No Signature, No Shoes, No Service

As an ERISA attorney my heart sinks when I receive benefit plan documents from a client that are not properly signed and dated.  This happens not infrequently, although less often as time passes, due to the prevalence of electronic signatures.  Electronic signatures that comply with the federal ESIGN statute and comparable state statues are valid…

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September 30, 2020 is CalSavers Deadline for Large Employers

If your business has over 100 California employees, September 30, 2020 is the deadline to either register with (or certify as exempt from), the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program (CalSavers). You may have already received a notice about registering in CalSavers, or proving your exemption, with an access code and a notice that may be forwarded…

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FAQ on New 401(k) Coverage Rules for Long-Term, Part-Time Workers

With a stated goal of encouraging retirement savings, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act expands eligibility to make salary deferrals under a 401(k) plan to “long-term, part-time workers.” The new rules under the SECURE Act, which became law on December 20, 2019, ramp up between 2021 and 2024. However, some employer action…

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Not “Wired at Work”? New DOL E-Disclosure Rule is Here to Help

  Note:  This article was originally published by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (Bloomberg Industry Group) (“INDG”) on August 7, 2020 at http://www.bloombergindustry.com.  Reproduced with permission from © 2020 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033). On May 21, 2020, the DOL announced final regulations that describe new “safe harbor” procedures for electronic delivery…

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Court Upholds Exclusion of Surrogate Pregnancy Costs, But Pitfalls Remain

In an unpublished opinion*, the 10th Circuit Court in Moon v. Tall Tree Administrators, LLC (10th Cir. May 19, 2020) upheld a self-insured group health plan’s exclusion of “pregnancy charges acting as a surrogate mother” as unambiguous and enforceable, even though that exclusion was nested within a larger exclusion of “[n]on-traditional medical services, treatments, and…

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CARES Act Student Loan Benefits Can Aid Employees of Essential Businesses

In these troubled times, not all employers are eliminating benefits and reducing staff – essential businesses such as healthcare providers, grocery and pharmacy chains, high-tech and certain nonprofit organizations such as food banks, are actually adding staff (with Amazon and Walmart being obvious examples). Those essential businesses that are adding to payroll or are asking…

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Layoffs, Reductions in Force, and 401(k) Plans

Many business owners, employment law counsel and benefit advisors are grappling with reductions in force/layoffs due to the unprecedented business and economic impact of COVID-19. I wanted to flag for you, briefly, a retirement plan compliance issue that these staff reductions can trigger. The rule applies to all qualified retirement plans not just 401(k) plans; special issues…

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COVID-19 and Changing Dependent Care Assistance Plan Elections

Many employers are instructing employees to work from home in order to help in containing the spread of COVID-19.  Other persons are simply experiencing reduced work schedules, for instance in the travel industry.  Many school districts are announcing closures, and private childcare settings such as daycare, onsite child care and after-school activities are also closing…

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2020 Benefits Update

This PowerPoint deck covers: SECURE Act mandatory and optional changes for employers that currently sponsor 401(k) or other defined contribution plans, Proposed Department of Labor Regulations creating a safe harbor for posting certain retirement plan disclosures online, and A quick update on the statuses of ACA repeal and the CalSavers program, respectively. It was originally…

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Rust Never Sleeps: ACA Large Employer Tax Liability is Forever

Ordinarily under the Internal Revenue Code (Code), when a taxpayer files a return reporting tax liability (or absence thereof), the filing of the return triggers a period of time during which the IRS can challenge the reported tax liability.  This period is referred to as a “statute of limitations” and the customary period under Section…

Continue reading → Rust Never Sleeps: ACA Large Employer Tax Liability is Forever

As Out-of-Pocket Childbirth Costs Soar, SECURE Act Offers Relief

Effective January 1, 2020, the SECURE Act exempts new parents from the 10% penalty tax that ordinarily would apply to retirement plan or IRA withdrawals before age 59.5, for distributions of up to $5,000 on account of a “qualified” birth or adoption.  This new optional plan feature is called a “Qualified Birth or Adoption Distribution”…

Continue reading → As Out-of-Pocket Childbirth Costs Soar, SECURE Act Offers Relief

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