Pension & Benefits NetNews – March 26, 2019

 

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • DOL confirms patient advocate’s right to act as claims procedure representative
  • Can selling health insurance across state lines be easier?
  • Employers cannot delay or expand FMLA designation, DOL opinion letter advises
  • Few business owners fully understand HSAs, but are eager to learn more

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • Retiree lump-sum windows now permitted
  • IRS final regs that remove 296 unnecessary, obsolete regs affect retirement plans
  • Authorized representatives may act on behalf of plan participants/beneficiaries under benefit claims procedure regs

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

DOL confirms patient advocate’s right to act as claims procedure representative

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued an information letter addressing the ability of a patient advocate and health care claim recovery expert for plan participants and beneficiaries to act as an authorized representative for claimants in accordance with the department’s claim procedure regulation, which implements ERISA Sec. 503. For more information, see ¶2123K

        (Read Cheetah) »

Can selling health insurance across state lines be easier?

CMS issued a request for information (RFI) regarding how to eliminate barriers and enhance health insurance issuers’ ability to sell individual health insurance coverage across state lines. The RFI was written in connection with an executive order that directs HHS, and others, to facilitate the purchase of health insurance coverage across state lines. For more information, see ¶2123M.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Employers cannot delay or expand FMLA designation, DOL opinion letter advises

The Department of Labor has issued a new opinion letter addressing whether an employer may delay designating paid leave as FMLA leave or permit employees to expand their FMLA leave beyond the statutory 12-week entitlement. The letter explains that an employer “may not delay the designation of FMLA-qualifying leave or designate more than 12 weeks of leave (or 26 weeks of military caregiver leave) as FMLA leave.” For more information, see ¶2123N.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Few business owners fully understand HSAs, but are eager to learn more

The majority of business owners (55 percent) consider the cost of health care to be the biggest expense for those in retirement, outpacing housing (24 percent), taxes (12 percent), food (6 percent) and transportation (1 percent), according to new research from the Nationwide Retirement Institute®. For more information see ¶2123P.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

Retiree lump-sum windows now permitted

The IRS has announced that it no longer plans to amend its required minimum distribution (RMD) regulations to prohibit a defined benefit from allowing still-living retirees that are currently receiving annuity payments to convert their annuity payments into a lump-sum payment. Now, the IRS says it no longer plans to amend its RMD regulations. The Treasury Department and the IRS will continue to study the issue of retiree lump-sum windows. Until further guidance is issued, the IRS will not assert that a plan amendment providing for a retiree lump-sum window program causes the plan to violate the RMD rules, but will continue to evaluate whether the plan satisfies other applicable qualified plan requirements. During this period, the IRS will not issue private letter rulings concerning retiree lump-sum windows. For more information, see ¶17166i.

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS final regs that remove 296 unnecessary, obsolete regs affect retirement plans

The IRS has issued final regulations removing 296 regulations from the Code of Federal Regulations that are no longer necessary because they do not have any current or future applicability under the Internal Revenue Code. In addition, 79 regulations have been amended to reflect the removal of the 296 regulations. Retirement plan regulations are affected. For more information, see ¶163n.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Authorized representatives may act on behalf of plan participants/beneficiaries under benefit claims procedure regs

Authorized representatives may act on behalf of plan participants and beneficiaries, under benefit claims procedure regulations, concerning initial claims for benefits and appeals of adverse benefit determinations, according to a Department of Labor (DOL) information letter. A company acting as a patient advocate and healthcare claim recovery expert for plan participants and beneficiaries, both at the initial application stage and when claimants appeal adverse benefit determinations, requested clarification from the DOL of its ability to act as an authorized representative for claimants under the DOL claims procedure regulations. For more information, see ¶19981z79.

        (Read Cheetah) »

 

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