Spencer & Benefits NetNews – September 26, 2014

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September 26, 2014

IRS Issues Final Regs Providing Guidance On Hybrid Defined Benefit Plans

The IRS has issued new final regulations providing guidance on hybrid defined benefit plans, such as cash balance plans and pension equity plans. The final regulations were published in the September 19 Federal Register…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Proposed Regs Provide Transition Rules For Satisfying Market Rate Of Return Requirements For Hybrid Plans

The IRS has issued proposed regulations providing transition rules for satisfying the market rate of return requirement for hybrid plans included in the 2014 final hybrid plan regulations. The proposed regulations were published in the September 19
Federal Register

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS Guidance Eases Rules Governing Rollovers Of After-Tax Retirement Funds

In Notice 2014-54, the IRS has issued guidance clarifying the tax treatment of pre-tax and after-tax amounts contained in simultaneous distributions rolled over from qualified plans to multiple sources. Generally, under Notice 2014-54, disbursements from qualified plans, 403(b) plans, and 457 plans may, effective for distributions made on or after Jan. 1, 2015, be treated as a single aggregated distribution, rather than as a separate distribution, without regard to whether the disbursements are made to a single or multiple destinations. Proposed regulations issued concurrently with the Notice would amend the separate distribution requirement (allocation rule) under current regulations governing Roth accounts to reflect the new rules, as early as for distributions made on or after Sept. 18, 2014…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

September 25, 2014

ADP Provides Predictions And Best Practice Recommendations For ACA Compliance Dilemmas

At a recent ADP presentation, John Haslinger, vice president of the company’s Strategic Advisory Services group, reminded audience members of the importance of an assortment of best practices for Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) compliance, adding that the ACA not only impacts employers, providers, and insurers, but also 20 percent of the U.S. economy. Characterizing the law as social legislation, as opposed to benefits legislation, Haslinger warned that its penalties can be substantial and they are nondeductible, so they come directly out of an organization’s bottom line…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Mixed Results For HSA Quality Of Care: EBRI

Depending on the health care service, health savings account (HSA) plans could result in higher or lower use of health care services used to measure quality, and in some cases, there was no difference at all, according to new research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. For example, over a five-year period, screenings for breast cancer were higher in the HSA-eligible plan but lower for cervical and colorectal cancers. In addition, rates of LDL (cholesterol) testing showed no overall change over the five-year study period…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Marketplace Plans Hold Their Own Against Employer Plans In Affordability

Whether health insurance purchased through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Marketplaces would be affordable and how such plans would stack up against employer-provided plans have been two open questions since Marketplace enrollment began. Some answers to these questions can be found in a recent Commonwealth Fund report…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

September 24, 2014

Text: IRS, Final Regulations, The $500,000 Deduction Limitation for Remuneration Provided by Certain Health Insurance Providers

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS Issues Final Regulations On Deduction Limitation For Remuneration Paid By Health Insurance Providers

The IRS has released final regulations on the application of the $500,000 deduction limitation for remuneration provided by certain health insurance providers under Code Sec. 162(m)(6), which was added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). This section limits to $500,000 the allowable deduction for remuneration attributable to services performed by an applicable individual for a covered health insurance provider (CHIP) in a tax year beginning after Dec. 31, 2012, that would otherwise be deductible. Remuneration attributable to services performed for a CHIP in 2010, 2011, or 2012 that becomes otherwise deductible in 2013 or later is also subject to the $500,000 deduction limitation. The final regulations adopt, as amended, proposed regulations issued in 2013, in light of comments received by the IRS. The regulations are effective on Sept. 23, 2014, and apply to tax years beginning on or after that date. In addition, taxpayers may rely on the final regulations for tax years beginning on or before Sept. 23, 2014. The final regulations were published in the September 23
Federal Register

(Read Intelliconnect) »

ACA Has Not Impacted Worker Confidence In Health Care System

Confidence about various aspects of the health care system have remained fairly level before and after the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. Nearly half (47 percent) of workers are extremely or very confident that they are able to get the treatments they need, while 33 percent are somewhat confident and 20 percent are not too or not at all confident…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Politicians Can’t Stop Talking About The ACA, But Voters Aren’t Interested

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is not the driving force behind voters’ anticipated decisions in upcoming midterm elections, according to the August to September Kaiser Health Tracking Poll. Instead, the economy is the greatest concern, with 21 percent of registered voters responding to the poll naming it as the most important issue. Only 13 percent listed health care as a top issue, and only 3 percent mentioned the ACA. Despite this, politicians running for office continue to discuss the ACA in campaign advertisements, with nearly one-third of respondents claiming to have heard “a lot” about the issue…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

September 23, 2014

Text: IRS, Notice 2014-49, Section 4980H–Shared Responsibility for Employers Regarding Health Coverage–Approach to Changes in Measurement Periods or Methods Applicable to an Employee

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Text: IRS, Notice 2014-55, Additional Permitted Election Changes For Health Coverage Under Sec. 125 Cafeteria Plans

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS Clarifies Employer Mandate’s Look-Back Method

In Notice 2014-49, the IRS has proposed an approach to applying the look-back measurement method to determine if an employee is a full-time employee for purposes of the Code Sec. 4980H employer health insurance mandate, also known as the shared responsibility payment. These rules supplement the final regulations that were published on February 12, 2014…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Cafeteria Plans May Allow Revocations Of Health Plan Elections For Additional Reasons

In Notice 2014-55, effective Sept. 18, 2014, the IRS is allowing employers to expand the application of the permitted change rules for health coverage to accommodate certain situations arising from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The guidance will remain in effect until the IRS changes its cafeteria plan regulations to conform to the new guidance. A cafeteria plan may allow an employee to prospectively revoke an election of coverage under a group health plan that is not a health FSA and that provides minimum essential coverage provided certain conditions are met…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS Releases Adjusted PCORI Fee

In Notice 2014-56, the IRS has provided the adjusted applicable dollar amount to be multiplied by the average number of covered lives for purposes of the fee imposed by Code Secs. 4375 and 4376 on the issuer of a specified health insurance policy for policy years and plan years that end on or after Oct. 1, 2014, and before Oct. 1, 2015. The fee helps to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

September 22, 2014

Number Of Uninsured Decreases In 2013: Census Bureau

In 2013, the percentage of individuals without health insurance decreased to 13.4 percent from 15.4 in 2012, according to recent research from the Census Bureau. The report,
Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013, found that the number of uninsured dropped to 42.0 million…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

California Will Require Paid Sick Days In 2015

California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. has approved a bill that gives paid sick days to employees within the state. On September 10, Governor Brown signed the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (A.B. 1522), which provides paid sick days to the millions of Californians—roughly 40 percent of the state’s workforce—who do not currently earn this benefit…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Women Respond More Favorably Than Men To Retirement Savings Initiatives

Women are responding more favorably than men to initiatives encouraging retirement saving, especially women aged 18-34, according to research from MassMutual Retirement Services. Retirement saving rates among women also are catching up to those of men, but women’s average salary deferral or savings rates still lag behind those of their male counterparts…

(Read Intelliconnect) »