Pension & Benefits NetNews – September 4, 2018

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Featured This Week

Employee Benefits Management News

  • ERIC files ERISA preemption suit against City of Seattle
  • DOL provides ERISA compliance assistance for association health plans
  • ‘Applicable large employer’ status does not change with enrollment in an AHP
  • Senators introduce bill to retain prohibition on preexisting condition exclusions

Pension Plan Guide News

  • PBGC updates My PAA, PBGC Website
  • PBGC creates new webpage containing staff Q&A guidance
  • Nominations sought for ERISA Advisory Council
  • PBGC seeks nominations for Advisory Committee members

Employee Benefits Management News

ERIC files ERISA preemption suit against City of Seattle

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) has filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington against the City of Seattle, claiming that ERISA supersedes and preempts the health coverage and payment mandates in Part 3 of the Seattle Hotel Employees Health and Safety Initiative – SMC 14.25 (the Initiative). For details, see ¶2118I.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

DOL provides ERISA compliance assistance for association health plans

The Department of Labor has released an ERISA compliance assistance publication for newly-created association health plans (AHPs). In the publication, the DOL noted that ERISA sets standards of conduct for plan sponsors and employers that manage group health plans (including AHPs) and their assets. For more information, see ¶2118K.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

‘Applicable large employer’ status does not change with enrollment in an AHP

On August 20, 2018, the IRS updated its “Questions and Answers on Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions Under the Affordable Care Act,” with a new question on association health plans (AHPs). New Q&A18 confirms that applicable large employer (ALE) status does not change with enrollment in an AHP. For more information see ¶2118L.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Senators introduce bill to retain prohibition on preexisting condition exclusions

Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Dean Heller (R-NV), Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Barrasso (R-WY), and Roger Wicker (R-MS) have introduced the Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act, which would amend HIPAA to guarantee the availability of health insurance coverage in the individual or group market. For more information, see ¶2118O.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Pension Plan Guide News

PBGC updates My PAA, PBGC Website

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced that it has updated My PAA. According to a posting on its website, more functionality has been added to the “Submit a Request” Quick Link button, located near the top of the Plan Page. The PBGC explains that practitioners have the ability to submit a Penalty RFR, Premium Refund and now any other type of actionable request or correspondence directly to the PBGC. When a request has been successfully submitted, an automatic Service Request ID will be generated and all filing team members will receive a confirmation message. For more information, see ¶159T.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC creates new webpage containing staff Q&A guidance

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has added a new webpage that contains PBGC staff responses to questions received from practitioners about Title IV requirements that might be of interest to other practitioners. The questions cover issues concerning bankruptcy claims, liens arising from large missed contributions, guaranteed benefits, reportable events, premiums, distress terminations, valuations, and other topics. The PBGC has also included a response to a question received several times in recent months about whether a two-step transaction, sometimes called a “reverse spinoff,” is an acceptable strategy for avoiding certain premium payments. The PBGC explains that the interpretations presented in the webpage reflect the views of the staff of the PBGC. They are not rules, regulations, or statements of the PBGC. For more information, see ¶159u.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

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 17, 2018. 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, actuarial counseling, investment counseling, and the general public. For more information, see ¶159w.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC seeks nominations for Advisory Committee members

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) seeks nominations for individuals to serve as members of the PBGC Advisory Committee. The deadline for receipt of nominations is September 24, 2018. The Advisory Committee consists of seven members appointed by the President from among individuals recommended by the PBGC Board of Directors. By February 19, 2019, the terms of all of the members will have expired. Thus, the PBGC is seeking nominations for all of the members. The members consist of two representatives of employee organizations, two representatives of employers who maintain pension plans, and three representatives of the general public. The PBGC states that Committee members must have experience with employee organizations, employers who maintain defined benefit plans, the administration or advising of pension plans, or in related fields. Appointments to be Committee are for three-year terms. For more information, see ¶159z

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

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