Pension & Benefits NetNews – July 10, 2018

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Featured This Week

Employee Benefits Management News

  • SHRM survey finds health and wellness offerings help drive continued increase in benefits provided to employees
  • National Business Group on Health recommends employers discuss opioid use for pain management with health plans, PBMs
  • Industry groups comment on mental health guidance
  • Less than half of employees encouraged to take time off and when they do, positive effects don’t last

Pension Plan Guide News

  • Insurers to work with DOL to distribute up to $116M to participants of abandoned retirement plans
  • IRS grants tax relief to victims of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in Hawaii
  • IRS issues July 2018 AFRs

Employee Benefits Management News

SHRM survey finds health and wellness offerings help drive continued increase in benefits provided to employees

As a tight job market continues to help drive increases in employee benefits offered by organizations, health and wellness along with employee programs and services are the benefits most likely to be increased, according to the results of the 2018 Employee Benefits Survey released by the Society for Human Resource Management. For details, see ¶2116V.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

National Business Group on Health recommends employers discuss opioid use for pain management with health plans, PBMs

Calling the misuse and abuse of opioids a national issue that profoundly impacts employees, their families and employers, the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit association of more than 420 large U.S. employers, is recommending employers work with their health plans and pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) to assure they are implementing national guidelines for prescribing opioids. For more information, see ¶2116W.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Industry groups comment on mental health guidance

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) and the American Benefits Council have filed comments with the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury on mental health parity compliance. For more information, see ¶2116Z.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Less than half of employees encouraged to take time off and when they do, positive effects don’t last

Taking time off helps the majority of U.S. workers recover from stress and experience positive effects that improve their well-being and job performance, but for nearly two-thirds of working adults, the benefits of time away dissipate within a few days, according to a recent survey from the American Psychological Association. For more information see ¶2117B.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

Insurers to work with DOL to distribute up to $116M to participants of abandoned retirement plans

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Brighthouse Life Insurance Company have agreed to work with the U.S. Department of Labor to determine whether more than 2,000 retirement plans in their custody are abandoned. If plans are found to be abandoned, the companies will submit them to the Department’s Abandoned Plan Program (APP). This may result in distributions of up to approximately $116 million to 20,000 participants. Ascensus Trust Company will be submitting plans to the Abandoned Plan Program on behalf of MetLife and Brighthouse. The companies also have agreed to terminate and wind up 400 additional “de minimis” plans, and to distribute the assets to their participants. A de minimis benefit is one for which, considering its value and the frequency with which it is provided, is so small as to make accounting for it unreasonable or impractical. The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) approached the two companies regarding the assets of ERISA-covered individual account plans that had no activity for at least 12 consecutive months. For more information, see ¶158o.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS grants tax relief to victims of volcanic eruptions and earthquakes in Hawaii

The IRS has announced tax relief for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the federal disaster area of Hawaii county, which was affected by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes beginning on May 3, 2018. The relief extends until September 17, 2018 deadlines for filing various returns, including the filing of Form 5500s, and paying taxes otherwise due during the period of May 3, 2018 and on or before September 17, 2018. For payroll and excise tax deposits due on or after May 3, 2018, the IRS will waive the failure to deposit penalties if such deposits were made by May 18, 2018. For more information, see ¶158u.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS issues July 2018 AFRs

The July 2018 short-term, mid-term, and long-term applicable federal interest rates (AFRs) have been issued by the IRS. The July mid-term 175% AFR (Annual) rate, used to calculate interest charged to the funding standard account for underpayments of quarterly contributions under Code Sec. 412(m), is 5.05%. For more information, see ¶158t.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

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