Pension & Benefits NetNews – February 28, 2017

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • Employer must seek more information when employee requests FMLA leave to care for ailing grandfather
  • Paid family leave passes in D.C.; proposed again in Congress
  • Proposed ACA exchange regulations would tighten enrollment eligibility and allow higher deductible plans
  • GOP lawmakers circulate ACA replacement outline; Democrats challenge plan

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • IRS proposed regs allow 401(k) plan sponsors to use forfeitures to fund QMACs and QNECs
  • DOL adjusts ERISA civil monetary penalties for 2017 in final regs
  • PBGC final regs increase civil penalties for failures to provide certain notices for inflation

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

Employer must seek more information when employee requests FMLA leave to care for ailing grandfather

A federal district court erred in granting summary judgment in favor of an employer that denied an employee’s request for FMLA leave in order to care for his seriously ill grandfather who had raised him as a child, ruled the Second Circuit. For more information, see ¶2103U.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Paid family leave passes in D.C.; proposed again in Congress

States and cities have been at the forefront of providing paid family leave to workers. In December 2016, Washington, D.C. became the latest city to pass paid family leave. Recently, a paid family leave measure was reintroduced in the federal House and Senate. For more information, see ¶2103V.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Proposed ACA exchange regulations would tighten enrollment eligibility and allow higher deductible plans

The Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) have issued proposed changes to HHS regulations governing enrollment and coverage in plans offered through Affordable Care Act (ACA) Exchanges. For more information, see ¶2103X.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

GOP lawmakers circulate ACA replacement outline; Democrats challenge plan

Republicans in Congress have unveiled an outline of their proposal to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the ACA’s taxes. Democrats challenged the proposal, saying it would undermine employer-sponsored health insurance. For more information see ¶2103Y.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

IRS proposed regs allow 401(k) plan sponsors to use forfeitures to fund QMACs and QNECs

IRS proposed regs allow 401(k) plan sponsors to use forfeitures to fund QMACs and QNECs The IRS has issued proposed regulations amending the definitions of qualified matching contributions (QMACs) and qualified nonelective contributions (QNECs) to allow employers with 40(k) plans that permit the use of amounts in plan forfeiture accounts to offset future employer contributions under the plan to use the amounts to fund QMACs and QNECs. Under current regulations, to qualify as a QMAC or QNEC, contributions must satisfy nonforfeitability and distribution requirements at the time the contributions are made. Commenters have asserted that employer contributions should be able to qualify as QMACs and QNECs as long as they satisfy applicable nonforfeitability and distribution requirements at the time they are allocated to participants’ accounts. The reason is that requiring satisfaction of applicable nonforfeitability and distribution requirements at the time amounts are first contributed would preclude plan sponsors with plans that permit the use of amounts in plan forfeiture accounts to offset future employer contributions under the plan from applying such amounts to fund QMACs and QNECs. Under the proposed regulations, employer contributions would qualify as QMACs or QNECs if they satisfied applicable nonforfeitability and distribution requirements at the time they are allocated to participants’ accounts, but need not meet these requirements when they are contributed to the plan. For more information, see ¶20264Q.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

DOL adjusts ERISA civil monetary penalties for 2017 in final regs

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued final regulations to adjust the amounts of ERISA civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced under its regulations for inflation by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). The adjustments are pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. The 2015 Act requires the DOL to annually adjust its civil money penalty levels for inflation no later than January 15 of each year. The adjustments must be based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers. Accordingly, these final regulations set forth the Department’s 2017 annual adjustments for inflation to its civil monetary penalties (including ERISA civil monetary penalties), effective January 13, 2017. The increased penalty levels apply to any penalties assessed after January 13, 2017 for violations occurring after November 2, 2015. For more information, see ¶147q.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC final regs increase civil penalties for failures to provide certain notices for inflation

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued final regulations that adjust the civil monetary penalties provided in ERISA Secs. 4071 and 4302 for inflation. The maximum daily penalty for failing to provide notices or other material information under ERISA Sec. 4071 has increased from $2,063 to $2,097, and the maximum penalty for failure to provide certain multiemployer plan notices under ERISA Sec. 4302 has risen from $275 to $279. The final regulations are effective January 31, 2017, and the increases apply to penalties assessed after January 31, 2017. The PBGC is adjusting the penalties in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 and the Office of Management and Budget Memorandum M-17-11. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which amends the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, requires agencies to adjust civil monetary penalties for inflation and publish the adjustments in the Federal Register. The initial adjustment must have been made by interim final regulations published by July 1, 2016 and been effective by August 1, 2016. Following adjustments must be issued by January 15 of each year after 2016. The adjustments must be based on changes in the Consumer Price Index. For more information, see ¶147w.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

 

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