Spencer and Benefits NetNews – August 30, 2013

 

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Guidance Issued On ACA Employer Shared Responsibility Provision, 8/13 (550.1.-1)
       

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Health Reform Mandates Inclusion Of Preventive Services, 8/13 (514.-1)
       

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Tips On How To Avoid Mistakes With VCP Submissions, 8/13 (179.-35)
       

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Large Employers Have Responsibility For Providing Health Coverage Under Health Reform, 8/13 (550.-1)
       

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »


News

August 30, 2013

Text: IRS, Final Regulations, Shared Responsibility Payment For Not Maintaining Minimum Essential Coverage

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS Finalizes Regulations On Shared Responsibility Payment For Not Maintaining Minimum Essential Coverage Under ACA

The Internal Revenue Service has issued final regulations relating to the requirement to maintain minimum essential coverage enacted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The final regulations provide guidance to individual taxpayers on the liability under Code Sec. 5000A for the shared responsibility payment for not maintaining minimum essential coverage and largely finalize the rules in proposed regulations issued earlier this year. The final regulations were published in the August 30
Federal Register

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Employer Groups Weigh In On Proposed Lifetime Income Disclosure Rules

In comments to the Department of Labor on its advance notice of proposed rulemaking concerning the reporting of lifetime income streams, major employer groups stressed flexibility and the individualizing of retirement assumptions. The advance proposed rules, which were issued in May 2013, describe guidance under consideration that would require the accrued benefits in a participant’s defined contribution plan (e.g., a 401(k) or 403(b) plan) to be expressed on the pension benefit statement as an estimated lifetime stream of benefits in addition to being presented as an account balance. The advance notice serves as a request for comments on specific language and concepts in advance of the issuance of proposed regulations…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

August 29, 2013

Employers Should Focus On Potential Impact Of ACA On Workforce Disability And Absence Management: DMEC

Employers should focus on the potential impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on workplace disability and absence management programs, according to a new study released jointly by the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) and Pacific Resources. The study found that, even though many organizations feel ready for ACA changes to health care and health insurance, most have not given much thought to its impact on disability and absence management despite agreement that these employee benefits programs can significantly impact a company’s bottom line…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Enrollment Continues To Decrease In Health Reform’s Temporary High-Risk Pool

According to the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, 104,966 individuals are enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) as of June 30, 2013, the temporary high risk health insurance pool established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

August 28, 2013

Employees Do Not Understand HSAs

Two-thirds (65 percent) of employees said that they do not understand how health savings accounts (HSAs) work, according to recent research from Fidelity Investments. This is problematic because more employers are turning to high-deductible health plans and HSAs to reign in rising health care costs, the study noted. In addition, the survey found that confusion between HSAs and health flexible spending accounts (FSA) is prevalent. A full 73 percent of respondents said an HSA is pretty much the same thing as a health FSA or were unsure, and the “use it or lose it” provision of FSAs was one of the most commonly misunderstood differences between the account types…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Drop In Value Of Employer Stock Fund Was Not Reasonably Foreseeable By Fiduciaries

Plan fiduciaries were not liable for a decline in the value of employer stock that was not reasonably foreseeable based on the information available to the fiduciaries, according to the Second Circuit U.S Court of Appeals in
Majad, et al. v. Nokia, Inc., et al

(Read Intelliconnect) »

August 27, 2013

Text: IRS, Proposed Regulations, Tax Credit For Employee Health Insurance Expenses Of Small Employers

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS Issues Proposed Guidance On Employee Health Insurance Tax Credit Of Small Employers

The Internal Revenue Service has released proposed regulations that provides guidance on the Code Sec. 45R tax credit available to certain small employers offering health insurance coverage to their employees. The proposed regulations affect certain taxable and tax-exempt employers. The proposed regulations were issued in the August 26
Federal Register

(Read Intelliconnect) »

7.8 Million Young Adults Gained Coverage Due To ACA

An estimated 7.8 million of the 15 million young adults who were enrolled in a parent’s health plan last year likely would not have been eligible for this coverage without the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) dependent coverage provision, according to recent research from the Commonwealth Fund. The ACA requires that group health plans provide health insurance to dependents until the child turns 26 years old. However, the Commonwealth Fund report,
Covering Young Adults Under the Affordable Care Act: The Importance of Outreach and Medicaid Expansion, did find that only 27 percent of young adults were aware of the state health insurance marketplaces that are launching October 1…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

August 26, 2013

Employers Expect To Make Modifications To Health Care Strategy Due To ACA

The majority of employers anticipate making moderate to significant changes to their health benefits programs for all employees and retirees by the beginning of 2016, due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to recent research from Towers Watson. However, the
2013 Health Care Changes Ahead Survey found that while employers remain concerned about a predicted 5.2 percent increase in 2014 health care costs and the risk of triggering the excise tax in 2018, 82 percent continue to view subsidized health care benefits as an important part of their employee value proposition in 2014…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Women Lag Behind Men In Saving For Retirement

Women save less for retirement and are more likely to default on loans taken out of their retirement savings than their male counterparts, according to research from Aon Hewitt. These savings and investing habits, coupled with longer life expectancies, play a critical role in why women are less likely than men to be able to meet their financial needs in retirement. The survey found that while women are participating in their employers’ defined contribution plans at the same rates as men, they save less—an average of 6.9 percent of pay, compared to 7.6 percent for men. In addition, 31 percent of women contribute below the company match threshold, compared to just a quarter of men. As a result, women have average plan balances that are significantly less than men, consistently across all salary ranges. Overall, the average plan balance for women is $59,300, compared to $100,000 for men…

(Read Intelliconnect) »