Pension & Benefits NetNews – March 1, 2016

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • Claim that hours were cut to dodge ACA mandate plausible under ERISA
  • Cadillac tax a “crucial tool” for building a better health care system, researchers say
  • Appellate court joins sister circuits, upholds nonprofit accommodation
  • Health advocacy group urges Supreme Court to uphold ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • IRS provides guidance on mid-year changes to safe harbor plans and notices
  • IRS proposed regs provide nondiscrimination testing changes including relief for closed DB plans
  • PBGC issues disaster relief for Arkansas

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

Claim that hours were cut to dodge ACA mandate plausible under ERISA

A former Dave & Buster’s employee may proceed with a putative class action alleging that her work hours were cut so that the restaurant chain could avoid paying the looming increase in health insurance costs brought on by Obamacare, a federal district court in New York held. For more information, see ¶2094C.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Cadillac tax a “crucial tool” for building a better health care system, researchers say

The excise tax on high-cost health plans, also known as the “Cadillac” tax, is a crucial tool for building on recent years’ progress toward a better health care system and it will have major benefits for our economy. Or at least that is what researchers at the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) suggest in their recent perspective: The Cadillac Tax—A Crucial Tool for Delivery-System Reform. For details, see ¶2094D.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Appellate court joins sister circuits, upholds nonprofit accommodation

The Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the accommodation to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) contraception mandate requiring religious nonprofits to notify HHS directly or via health plans or third party administrators (TPAs) that they object to the mandate does not violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) because it does not substantially burden religious exercise and is the least restrictive means of furthering a compelling government interest. For more information, see ¶2094H.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Health advocacy group urges Supreme Court to uphold ACA’s contraceptive coverage requirement

The National Health Law Program (NHeLP) has filed a friend of the court (amicus curiae) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court for Zubik v. Burwell, whereby the Court will decide whether non-profit employers are able to deny their employees access to contraceptive services on religious grounds. For more information, see ¶2094J.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

IRS provides guidance on mid-year changes to safe harbor plans and notices

The IRS has issued guidance that provides that a mid-year change either to a safe harbor plan or to a plan’s safe harbor notice does not violate the safe harbor rules merely because it is a mid-year change, provided that applicable notice and election opportunity conditions are satisfied and the mid-year change is not a prohibited mid-year change. The guidance is effective for mid-year changes made on and after January 29, 2016. Comments are requested that may be submitted in writing no later than April 28, 2016. Contributions to a retirement plan under Code Sec. 401(k) or 401(m) must not discriminate in favor of highly compensated employees. The nondiscrimination rules may be met through a safe harbor structure that includes limits on mid-year changes and a requirement to provide notice and election opportunities to plan participants. Provisions for safe harbor plans generally should be adopted before the first day of the plan year and remain in effect for an entire 12-month plan year. Notice requirements apply for Code Sec. 401(k) safe harbor plans, qualified automatic contribution arrangements (QACA), and matching safe harbor plans, including content and timing rules. For more information, see ¶17,158I.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS proposed regs provide nondiscrimination testing changes including relief for closed DB plans

The IRS has issued proposed regulations modifying a number of provisions in the existing nondiscrimination regulations to address situations and plan designs, including nondiscrimination relief for certain closed defined benefit (DB) plans and formulas. The proposed regulations would add special rules that allow closed plans to satisfy the nondiscrimination rules in additional situations. These special rules are based on the existing rules for defined benefit replacement allocations (DBRAs), as modified, which may be disregarded when determining whether a DC plan has broadly available allocation rates. Under the proposed regulations, the eligibility conditions set forth in the modified DBRA rules provide a framework for the eligibility conditions for the snapshot rule related to closed plans in a DB/DC plan. The DBRA rules are also used as a basis for the special testing rule for benefits, rights, and features provided to a grandfathered group of employees. For more information, see ¶20,264H.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC issues disaster relief for Arkansas

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced relief from certain deadlines and penalties in connection with the Form 5500 series for “designated persons” adversely affected by the severe storms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, and flooding that began on December 26, 2015 in Arkansas. The relief generally extends from December 26, 2015 through May 16, 2016. For more information, see ¶19,996C-57.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

 

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