closing agreements, determination letters and information letters, and orally on issues under the jurisdiction of the Associate Chief Counsel (Corporate), Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions & Products), Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax & Accounting), Associate Chief Counsel (International), Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs & Special Industries), Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration), and Associate Chief Counsel (Employee Benefits, Exempt Organizations, and Employment Taxes). In addition to minor revisions, section 15.07(4) has been amended to provide for a user fee consistent with section 15.07(2), with respect to substantially identical requests from multiple entities with a common sponsor. For more information, see ¶17299w21.

        (Read Cheetah) »

For more information, visit http://www.wolterskluwerlb.com/rbcs.