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Employee Benefits Management News
- Health care surcharge for smokers leads to decreased smoking in the workplace, SHRM survey finds
- ERISA fiduciary cannot enforce equitable lien for spent settlement proceeds against participant’s general assets
- Supreme Court denies review of artist’s ACA challenge
- ERIC critiques EEOC’s proposed GINA regulations
Pension Plan Guide News
- IRS issues revised procedures for letter rulings, information letters, and determination letters
- Revised determination letter procedures for 2016 issued by IRS
- IRS issues notice of planned update to guidance on Employee Plans determination letter program in anticipation of curtailment of determination letter program for individually designed plans
Health care surcharge for smokers leads to decreased smoking in the workplace, SHRM survey finds
Forty-five percent of employers who have health care surcharges in place for smokers say employee smoking in the workplace decreased since the policy was implemented, according to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey. For more information, see ¶2093J.
ERISA fiduciary cannot enforce equitable lien for spent settlement proceeds against participant’s general assets
Once an ERISA-plan participant wholly dissipates a third-party settlement on nontraceable items, the plan fiduciary cannot bring an ERISA Sec. 502(a)(3) suit against the participant’s general assets because the suit is, at that point, one for legal, not equitable relief, held the U.S. Supreme Court in a decision authored by Justice Thomas. For details, see ¶2093L.
Supreme Court denies review of artist’s ACA challenge
The Supreme Court has declined to review an Origination Clause challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), on behalf of Matt Sissel, had filed its petition for certiorari in October 2015. For more information, see ¶2093N.
ERIC critiques EEOC’s proposed GINA regulations
The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) has submitted comments to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) expressing concerns about discrepancies in wellness reward limits as set forth in both the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148). For more information, see ¶2093P.
IRS issues revised procedures for letter rulings, information letters, and determination letters
An IRS revenue procedure explains how the IRS provides advice to taxpayers on issues under the jurisdiction of the Associate Chief Counsel (Corporate), the Associate Chief Counsel (Financial Institutions and Products), the Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax and Accounting), the Associate Chief Counsel (International), the Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries), the Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration), and the Associate Chief Counsel (Tax Exempt and Government Entities). It explains the forms of advice and the manner in which advice is requested by taxpayers and provided by the IRS. A sample format for a letter ruling request is provided in Appendix B. See section 4 of this revenue procedure for information on certain issues outside the scope of this revenue procedure on which advice may be requested under a different revenue procedure. For more information, see ¶17,299v1.
Revised determination letter procedures for 2016 issued by IRS
The IRS has issued revised procedures for issuing determination letters on the qualified status of pension, profit-sharing, stock bonus, annuity and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) under Code Sec. 401, Code Sec. 403(a), Code Sec. 409 and Code Sec. 4975(e)(7), and on the status for exemption of any related trusts or custodial accounts under Code Sec. 501(a). The procedures are divided into three parts. The first part contains instructions for requesting determination letter for various types of plans and transactions. The second part contains procedures for providing notice to interested parties and for interested parties to comment on determination letter requests. The third part contains procedures concerning the processing of determination letter requests and describes the effect of a determination letter. In addition to minor reference updates and clarifications, the procedures make several changes to reflect the planned elimination in 2017 of the staggered five-year determination letter remedial amendment cycles for individually designed plans, as described in IRS Announcement 2015-19. In anticipation of future changes to the Employee Plans determination letter program eliminating the five-year remedial amendment cycles, the procedures provide that, effective January 4, 2016, determination letters issued to individually designed plans will no longer contain an expiration date. For more information, see ¶17,299V-6.
IRS issues notice of planned update to guidance on Employee Plans determination letter program in anticipation of curtailment of determination letter program for individually designed plans
In anticipation of the elimination, effective January 1, 2017, of the 5-year remedial amendment cycle system for individually designed plans under the Employee Plans determination letter program, an IRS notice provides that the Department of the Treasury and the IRS will issue guidance providing that: (1) controlled groups and affiliated service groups that have previously made a Cycle A election are permitted to submit determination letter applications during the Cycle A submission period beginning February 1, 2016, and ending January 31, 2017; (2) expiration dates on determination letters issued prior to January 4, 2016, are no longer operative; and (3) the period during which certain employers may, on or after January 1, 2016, establish or adopt a defined contribution pre-approved plan and, if permissible, apply for a determination letter, is extended from April 30, 2016, to April 30, 2017. For more information, see ¶17,158.
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