Pension & Benefits NetNews – March 6, 2018

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Featured This Week

Employee Benefits Management News

  • Sixth Circuit can’t create ambiguity in CBA to find vested lifetime healthcare benefits, High Court says
  • SIFL rates issued for the first half of 2018
  • City of Austin mandates paid sick leave for employees
  • 20 states seek repeal of entire ‘unconstitutional and irrational’ ACA

Pension Plan Guide News

  • Yard-Man inferences can’t create ambiguity in CBA to find lifetime vesting for retiree health benefits, Supreme Court says
  • IRS proposal to remove 298 unnecessary, obsolete regs affects retirement plan regs
  • DOL settlement agreement with fiduciary companies and anticipated future payments from pending case expected to give $16M back to retirement plans for losses from fraudulent loan investments

Employee Benefits Management News

Sixth Circuit can’t create ambiguity in CBA to find vested lifetime healthcare benefits, High Court says

The Supreme Court has reversed and remanded a decision in which the Sixth Circuit held that the same “Yard-Man” inferences it once used to presume lifetime vesting could be used “to render a collective bargaining agreement ambiguous as a matter of law, thus allowing courts to consult extrinsic evidence about lifetime vesting.” For more information, see ¶2113O.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

SIFL rates issued for the first half of 2018

The Department of Transportation has released the applicable terminal charge and standard industry fare level (SIFL) mileage rates for January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018. These rates will be used by the IRS to determine the value of noncommercial flights on employer-provided aircraft. For the rates, see ¶2113Q.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

City of Austin mandates paid sick leave for employees

The City of Austin recently became what is said to be the first city in Texas, and perhaps in the whole of the southern United States, to guarantee paid sick leave to employees working within the city. For more information, see ¶2113R.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

20 states seek repeal of entire ‘unconstitutional and irrational’ ACA

Twenty states filed a lawsuit against the federal government challenging the constitutionality of what remains of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-97) eliminated the individual mandate’s tax penalty only. With no remaining legitimate basis for the ACA, said the states in their complaint, the remainder of the law, which “forces an unconstitutional and irrational regime” on the states and their citizens, must also fall. For more information see ¶2113T.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

Yard-Man inferences can’t create ambiguity in CBA to find lifetime vesting for retiree health benefits, Supreme Court says

In a per curiam decision concerning vested rights to lifetime health care benefits for retirees, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded a Sixth Circuit decision that had held that the same Yard-Man inferences it once used to presume lifetime vesting could be used “to render a collective bargaining agreement ambiguous as a matter of law, thus allowing courts to consult extrinsic evidence about lifetime vesting.” That approach was inconsistent with the High Court’s decision in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, which required ordinary principles of contract law to be applied to collective bargaining agreements (CBAs). Because Yard-Man inferences from International Union, United Auto, Aerospace, & Agricultural Implement Workers of Am. v. Yard-Man, Inc. (Yard-Man), CA-6 (1983), 716 F2d 1476 are not “ordinary principles of contract law,” stressed the Court in an unsigned opinion, they cannot be used to support more than one “reasonable interpretation” of a contract to create an ambiguity and bring in extrinsic evidence. For more information, see ¶156a.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS proposal to remove 298 unnecessary, obsolete regs affects retirement plan regs

The IRS has proposed removing 298 regulations, which are considered unnecessary, duplicative or obsolete. In addition, the Treasury proposes to amend another 79 regulations to reflect the proposed removal of the regulations. The regulations affected by this proposed rulemaking include retirement plan regulations. For more information, see ¶20264s.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

DOL settlement agreement with fiduciary companies and anticipated future payments from pending case expected to give $16M back to retirement plans for losses from fraudulent loan investments

The Labor Department has entered into a settlement agreement with U.S. Fiduciary Services and three of its subsidiaries that provides for payment of more than $7 million to 42 retirement plans that suffered losses as a result of investments in fictitious loans made by Florida-based First Farmers Financial LLC (FFF). The agreement and anticipated future payments from a pending Receivership Estate case involving FFF are expected to compensate the retirement plans fully for approximately $16 million in losses. For more information, see ¶155v.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

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