Spencer Benefits Reports – January 3, 2014


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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Tax Exclusion For Fringe Benefits, Including Transportation, 12/13 (355.-1)

(Read Intelliconnect) »


January 3, 2014

Text: IRS, HHS, DOL, Proposed Rule, Amendments To Excepted Benefits

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Proposed Regulations Amend The Definition Of Limited Excepted Benefits For ACA Compliance Purposes

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Treasury (Departments) have jointly issued proposed regulations that would amend the definition of limited excepted benefits, which are generally exempt from the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) market reform requirements. The rules would be effective for plan years starting in 2015. The proposed rules were published in the December 24
Federal Register

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS Provides Temporary Nondiscrimination Relief For Certain Closed DB Plans

In Notice 2014-5, the Internal Revenue Service has provided temporary nondiscrimination relief for certain “closed” defined benefit (DB) plans (i.e., plans that are closed to new entrants as of a specified date, but continue to provide ongoing accruals for existing participants). Closing a DB plan can often coincide with an amendment that provides new or greater contributions under a defined contribution (DC) plan that is intended to replace accruals under the DB plan for new hires or other employees to whom the DB plan is closed….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Some Employers Are Planning On Encouraging Full-Time Employees To Obtain Coverage Through Marketplace

Fifteen percent of employers are encouraging or will encourage their full-time employees to obtain health care coverage through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)-created health insurance marketplaces before 2018, according to recent research from the Private Exchange Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC). In addition, the survey of 723 employers found that if employers are able to contribute towards employees’ coverage in the marketplace, 58 percent of employers would consider encouraging their employees to obtain coverage through the public marketplace…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Incorporation By Reference Of SEC Filings Into SPDs Is A Fiduciary Act

The Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has joined the Sixth Circuit in ruling that the incorporation by reference of allegedly false and misleading SEC filings into plan summary plan descriptions is a fiduciary act under ERISA. The case is
Harris, et al. v. Amgen, Inc., et al

(Read Intelliconnect) »

January 2, 2014

CMS Answers Minimum Participation Questions On SHOPs

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued two Q&As on enrollment in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace. The CMS states that employers will not need to meet the minimum participation requirement upon renewal for renewals in federally-facilitated SHOPs (FF-SHOPs) that occur from November 15 to December 15. This is because the CMS believes that it would be unduly burdensome to “non-renew” coverage under the exception to guaranteed renewability for failure to meet minimum participation rates only to re-enroll employers under guaranteed availability during that period. Under guaranteed availability requirements, employers must be allowed to purchase coverage from November 15 to December 15, even if they cannot meet minimum participation requirements, the CMS explained. For FF-SHOPs, minimum participation is generally set at 70 percent…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Senate Passes Budget Bill With PBGC Premium Increase

On Dec. 18, 2013, the Senate passed the Bipartisan Budget Bill of 2013 (HJRes 59) which includes a provision that would increase the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) flat-rate and variable-rate premiums. The bill, which passed the House on Dec. 12, 2013, now goes to the President’s desk for his signature…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

CDHPs Cover 28 Percent Of Those With Health Insurance: EBRI

In 2013, 28 percent of individuals with health insurance were covered under a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP), according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates. The
2013 Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey (CEHCS) defines a CDHP as a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) paired with a health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »