Pension & Benefits NetNews – June 18, 2019

 

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • Study finds relationship between HSA balances and increased use of health care services
  • OCR issues fact sheet covering business associate liability under HIPAA rules
  • State Attorney Generals argue Congress intended ACA to continue
  • Employees value well-being programs, but don’t view own health status favorably

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • IRS proposed regs provide answers for withholding on benefit distributions delivered outside of U.S.
  • Hartogensis confirmed and sworn in as Director of PBGC
  • IRS grants tax relief to victims of severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding in Oklahoma

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

Study finds relationship between HSA balances and increased use of health care services

Consumers with larger health savings accounts (HSS) balances at the beginning of the year visited the emergency room, primary care physicians, and specialists with greater frequency than those with lower HSA balances. That’s according to a study from the EBRI Center for Research on Health Benefits Innovation. For details, see ¶2125F.

        (Read Cheetah) »

OCR issues fact sheet covering business associate liability under HIPAA rules

The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has issued a new fact sheet compiling all provisions through which business associates of covered entities, such as health plans, can be held directly liable for compliance with certain Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) rules in accordance with the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009. For more information, see ¶2125G.

        (Read Cheetah) »

State Attorney Generals argue Congress intended ACA to continue

In defense of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, along with 19 other states and the District of Columbia, have filed a response in Texas v. U.S.—the case decided in December 2018 that ruled that the tax bill passed by Congress in December 2017 rendered the entire ACA unconstitutional. For more information, see ¶2125I.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Employees value well-being programs, but don’t view own health status favorably

Employees are taking positive steps when it comes to their health and well-being, but despite their best efforts, most don’t view the state of their physical, mental/emotional, financial, social or career well-being favorably, according to new data from Alight Solutions, the National Business Group on Health and Kantar. For more information see ¶2125J.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

IRS proposed regs provide answers for withholding on benefit distributions delivered outside of U.S.

The IRS has issued proposed regulations that provide guidance, in a question-and-answer format, on the withholding rules for distributions from deferred compensation plans, individual retirement accounts, or commercial annuities delivered outside of the United States. The new rule would adopt IRS Notice 87-7 guidance and also would provide clarification for certain payments. Pension, annuity, and other similar deferred income payments are subject to mandatory income tax withholding if they are delivered outside of the United States or any U.S. possessions. Taxpayers receiving these payments generally cannot elect out of this withholding. Mandatory withholding does not apply, however, if the recipient certifies to the payor that he or she is not a U.S. citizen, a resident alien, or a tax-avoidance expatriate under Code Sec. 877. For more information, see ¶20264y.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Hartogensis confirmed and sworn in as Director of PBGC

The Senate voted (72-27) to confirm the nomination of Gordon Hartogensis of Connecticut to be the new Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation on April 30, 2019. He took the oath of office to become the 16th director of the PBGC on May 15, 2019. Hartogensis succeeds Tom Reeder, who served as director from October 2015 – May 2019. “I am honored to serve in this important role,” Hartogensis said. “I am looking forward to working with Congress, the Administration and stakeholders to protect and advance the retirement security of the nearly 37 million Americans we insure.” Prior to joining the PBGC, Hartogensis managed a portfolio of private equity, venture capital, real estate, and angel investments, and served as an advisor to several portfolio companies. Before that, he started two software companies, which he later sold. For more information, see ¶165c.

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS grants tax relief to victims of severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding in Oklahoma

The IRS has announced tax relief for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the federal disaster areas of Canadian, Creek, Delaware, Kay, Logan, Mayes, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Osage, Ottawa, Payne, Pottawatomie, Rogers, Sequoyah, Tulsa, Wagoner, and Washington Counties in Oklahoma, which were affected by severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that took place on May 7, 2019. The relief extends until September 16, 2019 deadlines for filing various returns, including the filing of Form 5500s, and paying taxes otherwise due during the period of May 7, 2019 and before September 16, 2019. For more information, see ¶165f.

        (Read Cheetah) »

 

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