Industry & Regulatory News2021 Could See More Retirement and Health Legislation
Despite political partisanship that has marked much of the 116th Congress in 2019 and 2020, there have been some notable exceptions with bipartisan outcomes. The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 proved that cooperation is a possibility. That legislation, enacted in December 2019, made significant enhancements to tax-advantaged savings arrangements.
Industry & Regulatory NewsLegislation Introduced to Aid Struggling Defined Benefit Plans
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) has introduced in the initial days of the 117th Congress the Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act (EPPRA) of 2021. Rep. Neal has previously introduced legislation to aid struggling defined benefit pension plans, including the Rehabilitation for Multiemployer Pensions Act—also known as the Butch Lewis Act—during the 116th Congress. EPPRA has some features in common with that legislation.
Industry & Regulatory NewsIRS Signals Compatibility of Pre-Approved Plan Documents and PEPs
The IRS in its January 20, 2021 edition of Employee Plans News has revealed that pre-approved qualified retirement plan documents may be used to establish arrangements known as pooled employer plans, or PEPs. These arrangements are a type of multiple employer plan (MEP) in which several employers may participate in this common plan structure. But PEPs are less likely to have common interest or common ownership among participating employers than is required of conventional MEPs.
Industry & Regulatory NewsNew 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.
Industry & Regulatory NewsRetirement 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.
Industry & Regulatory NewsDOL 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.
Industry & Regulatory NewsOpinion 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).
Industry & Regulatory NewsIRS 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.
Industry & Regulatory NewsCAA 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.
Industry & Regulatory NewsPaycheck 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.