Pension & Benefits Netnews – March 28, 2017

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • CCIIO gives small group non-grandfathered policies more time to ease into ACA compliance
  • SIFL rates issued for the first half of 2017
  • Private exchange option used by less than 1 percent of employers for active employees
  • Telehealth may drive medical spending up, not down

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • IRS’s TE/GE provides guidance on documenting substantiation for 401(k) plan hardship distributions
  • PBGC extends operating hours of customer contact center to include Saturdays
  • PBGC releases state-by-state pension payout information for 2015

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

CCIIO gives small group non-grandfathered policies more time to ease into ACA compliance

The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has issued guidance stating that it is extending its transitional policy allowing certain health policies to continue coverage that would otherwise be cancelled for noncompliance with various provisions of the Public Health Service Act and Sec. 1312(c) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). For more information, see ¶2104Q.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

SIFL rates issued for the first half of 2017

The Department of Transportation has released the applicable terminal charge and standard industry fare level (SIFL) mileage rates for January 1, 2017, through June 30, 2017. These rates will be used by the IRS to determine the value of noncommercial flights on employer-provided aircraft. For the rates, see ¶2104S.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Private exchange option used by less than 1 percent of employers for active employees

Less than 1 percent of employers currently use a private exchange for active employees, according to the Fifth Annual Employer Survey on Private Exchanges from Chelko Consulting Group. For more information, see ¶2104T.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Telehealth may drive medical spending up, not down

Direct-to-consumer telehealth services—touted as a convenient and less-expensive way to get care for minor ailments—appear to prompt new use of medical services and thus may drive up medical spending rather than trim costs, according to a new RAND Corporation study. For more information see ¶2104V.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

IRS’s TE/GE provides guidance on documenting substantiation for 401(k) plan hardship distributions

The IRS’s Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Division has issued new internal guidance for its agents who are examining 401(k) plans for whether the plans are properly documenting hardship distributions. The memorandum covers the substantiation guidelines for Employee Plans Examinations employees examining whether a Code Sec. 401(k) plan’s hardship distribution is “deemed to be on account of an immediate and heavy financial need” under safe-harbor standards set out in IRS Reg. Sec. 1.401(k)-1(d)(3)(iii)(B). The guidance is effective February 23, 2017 and will be incorporated into the Internal Revenue Manual within two years from its release. For more information, see ¶148j.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC extends operating hours of customer contact center to include Saturdays

Through April 29, 2017, the PBGC’s Customer Contact Center will be open on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. eastern, to meet high call volume and reduce wait times. The Customer Contact Center can be reached at (800) 400-7242. During Saturday hours, customer service representatives will be able to perform limited services only. For more information, see ¶148o.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC releases state-by-state pension payout information for 2015

Did you know that PBGC paid more than $5.6 billion (that’s “billion” with a “b”) to 840,000 retirees in 2015? It’s the PBGC’s long-standing mission to pay benefits to retirees on time and accurately. These hard-earned pensions provide the security of lifetime income for retirees all across the country. To help understand the scale and geographic distribution of those payments, the PBGC created a detailed, state-by-state map listing how much we pay in benefits to our participants in terminated single-employer pension plans. This clickable map lists the total amount and number of people paid in each state, broken down by congressional district. For example, in Pennsylvania in 2015, PBGC paid more than $470 million dollars to over 80,000 retirees. Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District, located in southwestern PA, accounted for the largest amount, at over $77,000,000 million dollars paid to over 13,000 retirees. Approximately 1.4 million current and future retirees in trusteed single-employer pension plans rely on PBGC for their benefits. For more information, see ¶148L.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

 

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