Spencer’s Benefits NetNews — January 31, 2020

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Simplified employee pensions, 1/20 (105.2.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Annual compensation limits, 1/20 (113.09.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Employer payment plans, 1/20 (352.-15)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: HIPAA portability, 1/20 (501.-55)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    Idaho Governor signs EO guaranteeing state employees paid family leave

    Idaho Governor Brad Little on January 22 issued an executive order (EO) establishing eight weeks of guaranteed paid leave for eligible employees of Idaho’s executive branch agencies following the birth or adoption of a child.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Failure to demonstrate compensable damages doomed employee’s ‘forced-return’ FMLA claim

    An employee who claimed that he was forced to prematurely return to work in a light-duty role following a workplace injury failed to defeat summary judgment on his FMLA interference claim since he couldn’t establish that he suffered any FMLA-recoverable damages or any link to alleged damages and his claim. Though he asserted that the employer unlawfully “docked” his pay for 69 hours because it falsely believed that he should have been at work during the same time period that he was allowed to be on FMLA leave, there was no evidence that any of those hours related to time that he actually worked or for which he was otherwise entitled to compensation, a federal district court in Kentucky ruled.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    HSA balances continue to grow

    Average health savings account (HSA) balances increased from $1,990 in 2011 to $2,803 in 2018, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The study, Trends in Health Savings Account Balances, Contributions, Distributions, and Investments, 2011-2018: Estimates From the EBRI HSA Database, examines data from 9.8 million accounts with total assets of $22.8 billion as of December 31, 2018. EBRI noted that in 2018, enrollment in HSA-eligible health plans was estimated to be between 23 and 36.8 million policyholders and their dependents.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    401(k)’s quick to embrace new hardship withdrawal rules but participants slower to take advantage

    Despite liberalized hardship distribution rules under final regulations issued by the IRS in late 2019, most employers have not yet seen an increase in hardship withdrawal requests, according to a snapshot survey by the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA). Employers that sponsor 401(k) plans have moved quickly to incorporate the new, more liberal, hardship withdrawal provisions, but most have not yet seen an uptick in participants taking advantage of the new rules, the PSCA found.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Supreme Court will hear ACA contraceptive coverage case

    The U.S. Supreme Court has granted certiorari in Little Sisters of the Poor v. Pennsylvania and Trump v. Pennsylvania, consolidating the cases and allotting a total of one hour for oral argument on the Affordable Care Act’s contraception coverage exemption rules.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Jander ESOP fiduciary duty question remanded to Second Circuit

    In a per curiam opinion, the Supreme Court has vacated and remanded a petition asking to clarify Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer’s “more harm than good” pleading standard. According to the Court, the merits briefing was occupied by two arguments that were not addressed by the lower courts. The case was accordingly remanded, leaving it to the Second Circuit to determine the merits of the arguments raised in the briefs. Justice Kagan, joined by Justice Ginsburg, issued a concurring opinion, as did Justice Gorsuch.

            (Read Cheetah) »