Pension & Benefits NetNews – November 29, 2016

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • IRS announces adjusted PCORI fee
  • Wellness program choices should factor in generational differences in employee stressors
  • Special relief encourages leave-based donation programs for victims of Hurricane Matthew
  • IRS extends due date for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • EBSA issues FAQS addressing exemptions accompanying fiduciary conflict of interest regs
  • PBGC maximum monthly benefit guarantee increases for 2017
  • PBGC updates premium rates for 2017

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

IRS announces adjusted PCORI fee

The IRS has provided the adjusted applicable dollar amount to be multiplied by the average number of covered lives for purposes of the fee imposed by Code Secs. 4375 and 4376 on the issuer of a specified health insurance policy for policy years and plan years that end after September 30, 2012, and before October 1, 2019. The fee helps to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). For more information, see ¶2101G.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Wellness program choices should factor in generational differences in employee stressors

Despite an improving job market, workers are still experiencing high levels of stress, according to the 2016 ComPsych® StressPulse® Report, and that’s something employers should keep in mind when designing wellness and employee assistance programs (EAPs). For more information, see ¶2101K.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Special relief encourages leave-based donation programs for victims of Hurricane Matthew

The IRS has provided special relief designed to support leave-based donation programs to aid victims of Hurricane Matthew. Under these programs, employees forgo their vacation, sick or personal leave in exchange for cash payments the employer makes to charitable organizations providing relief for the victims of this disaster. For more information, see ¶2101L.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS extends due date for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals

The IRS has extended the due date for furnishing Forms 1095-B and 1095-C to individuals. Health insurers and applicable large employers (ALEs) are required, by Code Secs. 6055 and 6056, respectively, to file and furnish annual information returns and coverage statements. For more information, see ¶2101R.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

EBSA issues FAQS addressing exemptions accompanying fiduciary conflict of interest regs

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) that clarify application of the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE) to the recently issued regulations governing fiduciary conflicts of interest. The guidance also addresses application of the Principal Transaction Exemption, but is primarily focused on BICE, providing substantial clarification with respect to the rollover of plan assets to IRAs, the payment of volume-based commissions and “back-end” recruitment bonuses, and the rules applicable to level fee fiduciaries. For more information, see ¶19981z54.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC maximum monthly benefit guarantee increases for 2017

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced that the maximum monthly insurance benefit for participants in underfunded pension plans terminating in 2017 is $5,369.32 per month or $64,432 per year for those who retire at age 65. On its website, the PBGC has provided a chart that shows the 2017 monthly maximum benefit guarantees for retirees from age 75 to 45. The maximum benefit is adjusted for retirees taking earlier retirement or electing survivors’ benefits. A participant may receive benefits in excess of the maximum guarantee if certain conditions apply. ERISA requires that the maximum guaranteed amount be adjusted annually based on changes in the Social Security contribution and benefit base. For more information, see ¶19981z56.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC updates premium rates for 2017

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has updated the premium rates for 2017. Specifically, the per-participant flat-rate premium rate for single-employer plans increases to $69 (up from $64 in 2016). For multiemployer plans, the rate is $28 (up from $27 in 2016). The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (P.L. 114-74) provided the increase in the single-employer rate, according to the PBGC. The multiemployer rate increase is the result of indexing. For plan years beginning in 2017, the variable rate premium for single-employer plans is $34 per $1,000 of unfunded vested benefits, which is an increase from the 2016 rate of $30. The PBGC explains that the $4 increase reflects a $3 increase provided in The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 plus a $1 increase due to indexing. The variable-rate premium is capped for 2017 at $517 times the number of participants (up from the 2016 cap of $500). Note that small employer plans (generally fewer than 25 employees) may be subject to a lower cap. For more information, see ¶146e.

(Read Intelliconnect) »

 

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