Pension & Benefits NetNews – November 5, 2019

 

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • Clarity Benefit Solutions shares five financial wellness trends
  • Injunction stands barring enforcement of ACA final rules for religious, moral exemptions
  • Employers must carefully navigate using AI in benefits enrollment, hiring
  • Majority of health spending done by small minority of employees

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • EBSA proposes new voluntary safe harbor for electronic retirement plan disclosures
  • PBGC updates premium rates for 2020
  • PBGC issues first installment of 2017 pension insurance data tables

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

Clarity Benefit Solutions shares five financial wellness trends

Financial wellness programs are a win-win for employers and employees alike, according to Clarity Benefit Solutions. With rising healthcare costs, employees have the opportunity to feel secure about their financial future with financial wellness education, which positively impacts the workplace. For more information, see ¶2128T.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Injunction stands barring enforcement of ACA final rules for religious, moral exemptions

According to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, there was sufficient evidence to hold that providing free contraceptive services was a core purpose of the Women’s Health Amendment and that nothing in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) permitted the agencies to determine exemptions from the requirement. For more information, see ¶2128W.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Employers must carefully navigate using AI in benefits enrollment, hiring

As more employers are exploring the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in human resources activities such as hiring, retirement planning and benefits enrollment, establishing processes and reviews to prevent discrimination is essential, says Cowden Associates President Elliot Dinkin. For more information, see ¶2128X.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Majority of health spending done by small minority of employees

The majority of health spending is consistently spent by a small minority of health care employees, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). For more information see ¶2129A.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

EBSA proposes new voluntary safe harbor for electronic retirement plan disclosures

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued proposed regulations that provide a new voluntary safe harbor for the use of electronic media by retirement plans subject to ERISA to furnish plan information to participants and beneficiaries. Under the proposed regulations, plan administrators who satisfy specified conditions would be allowed to provide participants and beneficiaries with a notice that certain disclosures will be made available on a website. Individuals who prefer to receive these disclosures on paper would be able to request paper copies and to opt out of electronic delivery entirely. Noting the increased use and access by Americans to electronic media and in response to Executive Order 13847, EBSA is proposing to add a new electronic delivery framework, as a safe harbor, for ERISA disclosures. The proposed safe harbor would be in addition to the 2002 safe harbor. Thus, plan sponsors and administrators could choose between the two safe harbors, or use both safe harbors, selecting the best approach for their plan population. It is expected that the proposal, if adopted, would improve the effectiveness of the disclosures and significantly reduce the costs and burden associated with furnishing many of the recurring and most costly ERISA disclosures. For more information, see ¶20539v.

        (Read Cheetah) »

PBGC updates premium rates for 2020

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has updated the premium rates for 2020. Specifically, the per-participant flat-rate premium rate for single-employer plans increases to $83 (up from $80 in 2019). For multiemployer plans, the rate is $30 (up from $29 in 2019). For plan years beginning in 2020, the variable rate premium for single-employer plans is $45 per $1,000 of unfunded vested benefits, which is an increase from the 2019 rate of $43. The variable-rate premium is capped for 2020 at $561 times the number of participants (up from the 2019 cap of $541). However, small employer plans (generally fewer than 25 employees) may be subject to a lower cap. Note that, after 2019, all rates are subject to indexing. For more information, see ¶167w.

        (Read Cheetah) »

PBGC issues first installment of 2017 pension insurance data tables

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has released the first installment of pension insurance data tables that cover pension plan data for the year beginning in 2017. The PBGC data tables generally provide researchers, journalists and others interested in the federal pension insurance program easily accessible, detailed statistics for the single-employer and multiemployer plans that the PBGC insures. The tables include data that quantifies the numbers of people and plans that the PBGC protects, the people receiving or eligible to receive benefits from the PBGC, and the benefits paid to them, claims against the PBGC, the funded status of PBGC-protected plans, breakdowns of populations that the PBGC protects by industry and state, and other vital statistics. The first installment information is available on the PBGC’s website. For more information, see ¶167U.

        (Read Cheetah) »

 

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