Pension & Benefits NetNews – November 13, 2018

 

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News 

  • Payments made to HHS do not qualify as an internal revenue tax
  • HSA balances rise, but few treat them as retirement savings vehicles
  • Adjusted applicable dollar amount for fee imposed on health insurance plans announced
  • Final rules expand exemptions from contraceptive coverage mandate

Pension Plan Guide News 

  • IRS issues 2019 retirement benefit COLAs
  • IRS proposed regs address de minimis error safe harbors from information reporting penalties
  • IRS grants tax relief to victims of Hurricane Michael in Florida

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

Payments made to HHS do not qualify as an internal revenue tax

Payments made by a group health plan as required by HHS regulation do not qualify as a tax for the purposes of bringing a refund suit in district court. The Fourth Circuit affirmed a district court’s judgment that it lacked subject matter jurisdiction over a claim brought by a group health plan to recover a payment made to HHS. For details, see ¶2120D.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

HSA balances rise, but few treat them as retirement savings vehicles

While more Americans are using Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to save and pay for medical expenses, few are investing the funds, maxing out contributions, or otherwise using it as a retirement savings tool, according to a study conducted by EBRI. For more information, see ¶2120H.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Adjusted applicable dollar amount for fee imposed on health insurance plans announced

The IRS has announced that the applicable dollar amount used to calculate the fees imposed by Code Secs. 4375 and 4376 for policy and plan years that end on or after October 1, 2018, and before October 1, 2019, is $2.45. For more information, see ¶2120I.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Final rules expand exemptions from contraceptive coverage mandate

The Departments of Health and Human Services, Treasury, and Labor have issued two final rules regarding exemptions from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) contraceptive coverage mandate for various entities and individuals on the basis of sincerely held religious beliefs or non-religious moral convictions. The rules finalize, with changes based on public comments, interim final rules issued on October 13, 2017, and will be published in the Federal Register on November 15, 2018. For more information see ¶2120L.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

IRS issues 2019 retirement benefit COLAs

The IRS has released the 2019 cost-of-living adjustments to retirement plan limits. Many of the pension plan limitations will change for 2019 but the catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans remains unchanged at $6,000. The limitation on the annual benefit under a defined benefit plan under Code Sec. 415 increases from $220,000 to $225,000 for 2019, while the limitation for defined contribution plans under Code Sec. 415 increases for 2019 from $55,000 to $56,000. The Code Sec. 402(g)(1) limitation on the exclusion for elective deferrals increases from $18,500 to $19,000. The limitation used in the definition of “highly compensated employee” under Code Sec. 414 is increased from $120,000 to $125,000. The annual compensation limit increases from $275,000 to $280,000. The dollar limitation concerning the definition of “key employee” in a top-heavy plan is increased from $175,000 to $180,000. The limit on annual contributions to an IRA, which last increased in 2013, increases from $5,500 to $6,000. The income ranges for determining eligibility to make deductible contributions to traditional IRAs and to contribute to Roth IRAs will increase for 2019. For more information, see ¶17037x.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS proposed regs address de minimis error safe harbors from information reporting penalties

If church-related organizations make an aggregation or disaggregation election from treatment as a single employer under Code Sec. 414(c)(2)(C) and (D) and subsequently revoke it, the entity authorized to revoke the election must provide a copy of the revocation to the IRS upon request by the IRS. This rule was effective for revocations of elections made on or after October 22, 2018. Prior to that date, any reasonable method of notifying the IRS concerning revocations of elections under Code Sec. 414(c)(2)(C) and (D) is acceptable. For more information, see ¶20264v.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS grants tax relief to victims of Hurricane Michael in Florida

The IRS has announced tax relief for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the federal disaster areas of Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington Counties in Florida, which was affected by Hurricane Michael beginning on October 7, 2018. The relief extends until February 28, 2019 deadlines for filing various returns, including the filing of Form 5500s, and paying taxes otherwise due during the period of October 7, 2018 and on or before February 28, 2019. For more information, see ¶161f.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

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