Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – March 23, 2018

 

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Fifth Circuit vacates DOL fiduciary rule

A final rule promulgated by the Department of Labor in April 2016 expanding the definition of “investment advice fiduciary” conflicts with the text of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code and is unreasonable under Chevron and the APA, the Fifth Circuit has held. Known as the “fiduciary rule,” the rule not only departs from the common law definition without good reason, it also breaks with 40 years of established regulatory interpretation. Because its provisions are not severable, the rule was vacated in its entirety. Chief Judge Stewart dissented.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Federal interest rates announced for pensions

The following interest rates have been announced for use in the operation and administration of qualified pension plans.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Massachusetts lacked standing to sue HHS over religious exemption

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts lacked standing to sue HHS over two interim final rules (IFRs) which expanded the religious exemption to the contraceptive mandate of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a federal district court in Massachusetts has ruled. Because the Commonwealth failed to set forth specific facts establishing that it would likely suffer future injury from HHS’ conduct, it lacked standing to prosecute the action and therefore their motion for summary judgment was denied, while that of HHS was granted.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Bipartisan retirement savings bill would encourage employee savings

Senate Finance Committee (SFC) Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah and ranking member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) on March 8 introduced the bipartisan Retirement Enhancement and Savings Bill of 2018 (RESA) (S. 2526). The measure aims to increase employer incentives to encourage employee retirement savings.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Confirm states’ authority to regulate MEWAs, NAIC says to DOL

In comments to the Department of Labor’s proposed rule on association health plans (AHP), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recommends the DOL confirm the authority of states to regulate MEWAs. The NAIC, noting the “colorful and troubling history” of MEWAs, said it is important the final rule “not threaten the states’ ability to enforce existing laws or enact laws in the future that regulate insurance.”

        (Read Intelliconnect) »

Organizational leadership support makes a big difference for wellness plan success

While every organization is unique, certain initiatives are more prevalent in successful wellness programs when compared to initiatives offered by programs finding less success, according to recent research from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP). The study, A Closer Look: 2018 Workplace Wellness Trends, found that companies that have involvement and support from organizational leadership and offer stress management programs yielded more successful results across the board. Some of those successful results were a positive impact on health care costs or higher employee participation rates.

        (Read Intelliconnect) »