Pension & Benefits NetNews – January 23, 2018

 

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • DOL issues annual adjustments to penalties for 2018
  • DOL proposed regulation would allow association health plans
  • ERISA final rule on new disability benefits claims procedures will apply April 1
  • Exclude excepted benefits from group health plan definition for QSEHRAs, benefits association urges IRS

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • IRS releases 2018 TE/GE employee plan procedures for issuing determination letters and letter rulings, and 2018 schedule of employee plan user fees
  • DOL adjusts ERISA civil monetary penalties for 2018 in final regs
  • IRS issues revised procedures for letter rulings, information letters, and determination letters

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

DOL issues annual adjustments to penalties for 2018

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule to adjust the amounts of civil penalties assessed or enforced under its regulations. Those adjustment amounts pertain to regulations enforced by the DOL’s EBSA, Wage and Hour Division, OSHA, and other agencies. For the penalties, see ¶2112F.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

DOL proposed regulation would allow association health plans

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a proposed rule that would allow employers to join together as a single group to purchase insurance in the large group health insurance market. Employers could offer this employment-based health insurance via small business health plans, also known as association health plans (AHP). For more information, see ¶2112J.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

ERISA final rule on new disability benefits claims procedures will apply April 1

The Department of Labor has announced that April 1, 2018, will be the applicability date for employee benefit plans to comply with a final rule under ERISA that will provide new procedural protections for workers dealing with plan fiduciaries and insurance providers who have denied their disability benefits claims. For more information, see ¶2112K.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Exclude excepted benefits from group health plan definition for QSEHRAs, benefits association urges IRS

Employers offering plans that provide only excepted benefits should be eligible to establish Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements, or QSEHRAs, according to the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation (ECFC). The ECFC recently sent a letter to the IRS that included comments on IRS Notice 2017-67, which contained guidance on QSEHRAs, and which advised that a group health plan includes a plan providing only excepted benefits described in Code Sec. 9831(c). For more information see ¶2112Q.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

IRS releases 2018 TE/GE employee plan procedures for issuing determination letters and letter rulings, and 2018 schedule of employee plan user fees

The IRS has updated its procedures for employee plans 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. Changes are made throughout the updated procedure to reflect the restructure of the pre-approved plan program previously announced in Rev. Proc. 2017-41 including provisions relating to opinion letter applications with respect to a plan’s third and subsequent six-year remedial amendment cycles. Certain opinion and advisory letter applications for defined contribution and defined benefit master and prototype (M&S) plans and volume submission (VS) plans that may still be submitted pursuant to Rev. Proc. 2015-36 with respect to cycles prior to the third six-year remedial amendment cycle are retained. For more information, see ¶17299v64.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

DOL adjusts ERISA civil monetary penalties for 2018 in final regs

The Labor Department 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) for 2018. 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 2018 annual adjustments for inflation to its civil monetary penalties (including ERISA civil monetary penalties), effective January 2, 2018. The increased penalty levels apply to any penalties assessed after January 2, 2018 for violations occurring after November 2, 2015. All of the penalty amounts currently in ERISA Reg. Sec. 2575.2 have increased. For more information, see ¶155E.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

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

The IRS has updated the general procedures for the issuance of written guidance 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 and Products), Associate Chief Counsel (Income Tax and Accounting), Associate Chief Counsel (International), Associate Chief Counsel (Passthroughs and Special Industries), Associate Chief Counsel (Procedure and Administration), and Associate Chief Counsel (Tax Exempt and Government Entities). In addition to minor revisions, notable changes include a clarification that a ruling can be revoked even if the subject of the ruling is a matter that the IRS no longer rules on and that pay.gov is now the exclusive means for making payments for user fees under this revenue procedure. For more information, see ¶17299v61.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

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