Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – June 12, 2020

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: CARES Act impacts retirement plans, 5/20 (101.-49)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: FMLA regulations, 5/20 (327.1.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: State requirements under ACA, 5/20 (503.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Sec. 125 plans and HRAs, 5/20 (562.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    IRS announces adjusted PCORI fee

    In Notice 2020-44, the IRS has provided the adjusted applicable dollar amount to be multiplied by the average number of covered lives for purposes of the fee imposed by Code Secs. 4375 and 4376 on the issuer of a specified health insurance policy for policy years and plan years that end after October 1, 2019, and before October 1, 2020. The fee helps fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).

            (Read Cheetah) »

    CMS encourages non-federal government plans to expand access to telehealth options, prescription drugs during COVID-19 outbreak

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a letter highlighting COVID-19 guidance relevant to non-Federal governmental plan sponsors.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    IRS proposes treating payments for direct primary care arrangements, health care sharing ministry memberships as medical expenses

    Proposed regulations would define expenditures for direct primary care arrangements and health care sharing ministry memberships as amounts paid for medical care. Thus, amounts paid for those arrangements may be deductible medical expenses. The proposed regulations also clarify that amounts paid for certain arrangements and programs, such as health maintenance organizations (HMO) and certain government-sponsored health care programs, are amounts paid for medical insurance. The regulations are scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on June 10, 2020.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Private equity investments within professionally managed asset allocation funds may be offered in ERISA-covered individual account plan

    A plan fiduciary would not violate the fiduciary’s duties under ERISA Secs. 403 and 404 solely because the fiduciary offers private equity investments within professionally managed asset allocation funds that are designated investment alternatives for ERISA-covered individual account plan, including participant-directed individual account plans, according to a Department of Labor (DOL) information letter. However, plan fiduciaries must evaluate whether the investment would be appropriate for the plans and the participants.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Fully vested retirees lacked concrete stake sufficient for standing to sue fiduciaries of fully funded DB plan

    Retirees in a defined benefit plan who had received all of their vested monthly payments lacked standing to sue plan fiduciaries for fiduciary breach as they lacked a “concrete stake” in the lawsuit, according to the United States Supreme Court. In affirming a ruling from the Eighth Circuit, the Court stressed that the retirees would continue to receive the same amount of monthly benefits, regardless of the outcome of the litigation.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    EBSA final regs provide voluntary safe harbor for electronic retirement plan disclosures

    The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued final regulations that will allow employers to post retirement plan disclosures online or deliver them to workers by email, as a default. The final regulations provide a new, additional safe harbor for employee benefit plan administrators to use electronic media, as a default, to furnish information to participants and beneficiaries of plans subject to ERISA. The rule allows plan administrators who satisfy specified conditions to provide participants and beneficiaries with a notice that certain disclosures will be made available on a website, or to furnish disclosures via email. Individuals who prefer to receive disclosures on paper can request paper copies of disclosures and opt out of electronic delivery entirely. The final regulation is effective July 27, 2020.

            (Read Cheetah) »