Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – December 20, 2019

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: IRC Sec. 415 benefit/contribution limits, 12/19 (109.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Sec. 125 expense substantiation, 12/19 (351.-27)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Fringe benefits, 12/19 (355.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Archer MSAs, 12/19 (358.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    Individual mandate ruled unconstitutional, but decision on rest of law sent back to the lower court

    On December 18, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) individual mandate is unconstitutional because “it can no longer be read as a tax, and there is no other constitutional provision that justifies this exercise of congressional power.” However, the ruling from the three-judge panel did not answer the central question of whether the rest of the ACA remains valid after Congress removed the penalty for not having health insurance. Instead, the panel sent the case back to Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas, so that he can reconsider how much of the ACA could survive without the individual mandate penalty. This decision delays the progression of this case to the Supreme Court, which will likely not happen now until after the 2020 presidential and congressional elections.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Massive spending bill passes with SECURE Act included

    On December 17, the House passed by a vote of 297-120 a $1.4 trillion spending package that would fund federal agencies through September 2020. The bill includes the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act), which would make substantial changes to retirement saving rules.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Respondents in ACA contraceptive coverage case say Supreme Court review not warranted, Third Circuit decision was correct

    Because the Third Circuit’s decision that the contraceptive exemption regulations are likely unlawful is correct, Supreme Court review of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Trump is not warranted. That’s according to the response brief filed recently by the Attorneys General of Pennsylvania and New Jersey in opposition to the Little Sisters of the Poor’s petition for certiorari.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    NDAA with 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees gets Trump’s green light

    On December 10, the White House announced its support of the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which it characterized as advancing many of President Trump’s priorities, including its provision of up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees. The White House said that it hopes to receive the appropriations bill for signature.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Employees owning health savings accounts grew balances regardless of most taking distributions: EBRI

    The average health savings account (HSA) balance in 2018 grew to $2,803 from $2,071 in the beginning of the year, even with distributions being taken and most funds being left in cash, rather than invested. That’s according to a study conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) exploring the savings, spending and investment behavior of employees owning HSAs. Enrollment in high-deductible HSA-eligible plans is estimated to be between 23 and 36.8 million policyholders and their dependents, covering nearly 30 percent of U.S. employees in 2018.

            (Read Cheetah) »