Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – December 13, 2013


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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Defined Benefit Limitations Under Sec. 415(b), 12/13 (109.1.-1)

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Interest Rates For Funding Calculations, 12/13 (101.2.-7)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Survey: IRS Monthly Segment Rates, 12/13 (101.2.-9)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Survey: Monthly Retirement Plan Interest Rates, 12/13 (101.2.-1)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Overview: Cafeteria Plans, 11/13 (350.-1)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Sec. 415 Benefit/Contribution Limitations Applied Each Year, 11/13 (109.-1)


(Read Intelliconnect) »


December 13, 2013

Complying With Business Aggregation Rules For ACA’s Employer Mandate Could Be Complicated And Confusing

The House Small Business Committee recently examined the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) application of the business aggregation rules and the concerns they raise for small businesses at a December 4 hearing titled,
The Health Care Law: The Effect of the Business Aggregation Rules on Small Employers. The Small Business Committee heard the testimony of concerned small business owners, examined the Administration’s process of determining whether businesses are considered single or multiple entities under the ACA, and heard suggestions on what changes to the rules could be considered to reduce confusion…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Nearly 365,000 Enroll In Coverage Through Health Insurance Marketplace In October And November

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), nearly 365,000 individuals have enrolled in plans from the state and federal marketplaces through the months of October and November. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) created the health insurance marketplaces and enrollment began on October 1…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Participants Fail To Provide Evidence To Support Demands For Penalties And Fees After Notice Violations

Although it was not disputed that participants in ERISA defined benefit (DB) and profit-sharing plans had failed to receive required notices from an employer, including a notice regarding the DB plan’s newly “frozen” status, the district court did not abuse its discretion when it awarded significantly lower penalties and attorney fees than requested by the participants, the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in
McDowell v. Price, individually and as Trustee for Bud Price’s Excavating Service, Inc. Profit Sharing Plan. The participants failed to produce sufficient evidence to support the damage award they sought…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 12, 2013

IRS Releases 2014 Standard Mileage Rates

In Notice 2013-80, the Internal Revenue Service has released the 2014 optional standard mileage rates that employees, self-employed individuals, and other taxpayers can use to compute deductible costs of operating automobiles (including vans, pickups and panel trucks) for business, medical, moving and charitable purposes…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Consumers Increasingly Aware Of Health Care Costs

Health care consumers are increasingly aware of the costs of health care and that those costs are progressively playing a larger decision in consumer’s provider choices, according to a recent survey from Transunion. The survey found that 55 percent of patients recognize not only their own out-of-pocket costs in the form of copayments and premiums but also have shown interest in the cost paid by insurers, as 67 percent of those surveyed stated they wanted to know the details of both the costs they are responsible for as patients and those costs the insurers cover. Additionally, 75 percent stated that previous bills and costs played a role in their choice to continue enrollment in particular plans, with 42 percent claiming past costs were “very important” while 33 percent stated those costs were “extremely important” in their decision-making process…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 11, 2013

IRS Issues Final Regulations On Implementation Of Additional Medicare Tax

The Internal Revenue Service has issued final regulations relating to the additional Medicare tax imposed on income above certain threshold amounts, as added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The final regulations provide guidance for employers and individuals relating to the implementation of the additional Medicare tax, including the requirement to withhold additional Medicare tax on certain wages and compensation, the requirement to file a return reporting additional Medicare tax, the employer process for adjusting underpayments and overpayments of additional Medicare tax, and the employer and individual processes for filing a claim for refund for an overpayment of additional Medicare tax. The final regulations were published in the November 29
Federal Register

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Employers Believe ACA Will Increase Employee Cost-Sharing

Employers believe that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will impact their employee benefits packages by increasing employee cost-sharing (38.4 percent) and increasing premium contributions (33.6 percent), according to recent research from the Healthcare Trends Institute. The
2013 Healthcare Benefits Trends Benchmark Study also found that only 6 percent of employers believe that the ACA will narrow their networks of hospitals and physicians…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

ADAAA Makes It Easier To Prove Disability But Does Not Absolve Employee From Predicate Showing

Finding that a trial court did not err in submitting to the jury the question of whether an employee was a “qualified individual with a disability” as a predicate to a finding of discrimination, the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has rejected an employee’s claim that the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendment Act (ADAAA) eliminated the need to prove a disability before reaching the question of whether a termination was discriminatory in
Neely v PSEG Texas, LP (No. 12-51074)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 10, 2013

EBSA, IRS, PBGC Release Advance Copies Of 2013 Form 5500 Annual Report

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), the Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) have released advance informational copies of the 2013 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Employers View The Health Care System As Wasteful And Underperforming

Employers view the health care system as wasteful and expensive, and their keys for improving the system are increased transparency around pricing and performance, according to Deloitte’s
2013 Survey of Employers. The report also found that, three years into the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), many companies still do not fully understand the law’s features…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 9, 2013

Development Weaknesses Exist In ACA Health Care Premium Tax Credit Project: TIGTA

Systems development controls need to be fortified by the Internal Revenue Service in order to ensure the accuracy of tax credits that will be credited to individuals who buy health insurance through the health care exchange or marketplace, according to a recent report from he Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Beginning in January 2014, eligible taxpayers who purchase health insurance through an exchange may qualify for and request a refundable tax credit known as the Premium Tax Credit (PTC) to assist with paying their health insurance premiums. The PTC is claimed on a federal tax return at the end of each coverage year, or it can be paid in advance, as the Advanced Premium Tax Credit (APTC), to a taxpayer’s health insurance provider to help cover the cost of premiums…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

PBGC’s Deficit Increases To $36 Billion

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (PBGC) deficit increased to about $36 billion in fiscal year 2013, due largely to the declining financial condition of multiemployer plans, according to the PBGC’s annual report…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Overbroad Interpretation Of “Job Classification” Resulted In Wrongful Denial Of Early Retirement Benefits

Multiemployer plan trustees abused their discretion when they denied early retirement benefits based on an unreasonably broad interpretation of the plan’s ban on post-retirement work in the same “job classification,” the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in
Tapley, et al. v. Locals 302 and 612 of the International Union of Operating Engineers-Employers Construction Industry Retirement Plan. The trustees had determined “traffic flaggers” and “snow plow operators” to be in the same job classification as “skilled mechanics” under the terms of the plan…

(Read Intelliconnect) »