Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – August 21, 2020

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Overview: Required distributions, 8/20 (180.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Cashing out terminated vested amounts, 8/20 (180.-11)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Preventive care requirements, 8/20 (514.1.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Grandfathered plan status, 8/20 (520.1.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    Employees losing confidence in benefits packages as pandemic continues

    The COVID-19 pandemic is changing how employees and employers feel about benefits, according to recent research from The Hartford. The Future of Benefits Study found that 73 percent of employees said in mid-June that they value the insurance benefits their company provides, down from 80 percent in March. The Hartford noted that although many employees continue to view their benefits positively, both their perceived value of the benefits provided and their trust in the company to make the best benefits decisions have declined since the pandemic began.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    IRS adds Q&A on coronavirus-related relief for retirement plans and IRAs

    The IRS has updated questions and answers (Q&As), originally released in May 2020, on coronavirus-related relief for retirement plans and IRAs by adding a Q&A Section 2202 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act, P.L. 116-136), enacted on March 27, 2020, provides for special distribution options and rollover rules for retirement plans and IRAs, and expands permissible loans from certain retirement plans.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Percentage of employers offering mental health benefits increased in 2018

    The percentage of employers offering employee mental health benefits increased to 75 percent, up from just 34 percent in 2014, according to recent research from insurance broker and consultant NFP. The 2020 U.S. Benefits Trend Report found that the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic will require employers to explore new solutions to address company needs and goals

            (Read Cheetah) »

    American Benefits Council seeks clarifications to proposed regulations on direct primary care arrangements and HSA eligibility

    The American Benefits Council has provided comments to the IRS on proposed regulations that address the extent to which payments for various types of medical care arrangements constitute “medical care” under Code Sec. 213, which is relevant to whether those amounts can be reimbursed by account-based health plans, among other things. The Council’s comments focus on direct primary care (DPC) arrangements and the interaction of those arrangements with account-based health plans. The letter notes that a significant impediment to the use of DPC arrangements remains in that Treasury and the IRS have taken the position that coverage by a DPC arrangement renders an individual ineligible for contributions to a health savings account (HSA).

            (Read Cheetah) »

    IRS issues guidance on funding rules of single-employer DB plans under CARES Act

    The IRS has released guidance on special rules relating to funding of single-employer defined benefit (DB) plans and related benefit limitations under Section 3608 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act; P.L. 116-136). The guidance clarifies application of the extended contribution deadline, and the optional use of the prior year’s adjusted funding target attainment percentage (AFTAP), with examples.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Employers and employees agree that HSAs are critical benefits offering, but disagree on HSA utilization

    As employees across the United States are faced with rising health care costs and living with continued health fears in the wake of COVID-19, many are looking to their employers for tools and resources to pay for care, including health savings accounts (HSAs). However, a recent survey by Further reveals a stark contrast between employers and employees when it comes to how to leverage HSAs. According to the survey, both parties believe HSAs to be a critical part of a comprehensive benefits package, but employers see them as savings tools while employees rely on them as spending tools.

            (Read Cheetah) »