Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – March 6, 2015

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March 2, 2015 – March 6, 2015    |    Products    |    Catalog


Featured This Week


New Reports


  • Analysis: Shared Responsibility Payments Required Under Health Reform For Individuals Without Health Insurance In 2014, 2/26, (551.-1)

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Benefits Account For 31.3 Percent Of Total Compensation, BLS Report Discloses, 2/26, (422.-9)
    (Read Intelliconnect) »
  • Analysis: Social Security Old-Age Benefits: Adjustments, Tax Rates, Retirement Ages, 2/19, (410.1.-1)
    (Read Intelliconnect) »
  • Analysis: Sec. 401(k) Plans: Basic Rules Applicable To Cash Or Deferred Arrangements, 2/19, (221.-1)
    (Read Intelliconnect) »



March 6, 2015


Health Rights Group Sends DOL Recommendations For Clarification, Better Access To SPD Information

The non-profit National Health Law Program (NHeLP) has sent comments to the Labor Department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) on previously-issued proposed regulations from the EBSA, IRS, and the HHS regarding summaries of benefits and coverage (SBCs) and the Uniform Glossary. The comments are primarily aimed at increasing clarification in SBCs and improving access to vital information for health plan enrollees. . . ..

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Nontraditional Wellness Initiatives Are Emerging, Survey Finds

Celebrating a birthday, rolling up the sleeves for a community volunteer project and taking that extra day of vacation are probably not the first activities that come to mind concerning workplace wellness. However, less traditional benefits are quickly taking the stage as top wellness initiatives, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans’ recent survey Workplace Wellness Trends. . . ..

(Read Intelliconnect) »

March 5, 2015


Text: IRS Notice 2015-16

(Read Intelliconnect) »

IRS Sets Out Approaches To Excise Tax On “Cadillac Plans”

The IRS has issued a notice describing potential approaches for several issues with respect to the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage under Code Sec. 4980I that may be incorporated in future proposed regulations. The issues address the following concerns: (1) the definition of applicable coverage; (2) the determination of the cost of applicable coverage; and (3) the application of the annual statutory dollar limit to the cost of applicable coverage. Comments are invited on the issues addressed in this notice and on any other issues under
Code Sec. 4980I
. . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »


Senators Question Tax Carve-Outs For Organized Labor’s “Cadillac

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and Senate Judiciary Chairman Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, recently questioned the Obama Administration’s guidance on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) “Cadillac plan tax.” The tax is a 40-percent nondeductible excise tax placed on certain health care plans under the ACA. . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »


March 4, 2015


Actuaries Urge HHS: Prevent ACA Marketplace Insurer Insolvency

Should the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of the petitioners in the pending matter of King
v. Burwell
, health insurance premiums in the ACA Marketplace could skyrocket, according to a letter from the American Academy of Actuaries (the Academy) to Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. At issue in King v. Burwell is the plaintiffs’ contention that ACA premium subsidies should only be available to those who purchase health insurance through a state-run, as opposed to federally-facilitated, exchange
. . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »


Most Workers Like Current Wage/Health Benefit Mix, But Discontent Is Growing

Most workers are satisfied with their current health benefits, but nearly one-third express interest in changing the current mix of benefits and wages offered by their employers, according to the latest findings from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). In 2014, nearly 70% of American workers said they were satisfied with the mix of wages and health benefits they currently receive. . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »


March 3, 2015


Text: IRS Rev. Proc. 2015-22, User Fees and Change of Address for Submission of Applications for Approval of §403(b) Pre-approved Plans

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Application Procedures Are Modified For Approval Of 403(b) Pre-Approved Plans

The IRS has modified its procedures for submitting applications for opinion and advisory letters for 403(b) pre-approved plans. . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »


IRS Releases Temporary And Proposed Regulations On The Health Insurance Provider Fee

The IRS has issued temporary (T.D. 9711) and proposed regulations that affect the definition of “covered entity” for purposes of the annual fee imposed on health insurance providers by Act Sec. 9010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Following issuance of final regulations (T.D. 9643, I.R.B. 2013-51, 750) the IRS received questions about how to apply the exclusions under section 9010(c)(2) to the general definition of a “covered entity.” The IRS also received questions about whether covered entities must report information on net premiums written for certain members of a controlled group. Notice 2014-47, I.R.B. 2014-36, 522, was then issued to resolve those questions for the 2014 fee year. The temporary regulations adopt the general approach of Notice 2014-47 for the 2015 fee year and subsequent fee years. . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »


March 2, 2015


EBRI Study Looks at Utilization Patterns And Out-of-Pocket Expenses For Different Health Care Services Among American Retirees

Health care is one of the key components of retirement expenses. Prior research by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has shown that health care expenses represent the second largest share of household expenses after home-related expenses for retired Americans. Also, health care is the only component of household expenditure that increases with age, both in terms of absolute dollars and as a share of total household expense. . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »


Most Employers Provide Paid Leave, Finds Study Conducted Jointly By Families And Work Institute And SHRM, But Not As Many Provide Leave To Caregivers, Part-Time Employees

Almost all U.S. employers with 50 or more employees (99 percent) have some form of time off with pay for their full-time employees, according to national data released by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The study, Paid Time Off, Vacations, Sick Days and Short-term Caregiving in the United States, also found that only about one-third of employers provide at least five days of paid leave for caregiving and roughly 25 percent provide paid leave to part-time employees. . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »





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About this Newsletter

Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNewsTM contains the latest news and developments in the employee benefits field for both health care and retirement plans. Taken from the daily news updates in Spencer’s Benefits Reports on the Internet, the items include legislative and regulatory actions, court case summaries, industry news, and analysis of new trends such as health savings accounts (HSAs) and Roth 401(k) provisions — anything that can affect the design, implementation and administration of an employee benefits plan.


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