Pension & Benefits NetNews – September 10, 2019

 

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • Proposed regulations update fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile base valuation amounts
  • Certain drug coverage plans should be exempt from nondiscrimination rules, American Benefits Council tells HHS
  • Value of drug manufacturers’ coupons can be excluded from ACA’s annual limitation on cost sharing: FAQ
  • Portion of genetic testing services qualifies as a Sec. 213(d) medical expense

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • Income tax, withholding, and reporting rules apply to year of receipt of uncashed retirement distribution checks
  • New DOL guidance helps employers manage pension obligations for service members returning to work
  • Nominations sought for ERISA Advisory Council

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

Proposed regulations update fleet-average and vehicle cents-per-mile base valuation amounts

Proposed regulations increase a vehicle’s maximum value for eligibility to use the fleet-average valuation rule or the vehicle cents-per-mile valuation rule. The increase to $50,000 is effective for the 2018 calendar year. The maximum value is adjusted annually for inflation after 2018. The proposed regulations provide transition rules for certain employers. For more information, see ¶2127H.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Certain drug coverage plans should be exempt from nondiscrimination rules, American Benefits Council tells HHS

The American Benefits Council is urging the Department of Health and Human Services to exempt all employer group waiver plans (EGWP) from the scope of Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) regarding nondiscrimination in any health program or activity that receives federal financial assistance (FFA). For more information, see ¶2127I.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Value of drug manufacturers’ coupons can be excluded from ACA’s annual limitation on cost sharing: FAQ

The Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (the Departments) have issued a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) addressing how drug manufacturers’ coupons count toward the Affordable Care Act’s annual limitation on cost sharing. The FAQ provides that, until additional guidance is issued, the Departments will not initiate an enforcement action if an issuer of group or individual health insurance coverage or a group health plan excludes the value of drug manufacturers’ coupons from the annual limitation on cost sharing, including in circumstances in which there is no medically appropriate generic equivalent available. For more information, see ¶2127J.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Portion of genetic testing services qualifies as a Sec. 213(d) medical expense

In Private Letter Ruling (PLR) 201933005, released on August 16, the IRS has concluded that the health-related portion of genetic testing services would qualify as medical care under IRC Sec. 213(d). The IRS notes that PLRs are intended only for the taxpayers that request them and cannot be used or cited as precedent. For more information see ¶2127K.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Pension Plan Guide News

 

Income tax, withholding, and reporting rules apply to year of receipt of uncashed retirement distribution checks

The IRS has ruled that an individual who receives a retirement distribution check from a qualified plan is taxed in the year of receipt even if the check is not cashed. In addition, the employer’s obligation to withhold tax and report the distribution is unaffected by whether the check is cashed. Because the participant has no investment in the contract within the meaning of Code Sec. 72 and no exception to Code Sec. 402(a) applies, the amount of the designated distribution is includible in her gross income in 2019. The participant’s failure to cash the distribution check she received in 2019 does not permit her to exclude the amount of the designated distribution from her gross income in that year under Code Sec. 402(a). According to the IRS, this rule applies whether or not the individual keeps the check, sends it back, destroys it, or cashes it in a later tax year. Note that the new rule does not apply unless the individual “could cash” it in the year of receipt. For more information, see ¶19948z474.

        (Read Cheetah) »

New DOL guidance helps employers manage pension obligations for service members returning to work

The Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Services (VETS) has released a fact sheet containing questions and answers to help employers better understand their responsibilities toward reemployed service members under the pension provisions of the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and related regulations. USERRA requires that returning service members, on reemployment, be treated as though they did not have a break in civilian employment for purposes of participation, vesting, and the accrual of pension benefits from their employers by reason of their absence due to service in the uniformed services. The FAQs in VETS USERRA Fact Sheet #1 provide quick and direct guidance to employers and employees in a readily understandable format concerning the application of USERRA to employers that pay pension benefits as a percentage of total earnings of employees. It can benefit any employer seeking a greater understanding of its pension obligations under USERRA. The fact sheet also helps employers reemploy and retain valued service member employees on their return from the performance of uniformed service in support of the national defense. For more information, see ¶166u.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Nominations sought for ERISA Advisory Council

The Department of Labor is soliciting nominations to fill five three-year vacancies on the ERISA Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans. The deadline for receipt of nominations is September 19, 2019. The terms of five Council members expire at the end of the year. Nominations are being accepted for one vacancy each to represent the fields of employee organizations, employers, accounting, insurance, and the general public. Interested persons or organizations may nominate qualified persons for membership. For more information, see ¶166r.

        (Read Cheetah) »

 

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