Health benefits seen as tool to improve employee morale, survey finds

As the health care industry undergoes significant changes, more than two-thirds of employers are relying on health benefits packages to improve employee morale and satisfaction within the workplace, according to findings from the Healthcare Trends Institute’s fourth annual Benefits Benchmark Survey, which provides employers insights into how their peers are adopting new health care benefits […]

Guaranteed benefits denied to beneficiaries of terminally ill employee who died before annuity starting date

A retirement plan committee did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in denying ten years of guaranteed annuity payments to the beneficiaries of a terminally ill employee who died after his last day of work but eight days before his annuity starting date, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Boston (CA-1). Although the employee […]

Tax Exempt and Government Entities FY 2017 Work Plan priorities includes EP Examinations

IRS officials have released the Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) FY 2017 Work Plan, which includes initiatives for Employee Plans (EP) Examinations. TE/GE Commissioner Sunita Lough and TE/GE Deputy Commissioner Donna Hansberry provided a briefing of TE/GE’s work plan and priorities for fiscal year (FY) 2017 and shared an update as to the projects […]

PBGC proposed regs would expand its missing participant program to DC, multiemployer DB, and other DB plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued proposed regulations that expand its existing Missing Participants Program to cover terminated 401(k) and most other defined contribution (DC) plans, multiemployer defined benefit (DB) plans, and certain DB plans that are not currently covered by the program. The PBGC anticipates the expanded program will be implemented in […]

IRS extends temporary nondiscrimination relief for closed DB plans through 2017

The IRS has extended for an additional year the temporary relief provided in IRS Notice 2014-5 for certain closed defined benefit (DB) pension plans (i.e., plans that are closed to new entrants as of a specified date, but continue to provide ongoing accruals for existing participants). Thus, the temporary relief is available for plan years […]

PBGC issues final regs lowering late premium payment penalties, providing new waiver

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued final regulations that lower the late premium payment penalties for plan years beginning in 2016 or later. Under the final regulations, late payment penalty rates and caps are reduced by 50%. In addition, for plans with good compliance histories that pay promptly after a PBGC underpayment notification, […]

IRS updates Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System

The IRS has updated the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), a comprehensive system of correction programs for sponsors of retirement plans that have failed to satisfy the requirements of Code Secs. 401(a), 403(a), 403(b), 408(k) or 408(p). EPCRS permits plan sponsors to correct failures and thereby continue to provide their employees with retirement benefits […]

IRS issues final regs and revised procedures for multiemployer plans in critical and declining status seeking benefit reductions

The IRS has issued final regulations and revised procedures regarding applications for a suspension of benefits for participants and beneficiaries of a multiemployer defined benefit pension plan in critical and declining status under Code Sec. 432(e)(9), which was added by the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA), Division O of the Consolidated and Further […]

PBGC proposed regs lower penalties for late payment of premiums

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued proposed regulations that would significantly lower the rate of penalties charged for the late payment of premiums by defined benefit plans and would provide a waiver of most of the penalties for plans with good compliance with premium requirements. The proposed changes would apply to both single-employer […]

IRS will withdraw portions of proposed regs affecting nondiscrimination requirements for qualified plans

The IRS has announced that it will withdraw certain provisions included in recently released proposed regulations relating to nondiscrimination requirements applicable to qualified retirement plans under Code Sec. 401(a)(4). In January 2016, the IRS issued proposed regulations modifying a number of provisions in the existing nondiscrimination regulations to address situations and plan designs, including benefit […]