ERISA News

Industry & Regulatory News

New Administration to Review Retirement Plan ESG Investments Guidance

On his first day in office President Biden issued an Executive Order entitled Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis. Included within the Order was what was described as a “non-exclusive” list of federal agency actions that will be reviewed for possible revision or withdrawal. Of particular interest on this list are recent Department of Labor final regulations issued under the title, Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments, which became effective on January 12, 2021.

January 21 2021

Industry & Regulatory News

Retirement Spotlight: IRS Gives SECURE Act Guidance on Traditional and QACA Safe Harbor Plans

The SECURE Act makes it easier for employers to adopt ADP/ACP safe harbor plan provisions. These plans, which include both “traditional” safe harbor plans and qualified automatic contribution arrangements (QACAs), have proven popular with many employers. This is because such plans are usually deemed to pass several nondiscrimination tests. IRS Notice 2020-86 provides guidance on some of the details of these SECURE Act provisions, including direction on amendments and notices. But while this notice gives important direction, we await more comprehensive regulatory guidance.

January 20 2021

Industry & Regulatory News

DOL Guidance to Aid Retirement Plans Facing Missing Participant Issues

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released a three-part guidance package to assist retirement plan fiduciaries in dealing with issues of missing or unresponsive participants. These issues typically involve terminated participants who have vested benefits remaining in an employer-sponsored plan, or terminating or abandoned plans. An EBSA news release accompanies the guidance package.

January 13 2021

Industry & Regulatory News

Opinion Letter Addresses Interaction Between ADEA and Individual Coverage HRAs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has issued an Opinion Letter dated January 7, 2021, to clarify whether the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) prohibition against requiring older workers to bear a greater proportion of the cost of a fringe benefit than younger workers will affect contributions to Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs).

January 13 2021

Industry & Regulatory News

IRS Proposes Regulations for Automatic Deadline Postponements for Federally Declared Disasters

The IRS has released a pre-publication version of proposed regulations that would create an automatic 60-day postponement of deadlines for certain time-sensitive, tax-related acts in circumstances of federally-declared disasters.

January 12 2021

Industry & Regulatory News

CAA Requires Disclosure of Compensation Paid by Employer-Sponsored Health Plans

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), signed into law on December 27, 2020, contained many provisions, including a transparency provision that requires the disclosure of compensation paid to brokers and consultants who provide services to employer-sponsored health plans.

January 12 2021

Industry & Regulatory News

Paycheck Protection Program to Re-Open Next Week

The Department of Treasury and Small Business Administration have jointly announced the reopening of the Paycheck Protection Program the week of January 11. Community financial institutions will begin offering First Draw PPP Loans Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans starting Wednesday, January 13. Loans will be available to all participating lenders soon after.

January 08 2021

Industry & Regulatory News

PBGC Final Rule for Computing Union DB Plan Withdrawal Liability

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued final regulations that amend earlier agency guidance on the determination of withdrawal liability when a participating employer withdraws from a multiemployer (union) defined benefit pension plan. The regulations being amended are entitled, Allocating Unfunded Vested Benefits to Withdrawing Employers and Notice, Collection and Redetermination of Withdrawal Liability.

January 08 2021

Industry & Regulatory News

Final Regulations Published on Independent Contractor Status

Final regulations, entitled Independent Contractor Status Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, issued by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, are published in today’s Federal Register. They are described as being intended to clarify distinctions between “employee” and “independent contractor” status. The guidance was issued in proposed form in September 2020. Accompanying the final regulations is an agency news release.

January 07 2021

Industry & Regulatory News

IRS Issues Deadline Relief for Mississippi Victims of Hurricane Zeta

The IRS has issued News Release MS-2021-01, announcing the postponement of certain tax-related deadlines for Mississippi victims of Hurricane Zeta, for hurricane-related events beginning October 28, 2020. In addition to extending certain tax filing and tax payment deadlines, the relief includes completion of many time-sensitive, tax-related acts described in IRS Revenue Procedure 2018-58 and Treasury Regulation 301.7508A-1(c)(1), which include filing Form 5500 for retirement plans, completing rollovers, making retirement plan loan payments, etc.

January 07 2021