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Employee Benefits Management News
- Seventy-eight percent of employers would keep some ACA-mandated provisions if law were repealed, report finds
- Insured has no standing to sue over ACA transitional policy
- IRS clarifies tax treatment of wellness program benefits and employer reimbursements
- EBSA’s “red flags” could mean your plan lacks parity
Pension Plan Guide News
- IRS final regs remove allocation rule for disbursements from designated Roth accounts to multiple destinations
- IRS issues final regs on multiemployer plan ordering rule for suspension of benefits when employer has withdrawn
- IRS releases 3rd quarter update to Priority Guidance Plan
Seventy-eight percent of employers would keep some ACA-mandated provisions if law were repealed, report finds
Health care and the future of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) have been defining issues for presidential candidates this election season. A new report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans finds that if the ACA is repealed, 78 percent of employers would keep in place at least some of the provisions they have already implemented in their health plans. For more information, see ¶2096T.
Insured has no standing to sue over ACA transitional policy
An individual and his employer had no standing to sue the Obama administration for implementation of its “transitional policy,” which permitted health insurance companies to extend plans that did not comply with Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirements for nine months, nor could they bring an equal protection challenge for application of either the transitional policy or the hardship exemption to the individual mandate .For more information, see ¶2096Y.
IRS clarifies tax treatment of wellness program benefits and employer reimbursements
The IRS has clarified that employers may not exclude from employees’ gross income either payments of cash rewards for participating in wellness programs or employer reimbursements of premiums paid by employees (originally via salary reduction through a cafeteria plan) for wellness program participation. For more information, see ¶2097A.
EBSA’s “red flags” could mean your plan lacks parity
The Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has posted information on its website with warning signs that your health plan might contain non-quantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs) that require additional analysis to determine if the plan is in compliance with the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). For more information, see ¶2097B.
IRS final regs remove allocation rule for disbursements from designated Roth accounts to multiple destinations
The IRS has issued final regulations eliminating the requirement that each disbursement from a designated Roth account that is directly rolled over to an eligible retirement plan be treated as a separate distribution from any amount paid directly to the employee and therefore separately subject to the rule in Code Sec. 72(e)(2) allocating pretax and after-tax amounts to each distribution. As a result of this change, if disbursements are made from a taxpayer’s designated Roth account to the taxpayer and also to the taxpayer’s Roth IRA or designated Roth account in a direct rollover, then pretax amounts will be allocated first to the direct rollover, rather than being allocated pro rata to each destination. Also, a taxpayer will be able to direct the allocation of pretax and after-tax amounts that are included in disbursements from a designated Roth account that are directly rolled over to multiple destinations, applying the same allocation rules to distributions from designated Roth accounts that apply to distributions from other types of accounts. For more information, see ¶143E.
IRS issues final regs on multiemployer plan ordering rule for suspension of benefits when employer has withdrawn
The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (“MPRA”) relates to multiemployer defined benefit pension plans that are projected to have insufficient funds, within a specified timeframe, to pay the full plan benefits to which individuals will be entitled (referred to as plans in “critical and declining status”). Under MPRA, the sponsor of such a plan is permitted to reduce the pension benefits payable to plan participants and beneficiaries if certain conditions and limitations are satisfied (referred to in MPRA as a “suspension of benefits”). One specific limitation governs the application of a suspension of benefits under any plan that includes benefits directly attributable to a participant’s service with any employer that has withdrawn from the plan in a complete withdrawal, paid its full withdrawal liability, and, pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement, assumed liability for providing benefits to participants and beneficiaries equal to any benefits for such participants and beneficiaries reduced as a result of the financial status of the plan. The IRS has issued final regulations that provide guidance relating to this specific limitation. For more information, see ¶142R.
IRS releases 3rd quarter update to Priority Guidance Plan
The IRS has issued its third quarter update to the 2015-2016 Priority Guidance Plan. The 2015-2016 Priority Guidance Plan contained 277 projects that are priorities for allocation of IRS resources during the twelve-month period from July 2015 through June 2016 (the plan year) and represents projects it intends to work on actively during the plan year and does not place any deadline on completion of projects. This third quarter update to the 2015-2016 plan reflects 20 additional projects that have become priorities and guidance the IRS has published during the period from October 1, 2015 through March 31, 2016. Periodic updates allow the agency flexibility throughout the plan year to consider comments received from taxpayers and tax practitioners relating to additional projects and to respond to developments arising during the plan year. For more information, see ¶142Q.
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