Spencer Benefits Reports NetNews – April 17, 2015

 

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April 17, 2015

 

PBGC Issues May 2015 Interest Rates For Valuing Terminating Pension Plans

For single-employer pension plans terminating April through June 2015, and for multiemployer plans involved in a mass withdrawal, the interest rate established by the PBGC for calculating immediate annuities is 2.78 percent, down from the 2.89 percent rate that applied in January through March 2015. The interest rate for calculating immediate lump sums in May 2015 is 0.75 percent, the same rate that applied in April 2015…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

DOL Proposes Rules To Protect Consumers From Conflicts Of Interest In Retirement Advice

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released a proposed rule that will protect 401(k) and IRA investors by mitigating the effect of conflicts of interest in the retirement investment marketplace. A White House Council of Economic Advisers analysis found that these conflicts of interest result in annual losses of about 1 percentage point for affected investors—or about $17 billion per year in total…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

CCIIO Designates Benchmark Plans

The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has announced the designation of health insurance plans that states may use as benchmarks to determine whether health plans offered provide the essential health benefits (EHB) required by Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) Sec. 1302(b). The CCIIO identified: (1) the three largest small group health plans in each state, as measured by enrollment during the first calendar quarter of 2014; (2) the three largest plans offered to federal employees nationwide under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program; and (3) the federal dental and vision plans with the largest enrollment during the first quarter of 2014…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

April 16, 2015

 

Federal Interest Rates Announced For Pensions

The following interest rates have been announced for use in the operation and administration of qualified pension plans…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Small Businesses Amp Up Retirement Contributions In Response To ACA

A recent survey of small business owners revealed an unintended consequence of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA): Small businesses view their ability to offer competitive medical benefits as diminished as employees realize their health benefits are less attractive than those offered on the Exchange. The Nationwide Retirement Institute found that to remain competitive, 43 percent of small businesses have increased their contribution to employee retirement plans…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

Strong Link Exists Between Employee Engagement And Employee Perceptions Of Total Rewards

With rising health benefit costs and relatively flat wage increases deflating employees’ perceptions of their work environment, new survey data from Aon Hewitt shows a strong relationship between employees’ perceptions of their total rewards package and their overall engagement levels. The survey of more than 2,500 U.S. employees found that 60 percent of engaged employees say their total rewards overall (everything an employer provides to an employee, including pay, benefits, and the work environment) are above or well above what other employers offer, while only 24 percent of those who are disengaged say so. Similarly among engaged employees, 51 percent view career development/training programs as better than what other employers offer, while only 19 percent of disengaged employees would rate these programs as better competitively…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

April 15, 2015

 

PBGC Requires Electronic Filing Of Certain Multiemployer Plan Notices

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued proposed regulations that would require the electronic filing of certain multiemployer plan notices with the PBGC. Specifically, the proposed regulations would require the following notices to be filed electronically with the PBGC: notices of termination under part 4041A, notices of insolvency and of insolvency benefit level under parts 4245 (involving insolvent plans) and 4281 (following mass withdrawal), and applications for financial assistance under part 4281. The PBGC would grant case-by-case exemptions to the electronic filing requirement in appropriate circumstances for filers that demonstrate good cause for exemption. The proposed regulations were published in the April 3
Federal Register

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

Penalty Relief Provided For Taxpayers Who Received Incorrect Or Delayed Forms 1095-A

In Notice 2015-30, the IRS has provided penalty relief for taxpayers who received a Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, that was delayed or that the taxpayer believes to be incorrect, and who timely filed their 2014 income tax returns, including extensions. The notice provides relief from Code Sec. 6651(a)(2) for late payment of a balance due, the penalty under Code Sec. 6651(a)(3) for failure to pay an amount due upon notice and demand, the penalty under Code Sec. 6654(a) for underpayment of estimated tax, and the accuracy-related penalty under Code Sec. 6662 The relief applies only for the 2014 taxable year…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

Multiemployer Funds Awarded Over $660K In Unpaid Contributions, Plus Damages

A district court did not abuse its discretion when it entered a default judgment of over $660,000 against a construction company that failed to make contributions to two multiemployer pension funds in accordance with the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in
Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 2, Albany, New York Pension Fund v. Moulton Masonry & Construction, LLC. However, the Second Circuit vacated the default judgment against the company owner in his individual capacity with respect to the award of liquidated damages, excessive interest, and attorney’s fees…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

April 14, 2015

 

Employees Lack Understanding Around How To Connect Health Care To Cost

Americans highly value and depend on their employee benefits—health insurance in particular—but lack the savvy and initiative to ask doctors, “How much will it cost?” According to a recent survey from Benz Communications and Quantum Workplace, that question could mean the difference in thousands of dollars for consumers, and millions for U.S. companies.…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

ACA Benefits Economy, Defies ‘Doomsday Prophecies,’ Says Obama’s Economic Advisor

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is benefitting the nation’s economy by expanding health care coverage and reforming its health care delivery system, said the president’s top economic advisor. Jason Furman, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, said in prepared remarks before the Center for American Progress, that critics’ “doomsday prophecies have not come to pass.” Instead, the ACA has had positive economic effects by creating a healthier, more productive, workforce, reducing “job lock,” reducing costs, and improving health care quality…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

April 13, 2015

 

Six Million Employees Enrolled Via Private Exchanges In 2015

An estimated 6 million people enrolled in private health insurance exchanges for their 2015 employer benefits, according to a recent report from Accenture. These findings show private health insurance exchanges—an online marketplace for people to choose their employer-sponsored benefits—doubled enrollment this year, up from 3 million in 2014…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

Both Parties Starting To Find Individual Mandate Necessary

According to a report released by the Urban Institute, Congress is starting to see eye to eye on the necessity of the individual mandate. The mandate is a controversial part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which requires most citizens to maintain health care coverage or pay a tax. Although many have opposed this mandate, the Urban Institute points out that a new act proposed by Republican representatives would also impose penalties on those without insurance. Additionally, Medicare Parts B and D require prompt enrollment in coverage to avoid penalties…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »