Spencer’s Benefits NetNews – May 22, 2020

About this Newsletter

The Spencer’s Benefits Reports is a summary of the week’s news items posted
in the WHAT’S NEW pages of Spencer’s Benefits Reports
For questions regarding this email service, contact Customer Service at (800)449-9525.

NetNews Subscription

Want to receive these Newsletters via E-mail?

hr.cch.com Resources

About Links in this Newsletter

To access the IntelliConnect™ full text documents you must be a subscriber
to the Spencer’s Benefits Reports IntelliConnect product
(depending on the link*).

Links within news stories display full text documents including legislation, regulations,
court decisions, rulings and government reports.

The first time you click on a link you will be taken to the IntelliConnect login page, where you will need to enter your ID and password. Subsequent links will take you directly to the desired document.


If you aren’t a subscriber call 800-449-9525, or let us contact you about,

Email Us

Contact us by sending an e-mail to

Featured This Week

New Reports

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

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: Guidance implementing COVID-19 laws, 5/20 (327.-15)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: HSAs, 5/20 (356.-5)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • Analysis: State individual mandate laws, 5/20 (504.-1)

    (Read Cheetah) »

  • News

    Majority of employers help with cost of COBRA coverage for furloughed employees

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have made changes to their workforce, according to a recent report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP). The Employee Benefits in a COVID-19 World: April 2020 Survey Report found that 31 percent have temporarily furloughed workers, 29 percent have reduced worker hours, and 21 percent have laid off workers.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    CMS extends certain time frames related to group health plans

    The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued guidance providing a temporary period of relaxed enforcement of certain time frames related to group market requirements under the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Dems float an expansive version of the next COVID-19 relief package

    Democrats on May 12 introduced the Heroes Act in the House—their version of “phase four” COVID-19 relief in the continuing process of providing necessary resources and support to respond to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. The massive 1,815-page bill would provide extensive relief that goes beyond what many would consider COVID-19 target measures. Republicans have called it a “partisan wish list” that will be dead on arrival in the Senate.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    IRS relaxes Sec. 125 plan rules due to COVID-19, increases FSA carryover amount

    The IRS has released Notices 2020-29 and 2020-33 to provide flexibility under Sec. 125 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under Notice 2020-29, the IRS provided increased flexibility with respect to 2020 midyear elections under a Code Sec. 125 cafeteria plan related to employer-sponsored health coverage, health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs), and dependent care assistance programs (DCAPs). The IRS also provided increased flexibility with respect to grace periods to apply unused amounts in health FSAs to medical care expenses incurred through December 31, 2020, and unused amounts in DCAPs to dependent care expenses incurred through December 31, 2020. This relief is retroactive to January 1, 2020.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    IRS temporarily allows electronic submission of requests for determination rulings

    The IRS has temporarily allowed the electronic submission of requests for letter rulings, closing agreements, determination letters, and information letters under the jurisdiction of the Office of Chief Counsel and for determination letters issued by the Large Business and International Division (LB&I). Rev. Proc. 2020-1, provides detailed information on how taxpayers can request advice from the IRS in the form of letter rulings, closing agreements, determination letters, and information letters and generally requires taxpayers to submit paper copies of written materials with wet signatures. However, the IRS now permits paper and electronic submission of requests for advice from the Associate Chief Counsel Offices (including the Associate Chief Counsel (Employee Benefits, Exempt Organizations, and Employment Taxes) and LB&I.

            (Read Cheetah) »

    Congress needs to do more to protect employer-sponsored coverage, coalition letter says

    A coalition of 32 organizations has urged Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) and Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif) to protect employer-sponsored health coverage during the COVID-19 pandemic. “As you consider the next round of legislation to overcome COVID-19, we urge you to prioritize maintaining private health benefits for individuals and families and to increase coverage options for those who are already uninsured,” the coalitions wrote.

            (Read Cheetah) »