Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – December 16, 2016

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




December 16, 2016


No rapid crossover yet of “narrow provider networks” from health exchanges to employer plans

So-called “narrow provider networks,” which limit covered health providers in health plans, do not appear to be crossing over rapidly from the Affordable Care Act’s health exchanges into employment-based health plans, according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Mark A. Hall, J.D., Wake Forest University, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s (RWJF) Changes in Health Care Financing & Organization (HCFO) Initiative….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS proposed regs update minimum present value rules applicable to DB plans

The IRS has issued proposed regulations that would update the current final regulations regarding the minimum present value requirements of Code Sec. 417(e)(3) that are applicable to certain defined benefit (DB) plans for changes made by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA, P.L. 109-280) and to eliminate certain obsolete provisions. In addition, the proposed regulations would provide other clarifying changes. The changes are proposed to apply to distributions with annuity starting dates in plan years beginning on or after the date that final regulations are published in the Federal Register….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 15, 2016


2017 standard mileage rates released

The IRS has released the 2017 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) »

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) »

Engineer’s ADA claims revived because employer may have been on notice he had a disability

An engineer may have put his employer on notice of his disabling back condition and sufficiently requested an accommodation, held the Sixth Circuit in an unpublished decision, vacating a summary judgment ruling and remanding for further proceedings. Contrary to the trial court’s findings, a reasonable jury could determine that the employer was on notice the engineer had a disability because he had informed it of recent doctor’s visits, MRI results, and past back surgeries, and that he adequately requested an accommodation by asking permission to “mix up” his tasks to avoid exacerbating his back pain….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 14, 2016

Retirees of auto parts manufacturer not entitled to vested lifetime health care benefits

In view of the fundamental shift in the analytical framework for determining the vesting (or not) of lifetime, inalterable retiree health care benefits under a CBA brought by the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, and the recognition of that change by the Sixth Circuit in Gallo v. Moen Inc., a federal district court in Michigan granted summary judgment for an employer, finding its unilateral change in retiree health care benefits was not unlawful. Here, applying ordinary principles of contract interpretation required the conclusion that no vesting occurred….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

ACA provided $32.8B in tax credits in 2016, benefited 9.4M enrollees

The 9.4 million Americans who purchased health insurance through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will receive a total of over $32.8 billion in premium tax credits in 2016—assistance that will be eliminated if the ACA is repealed….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Five new members appointed to ERISA Advisory Council

Five new members have been appointed to the 2017 Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (also known as the ERISA Advisory Council) by Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. Current members Jennifer Kamp Tretheway and Beth A. Almeida will serve as the chair and vice chair, respectively, of the council….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 13, 2016


Changes to Form 5500 open employers up to litigation, ERIC says

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) has submitted comments on the proposed amendments to the annual reporting and disclosure requirements for plan sponsors via Form 5500 to the Department of Labor (DOL), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

ACA opinions remain split amidst election aftermath

Americans continue to be split on their views of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), although some aspects of the law, such as the provision allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ insurance plans until age 26, are popular across party lines. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF) November health tracking poll, 49 percent of Americans want to either expand the ACA or move forward with the existing law, while 43 percent want to either repeal the entire law or scale back what it does. However, 63 percent of Americans unfavorably view the individual mandate. The incoming Trump administration has vowed to repeal and replace the ACA….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

December 12, 2016


Text: IRS, proposed regulation, health insurance providers fee

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Text: IRS, proposed regulation, electronic filing of the report of health insurance provider information

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS releases proposed regs on Health Insurance Provider Fee and risk adjustments

The IRS has issued proposed regulations regarding the Health Insurance Provider Fee under Section 9010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148). One set would require electronic filing of Form 8963, Report of Health Insurance Provider Information. These amendments are proposed to apply to any covered entity reporting more than $25 million in net premiums written on any Form 8963 filed after December 31, 2017. The other set of proposed regulations would modify the current definition of “net premiums written,” and are proposed to apply with respect to any fee that is due on or after September 30, 2018….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Court puts cost-sharing appeal on hold, awaits possible Trump policy

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia granted the U.S. House of Representatives’ motion to hold the appeal over cost-sharing reduction funding in abeyance until February 21, 2017. By that time, the parties must file motions to direct the rest of the proceedings, which the House believes may look very different from the current state of the litigation….

(Read Intelliconnect) »