Spencer Benefits Reports NetNews – June 19, 2015

 

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News

June 19, 2015

 

Investment in HR technology continues to grow: Towers Watson

Worldwide investment in corporate human resource (HR) technology continues to grow and is doing so at an exponential rate, according to the
2015 HR Service Delivery and Technology Survey from Towers Watson. The survey also found that despite overwhelming satisfaction with HR technology, a surprisingly large number of companies are still using paper to perform various HR tasks…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

EBSA seeks nominations for Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans vacancies

In the June 17 Federal Register, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) published a notice seeking nominations to fill vacancies on the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (the Council), established under ERISA Sec. 512…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Is it fair to have requirements to get subsidies? Poll finds many unsure

The public is significantly divided on the subject of tying personal requirements to Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies, according to a nationwide poll by HealthPocket. The poll found that no position on the issue secured a majority of support and a significant segment of the public was uncertain of their position…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

June 18, 2015

 

IRS transition relief for small companies offering employer payment plans ends on June 30

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), employers are no longer allowed to reimburse employees for individually purchased health insurance policies, because they violate the ACA’s market reforms. However, the IRS had issued transition relief for small employers that offered this type of arrangement to provide them with additional time to obtain group health coverage. Small employers should be aware that this transition relief is ending on June 30, 2015. Any small employer that still offers this type of arrangement after June 30 could be subject to an excise tax of $100 per employee per day until the violation is corrected…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Change to the definition of ‘fiduciary’ could impact millions, report says

According to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce report, the Department of Labor’s proposed rule to change the definition of fiduciary could impact 9 million U.S. households that depend on small employer-provided retirement plans such as Simplified Employee Pension IRAs (SEP IRAs) and Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees IRAs (SIMPLE IRAs)…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Benefits were 31.7 percent of total compensation in March 2015, BLS finds

Employer-provided benefits costs for civilian workers in private industry and state and local governments in March 2015 averaged $10.61 per hour worked, accounting for 31.7 percent of total compensation costs, which averaged $33.49 per hour worked. The cost of benefits as a percentage of compensation has risen over the past three years from 27.4 percent of total compensation. These are among the findings of the March 2015
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation report, produced quarterly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Staples settles suit for failing to give fired executive notice of FMLA rights

Staples and one of its subsidiaries have agreed to pay $275,000 in wages, benefits, and damages to a furniture sales executive who was never notified of his rights under the FMLA when he needed to take leave to care for his critically ill wife. For two years he used personal, sick, and vacation days and worked remotely so that he could care for his wife, but was ultimately fired for failing to meet his job responsibilities, according to the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

June 17, 2015

 

Text: HHS, IRS, DOL, final rule, summary of benefits and coverage and uniform glossary

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

HHS finalizes changes to rules on Summaries of Benefits and Coverage

Changes to regulations implementing disclosure requirements under Public Health Service Act (PHS Act) Sec. 2715 have been finalized by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the IRS, and the Department of Labor (DOL). The changes, which relate to summaries of benefits and coverage (SBCs) and the uniform glossary for group health plans and health insurance coverage in the group and individual markets, are designed to help plans and individuals better understand their health coverage and gain a better understanding of other coverage options for comparison. The final rules were published in the June 17
Federal Register

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Health care spending growth rate down, but affordability is key

Despite projecting a slowed health care spending growth rate in 2016 down from 2015 levels, health care companies have to do more to provide affordable choices to consumers and companies going forward, according to a report issued by PricewaterhouseCoopers Health Research Institute. Additionally, increased competition will require health care innovation in order to keep restrain costs…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

June 16, 2015

 

PBGC issues July 2015 interest rates for valuing terminating pension plans

For single-employer pension plans terminating July through September 2015, and for multiemployer plans involved in a mass withdrawal, the interest rate established by the PBGC for calculating immediate annuities is 2.32 percent, down from the 2.71 percent rate that applied in April through June 2015. The interest rate for calculating immediate lump sums in July 2015 is 1.25 percent, up from 0.75 percent that applied in June 2015…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Employers still offer health coverage, despite predictions of doom

U.S. workers continue to receive health insurance through their employers, even with the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to an Urban Institute report…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

Progress after a bumpy start to risk-sharing programs

Despite encountering many delays, a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report finds that progress has been made by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in implementing programs designed to limit health insurer risk. Although insurers reported concerns over certain aspects of the risk-mitigation programs, which were designed to offset insurer risk caused by expanded health coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordability Act (ACA), the programs seem to have preliminarily encouraged insurer participation in the individual health insurance market…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

June 15, 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) »

IRS establishes permanent program to provide relief to plan administrators who fail to timely file Form 5500-EZ

The IRS has issued a Rev. Proc. 2015-32, which establishes a permanent program to provide relief to plan administrators who fail to timely file Form 5500-EZ. The permanent program replaces the pilot program that was open from June 2, 2014 to June 2, 2015. The relief provided under the permanent program is effective June 3, 2015. Returns submitted before June 3, 2015 will be processed in accordance with Rev. Proc. 2014-32…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

 

Lawmaker introduces measure to address possible
King v. Burwell fallout

Representative Tom Price (R-Ga.) has introduced legislation, the Restoring Equity, Saving Coverage, and Undoing Errors (RESCUE) America’s Health Care Bill of 2015, which would assist individuals who would be adversely impacted if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the plaintiff in
King v. Burwell. Among other provisions, HR 2650 calls for age-adjusted tax credits and changes to the health insurance market in order to expand access to affordable plans…

        (Read Intelliconnect) »