Pension & Benefits NetNews – May 21, 2019

NetNews Subscription

Want to receive these Newsletters via E-mail?

hr.cch.com Resources

About Links in this Newsletter

To access the IntelliConnect™ full text documents you must be a subscriber to the Pension Plan Guide or Employment Benefits Management.

Links within news stories display full text documents including legislation, regulations,
court decisions, rulings and government reports.

The first time you click on a link you will be taken to the IntelliConnect login page, where you will need to enter your ID and password. Subsequent links will take you directly to the desired document.

IntelliConnect

If you aren’t a subscriber call 800-449-9525, or let us contact you about,

Email Us

Contact us by sending an e-mail to

Featured This Week

Employee Benefits Management News

  • Wellness program did not cut costs, reduce absenteeism, or make participants healthier
  • Large employers expected to spend an average of $3.6 million on wellness plans in 2019
  • HHS reduces annual penalty limits for HIPAA violations
  • Enforcement curtailed for “good faith” reliance on now-invalidated AHP rule

Pension Plan Guide News

  • Limited EPCRS update focuses on expanding use of SCP
  • IRS releases 2nd quarter update to Priority Guidance Plan
  • EBSA seeks comments on PT exemptions
  • IRS invites public comments on 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan

Employee Benefits Management News

Wellness program did not cut costs, reduce absenteeism, or make participants healthier

While wellness plan participants did report significantly higher rates of some positive health behaviors, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that after 18 months, there were no significant effects on clinical measures of health, health care spending and utilization, or employment outcomes (such as absenteeism, tenure, or job performance. For more information, see ¶2124L.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Large employers expected to spend an average of $3.6 million on wellness plans in 2019

Large employers are expected to spend an average of $3.6 million on wellness plans in 2019 to help create a healthier and more productive workforce, according to recent research from the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) and Fidelity Investments. For more information, see ¶2124Q.

        (Read Cheetah) »

HHS reduces annual penalty limits for HIPAA violations

HHS has notified the public that it is exercising its discretion in how it applies HHS regulations concerning the assessment of civil money penalties (CMPs) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), as amended by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act. For more information see ¶2124T.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Enforcement curtailed for “good faith” reliance on now-invalidated AHP rule

The Department of Labor has issued a policy statement on association health plans (AHPs) in light of a federal district court in the District of Columbia’s partial invalidation of the Trump Administration’s association health plan final rule. For more information, see ¶2124U.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Pension Plan Guide News

Limited EPCRS update focuses on expanding use of SCP

The IRS has issued a limited update to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) that expands eligibility under the Self-Correction Program (SCP) in order to permit correction of certain plan document failures and select plan loan failures, including the failure to obtain spousal consent and allowing an excess number of loans. The update, which also provides new methods for correcting operational failures by plan amendment under SCP, is intended to facilitate compliance with the qualification rules while also reducing the attendant costs and burdens of compliance. The update modifies and supersedes the most recent consolidated statement of the correction programs under EPCRS that were set forth in Rev. Proc. 2018-52. The modifications are effective April 19, 2019. For more information, see ¶17299w5.

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS releases 2nd quarter update to Priority Guidance Plan

The IRS and the Treasury Department have released the second quarter update to the 2018-2019 Priority Guidance Plan, which includes numerous employee benefit items. The 2018-2019 Priority Guidance Plan contains guidance projects that the IRS hoped to complete during the twelve-month period from July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019. This quarterly update reflects 38 additional projects that were published during the period from November 8, 2018 through December 31, 2018. Due to the partial government shutdown that impacted the second quarter between December 21, 2018 and December 31, 2018, certain projects that might otherwise have been published and released during the second quarter were not published and released until the 3rd quarter. For more information, see ¶164e.

        (Read Cheetah) »

EBSA seeks comments on PT exemptions

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is soliciting comments on the proposed renewal of information collection requests relating to: (1) PT Class Exemption 75-1, which involves security transactions with broker-dealers, reporting dealers, and banks; (2) PT Exemption 84-24, which allows insurance agents and brokers, and pension consultants to receive sales commissions in connection with purchases, with plan or IRA assets, of insurance or annuity contracts; and (3) PT Exemption 86-128, which permits persons who serve as fiduciaries for employee benefit plans and IRAs to effect or execute securities transactions for the plans and IRAs. Written comments, which must be submitted on or before June 4, 2019, For more information, see ¶164k.

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS invites public comments on 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan

The IRS has invited the public to submit recommendations for items that should be included on the 2019-2020 Priority Guidance List. The Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy and the IRS use the Priority Guidance List each year to identify and prioritize the tax issues that should be addressed through regulations, revenue rulings, revenue procedures, notices, and other published administrative guidance. The 2019-2020 Priority Guidance List will establish the guidance that the Treasury and the IRS intend to work on as priorities from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. Recommendations should be submitted by June 7, 2019 for possible inclusion on the original 2019-2020 Priority Guidance List. Taxpayers may, however, submit recommendations for guidance at any time during the year. For more information, see ¶164n.

        (Read Cheetah) »

For more information, visit http://www.wolterskluwerlb.com/rbcs.