Pension & Benefits NetNews – February 26, 2019

 

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • Insurance agents properly classified as independent contractors, dealing fatal blow to ERISA class action
  • No private right of action for termination, cancellation of coverage under ACA
  • Bipartisan bill would expand FMLA leave to include death of a child
  • Creditable coverage disclosure due to CMS by March 1

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • PBGC issues proposed regs that provide simplified methods for computing withdrawal liability
  • PBGC announces agreement with Sears over bankruptcy-related sale
  • IRS grants tax relief to victims of earthquake in Alaska

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

Insurance agents properly classified as independent contractors, dealing fatal blow to ERISA class action

In a victory for American Family Insurance, a divided Sixth Circuit reversed a district court’s finding that the agents were “employees” in an ERISA class action suit brought on behalf of several thousand current and former insurance agents, instead finding that a proper weighing of the Supreme Court’s Darden factors established that the insurance giant properly classified them as independent contractors. For more information, see ¶2122Q.

        (Read Cheetah) »

No private right of action for termination, cancellation of coverage under ACA

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) does not create a private right of action for an insured individual whose insurance coverage was cancelled without notice, resulting in tax penalties. The Middle District of Florida granted a motion by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (Blue Cross) to dismiss an individual’s amended complaint. For more information, see ¶2122R.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Bipartisan bill would expand FMLA leave to include death of a child

On February 7, Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL), along with five cosponsors, introduced the Parental Bereavement Act of 2019, bipartisan legislation that would help families grieving the loss of a child take time off work. The bill was introduced in tandem with the 26th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act, signed into law on February 5, 1993. For more information, see ¶2122S.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Creditable coverage disclosure due to CMS by March 1

Group health plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage to individuals eligible for Medicare Part D must disclose to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether the coverage is creditable or non-creditable. The disclosure obligation applies to all plan sponsors that provide prescription drug coverage, even those that do not offer prescription drug coverage to retirees. Calendar year plans must submit this disclosure to the CMS by March 1, 2019. For more information see ¶2122T.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

PBGC issues proposed regs that provide simplified methods for computing withdrawal liability

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has released proposed regulations that would implement statutory changes made by the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA, P.L. 113-235) affecting the determination of a withdrawing employer’s liability under a multiemployer plan and the annual withdrawal liability payment amount. The proposed regulations would provide simplified methods for determining withdrawal liability and annual payment amounts that a plan sponsor would be allowed to adopt to satisfy the statutory requirements that certain amounts associated with funding improvement/rehabilitation plans and benefit suspensions be disregarded. The proposed regulations would also eliminate some language that repeats statutory provisions and make other editorial changes. For more information, see ¶20539Q.

        (Read Cheetah) »

PBGC announces agreement with Sears over bankruptcy-related sale

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced that it has reached an agreement with Sears Holdings Corporation under which the PBGC will withdraw its objection to the proposed sale of Sears’ assets to ESL Investments. The agreement will also allow the PBGC to assume responsibility for Sears’ two defined benefit plans, which cover about 90,000 people. Sears filed for Chapter 11 protection on October 15, 2018. The PBGC will take over the plans because Sears’ continuation of the plans is no longer possible. The PBGC covers Sears’ two pension plans under its Single-Employer Insurance Program. The PBGC notes that the agreement is subject to approval by the Bankruptcy Court in White Plains, New York. For more information, see 162x.

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS grants tax relief to victims of earthquake in Alaska

The IRS has announced tax relief for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the federal disaster areas of the Municipality of Anchorage, Kenai Peninsula Borough, and Matanuska-Susitna Borough in Alaska, which were affected by an earthquake that took place on November 30, 2018. The relief extends until April 30, 2019 deadlines for filing various returns, including the filing of Form 5500s, and paying taxes otherwise due during the period of November 30, 2018 and on or before April 30, 2019. This includes the 2018 individual income tax returns and payments normally due on April 15, 2019. For more information, ¶162w.

        (Read Cheetah) »

 

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