Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – January 17, 2020



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DOL issues annual adjustments to penalties for 2020

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule to adjust the amounts of civil penalties assessed or enforced under its regulations. Those adjustment amounts pertain to regulations enforced by the DOL’s EBSA, Wage and Hour Division, OSHA, and other agencies.

        (Read Cheetah) »

PBGC final regs increase civil penalties for failure to provide certain notices for 2020

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued final regulations that adjust the civil monetary penalties provided in ERISA Secs. 4071 and 4302 for inflation. The maximum daily penalty for failing to provide notices or other material information under ERISA Sec. 4071 has increased from $2,194 to $2,233, and the maximum penalty for failure to provide certain multiemployer plan notices under ERISA Sec. 4302 has risen from $292 to $297. The final regulations are effective January 15, 2020, and the increases apply to penalties assessed after January 15, 2020.

        (Read Cheetah) »

SECURE Act allows qualified tuition plans to pay expenses for apprenticeships, student loans

The SECURE Act, which was enacted as part of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (P.L. 116-94), contains a provision that expands Code Sec. 529 qualified tuition plans. The SECURE Act modifies Code Sec. 529 qualified tuition plans to allow tax-free distributions for expenses associated with registered apprenticeship programs. Plans also can allow tax-free distributions of certain amounts used to make payments on principal or interest of a qualified education loan. The amendments apply to distributions made after December 31, 2018.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Integrating medical, pharmacy, and behavioral benefits can save $7,400 annually for enrollees with complex conditions

Employers that integrate medical, pharmacy, and comprehensive behavioral benefits see meaningful savings in total medical costs as compared to employers with medical and basic behavioral coverage, according to recent research from Cigna. The Value of Integration study examined 2.3 million claims over a two-year period.

        (Read Cheetah) »

New WHD opinion letter addresses FMLA eligibility

On January 7, 2020, the Department of Labor released a new opinion letter, FMLA2020-1-A, addressing eligibility under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The letter, signed by Administrator Cheryl M. Stanton, is the official written opinion by the Wage and Hour Division on how the FMLA applies in the specific circumstances presented by the person or entity requesting the letter.

        (Read Cheetah) »

Industry groups celebrate Cadillac tax repeal

After President Trump signed the $1.4 trillion spending bill on December 20, 2019, a broad range of stakeholders celebrated the long-awaited repeal of the so-called “Cadillac tax.” Under the new law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) excise tax on high-cost health plans, which was scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2022, will never take effect.

        (Read Cheetah) »