Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – February 28, 2020

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: HRAs, 2/20 (357.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: 401(k) automatic enrollment, 2/20 (222.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Health coverage reporting, 2/20 (522.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Health Coverage Tax Credit, 2/20 (329.2.-27)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    Many public sector workers fear their retirement will not include the employer-sponsored health care benefits they were promised

    Roughly half of public sector workers (46 percent) are worried that the health care benefits they were promised in retirement will not be available for them in retirement, according to the 2020 Keeping Benefit Promises Study by Willis Towers Watson. Public sector workers also expressed the importance of retiree health care coverage, with 58 percent saying it was extremely or highly influential in their decision to work in the public sector.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    IRS not subject to any limitations period for assessing employer shared responsibility payments

    There is no applicable statute of limitations on assessable payments under Code Sec. 4980H because there is no tax return filed to report an employer’s liability for the employer shared responsibility payment (ESRP), according to a memo issued by the IRS’s Office of Chief Counsel.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    SECURE Act projected to reduce retirement deficit by more than $100 billion for those ages 35 to 64

    Key provisions of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act) could reduce the U.S. retirement deficit by 3 percent or $115 billion for households between ages 35 to 64, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). For workers currently ages 35 to 39, the percentage reduction increases to 5.3 percent, and further increases to 10.7 percent if they work for small employers (less than 100 employees).

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Family and medical leave expansion: More federal mandates or encouraging employer-sponsored solutions?

    At a House Education and Labor, Workforce Protections Subcommittee hearing on February 11, there was agreement that federal family and medical leave protections should be expanded. The real question, however, was exactly how this should be done: by updating federal law to expand who is eligible for leave, for whom workers can take leave to provide care, and the reasons why workers can take leave; or by fostering an environment that encourages employers to meet the needs of their workers?

            (Read Cheetah) »

    CMS proposes criteria, calculation for Medicare secondary payer reporting penalties

    The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a proposed rule that would specify how and when CMS must calculate and impose civil money penalties when group health plan and non-group health plan responsible reporting entities (RREs) fail to meet their Medicare secondary payer (MSP) reporting obligations in any of the following ways: (1) when RREs fail to register and report as required by MSP reporting requirements; (2) when RREs report as required, but report in a manner that exceeds error tolerances established by HHS; (3) when RREs contradict the information the RREs have reported when CMS attempts to recover its payments from these RREs. The proposed rule also would establish civil money penalty amounts and circumstances under which civil money penalties would and would not be imposed.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Because worker and company both may have violated FMLA, summary judgment vacated

    Reversing and remanding on the question of FMLA interference, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals found material fact disputes as to whether a trailer manufacturer unlawfully interfered with the leave rights of a production worker with broken ribs by not notifying him of required information about his FMLA leave rights, even though eventually the worker stopped reporting his absences as required under the manufacturer’s procedures—but not until after the time had elapsed for required employer notice. In an unpublished opinion, the court agreed, however, with the district court that his retaliation claim should fail.

            (Read Cheetah) »