Pension & Benefits NetNews – March 12, 2019

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Featured This Week

Employee Benefits Management News

  • Comments requested on grandfathered group health plans and insurance coverage
  • IRS recommends acquiescence in result in case holding meals as de minimis fringe benefits
  • Looming ‘Cadillac’ tax is creating uncertainty for employer plans
  • IRS updates FAQs on ACA information reporting by employers

Pension Plan Guide News

  • IRS seeks comments on multiemployer plan participant vote
  • Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Plan application to reduce multiemployer plan benefits is approved
  • Mid-Jersey Trucking Industry and Local 701 Pension Fund application to reduce multiemployer plan benefits is approved

Employee Benefits Management News

Comments requested on grandfathered group health plans and insurance coverage

The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (Departments), have requested comments on grandfathered group health plans and grandfathered group health insurance coverage. For more information, see ¶2122Y.

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS recommends acquiescence in result in case holding meals as de minimis fringe benefits

The IRS has recommended acquiescence in result only to the Tax Court decision in J.M Jacobs, 148 TC —, No. 24, Dec. 60,947. In Jacobs, the Tax Court allowed a professional hockey team, organized as an S corporation, to deduct the entire cost of pregame meals for players and personnel at away games as de minimis fringe benefits. For more information, see ¶2122Z.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Looming ‘Cadillac’ tax is creating uncertainty for employer plans

In a letter to Reps. Joe Courtney (D-Conn) and Mike Kelly (R-Pa), the Partnership for Employer-Sponsored Coverage, an advocacy alliance group, expressed strong support for the Middle Class Health Benefits Tax Repeal Act (H.R. 748). Introduced in January 2019, H.R. 748 is a bipartisan bill that would repeal the excise tax on high-cost health plans, otherwise known as the “Cadillac tax.” For more information, see ¶2123B.

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS updates FAQs on ACA information reporting by employers

The IRS has updated its Questions and Answers on Reporting of Offers of Health Insurance Coverage by Employers (Section 6056) website. The revised FAQs tweak the guidance regarding how applicable large employer (ALE) members comply with the reporting requirements and also address transition relief for calendar years 2015, 2016 and 2017. For more information see ¶2123E.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Pension Plan Guide News

IRS seeks comments on multiemployer plan participant vote

The IRS is seeking public comment on an extension of approval for a currently-approved collection of information concerning the suspension of benefits process under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA)—specifically, the administration of the multiemployer plan participant vote. The MPRA allows sponsors of collectively bargained retirement plans in significant financial distress to apply to the Treasury Department for approval to suspend benefit payments. If the application is approved, the Treasury Department must then administer a vote by plan participants on whether to accept or reject the suspension. There are no changes being made at this time. Written comments, which should be received on or before April 5, 2019, should be directed to: Laurie Brimmer, Internal Revenue Service, Room 6529, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20224. For more information, see ¶163c.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Plan application to reduce multiemployer plan benefits is approved

The Department of the Treasury has released a letter to the Board of Trustees of the Southwest Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters Pension Plan, stating that the fund is eligible to reduce benefits under the plan pursuant to the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA). The Treasury Department further states that the application satisfies the requirements of Code Sec. 432(e)(9)(C), (D), (E), and (F). However, this is not a final authorization to implement the benefit suspension. Under Code Sec. 432(e)(9)(H), there must be a vote by the plan participants concerning the proposed benefit suspension before any suspension can take effect. The Treasury Department, in consultation with the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, is required to, and will, administer the voting by participants and beneficiaries of the fund. For more information, see ¶163g.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Mid-Jersey Trucking Industry and Local 701 Pension Fund application to reduce multiemployer plan benefits is approved

The Department of the Treasury has released a letter to the Board of Trustees of the Mid-Jersey Trucking Industry and Local 701 Pension Fund, stating that the fund is eligible to reduce benefits under the plan pursuant to the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA). The Treasury Department further states that the application satisfies the requirements of Code Sec. 432(e)(9)(C), (D), (E), and (F). However, this is not a final authorization to implement the benefit suspension. Under Code Sec. 432(e)(9)(H), there must be a vote by the plan participants concerning the proposed benefit suspension before any suspension can take effect. The Treasury Department, in consultation with the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, is required to, and will, administer the voting by participants and beneficiaries of the fund. For more information, see ¶163e.

        (Read Cheetah) »

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