Pension & Benefits NetNews – September 8, 2020

 

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Featured This Week

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

  • New WHD guidance explains employers’ obligation to track compensable telework time amid pandemic
  • One in four Gen Z employees have sought mental health help since beginning of pandemic, MetLife survey finds
  • DOL issues final regs establishing policies and requirements for issuing guidance
  • New WHD and ETA guidance address issues related to school reopening

Pension Plan Guide News

 

  • DOL proposes rule on employee benefit plan proxy voting and exercises of other shareholder rights
  • IRS announces upcoming changes to certain plan-related annual user fees for 2021
  • JBEA announces waiver of physical presence requirement for continuing professional education credit for formal programs

 

Employee Benefits Management News

 

New WHD guidance explains employers’ obligation to track compensable telework time amid pandemic

The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division has issued a Field Assistance Bulletin (2020-5) “to clarify” employers’ obligation to track the number of hours of compensable work performed by employees who are teleworking or otherwise working away from premises controlled by their employers. For more information, see ¶2136G.

        (Read Cheetah) »

One in four Gen Z employees have sought mental health help since beginning of pandemic, MetLife survey finds

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the professional and personal lives of millions of U.S. employees, causing a significant portion to seek help for their mental health. According to a new report from MetLife’s 18th annual U.S. Employee Benefits Trends Study, Gen Z employees were three times more likely than all other employees to have sought professional help for stress, burnout or other mental health reasons since the beginning of the pandemic. For details, see ¶2136H.

        (Read Cheetah) »

DOL issues final regs establishing policies and requirements for issuing guidance

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued an advance copy of final regulations, establishing the DOL’s policy and requirements for issuing, modifying, withdrawing, and using guidance; making guidance available to the public; a notice-and-comment process for significant guidance; and taking and responding to petitions about guidance. For more information see ¶2136I.

        (Read Cheetah) »

New WHD and ETA guidance address issues related to school reopening

The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) and Employment and Training Administration (ETA) have announced the release of new guidance related to the reopening of schools. For more information, see ¶2136K.

        (Read Cheetah) »

 

Pension Plan Guide News

 

DOL proposes rule on employee benefit plan proxy voting and exercises of other shareholder rights

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued a proposed rule that would address the application of the prudence and exclusive purpose duties under ERISA with respect to proxy voting and exercises of other shareholder rights. The proposed rule amends EBSA’s longstanding “Investment duties” regulation. The proposal includes provisions that would articulate general duties requiring fiduciaries to vote any proxy where the fiduciary prudently determines that the matter being voted upon would have an economic impact on the plan. The proposal also prohibits fiduciaries from voting any proxy unless the fiduciary prudently determines that the matter has an economic impact on the plan. To assist fiduciaries in complying with these duties, the proposal also sets forth “permitted practices” under which the plan fiduciary can adopt certain proxy voting policies and parameters reasonably designed to serve the plan’s economic interest. For more information, see ¶172z.

        (Read Cheetah) »

IRS announces upcoming changes to certain plan-related annual user fees for 2021

The IRS has announced upcoming changes to certain plan-related annual fees, which were provided for 2020 in IRS Rev. Proc. 2020-4. The changes will be effective January 4, 2021 and reflected in Rev. Proc. 2021-4, which will be published next January. The IRS’ intention is to provide taxpayers and stakeholders with advance notice of these increased user fees. The biggest increase is for the letter ruling, which rises from $1,000 in 2020 to $6,500 in 2021. For more information, see ¶17097u42.

        (Read Cheetah) »

JBEA announces waiver of physical presence requirement for continuing professional education credit for formal programs

The Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries (JBEA) is waiving the physical presence requirement for continuing professional education (CPE) credit for any formal programs conducted from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2022. The Joint Board is providing the waiver because of the difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused, particularly issues related to traveling to and participating in gatherings requiring close contact with others. The JBEA conducts examinations in actuarial mathematics, pension law, and methodology. The JBEA notes that the waiver applies to all enrolled actuaries, whether they are in active or inactive status. Joint Board regulations require that no less than 1/3 of the total hours of continuing professional education credit required for an enrollment cycle must be obtained by participation in a formal program or programs. Thus, without this waiver, an enrolled actuary earning credit hours for a formal program would have to participate in the program in the same physical location with at least two other participants engaged in substantive pension service. For more information, see ¶173i.

        (Read Cheetah) »

 

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