Industry & Regulatory NewsCOVID-19 Relief for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Continued for Limited Time
The Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 providing guidance on the duration of COVID-19-related relief previously provided by Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01 and the Notice of Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak (Joint Notice) issued in 2020 by the DOL, Treasury Department, and the IRS (collectively the "Notices").
Thought LeadershipState of Savings: December 2020
The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been felt far and wide, both in the U.S. and globally. But what has it meant for tax-advantaged savings levels in vehicles such as retirement , 529, and health savings & flexible spending accounts? Our proprietary data, tracked over the course of 2020, reveal shifts in contribution and withdrawal behaviors by business owners and individuals in response to the financial challenges posed by the pandemic. Overall, these insights suggest a continued appreciation for the importance of savings and the ability to access these savings when needed.
Industry & Regulatory NewsPandemic Relief Package Includes Multiple Retirement, Health Benefit Provisions
Legislation proposed by the House Ways and Means Committee to provide COVID-19 pandemic relief and economic stimulus includes several items that would affect retirement and health benefits. Among them are the following.
Industry & Regulatory NewsIRS Updates FAQs on Employer Tax Credits for COVID-Related Paid Leave
On January 28, 2021, the IRS posted updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on COVID-19-related employer tax credits for paid leave that is provided by certain small- and mid-size businesses. These tax credits were initially created by the Family First Coronavirus Response Act that was signed into law in March 2020.
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.
Industry & Regulatory NewsDOL Updates Q&As for Pandemic-Related Paid Leave
The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Wage and Hour Division has issued an update to its question-and-answer guidance on paid employee leave under provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Specifically, this update includes the addition of the following.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: Spending Bill Contains Coronavirus Relief
On December 21, 2020, Congress passed additional measures to provide relief from the widespread economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. On December 27, 2020, the president signed the bill into law. While both houses of Congress have been working on various provisions since the CARES Act was enacted last March, no agreements were reached until now. The coronavirus provisions are contained in a larger spending bill that funds the federal government through next September. The bill, entitled the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), contains relief for various industries, small businesses, and individuals. Although there is no broad employee benefit relief, the items discussed below may interest those that work with employers and with employer-sponsored plans.
In the NewsAscensus Insights on Employer Match Changes Featured in WSJ
Ascensus' data on employer changes to retirement plan matching contributions is highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal feature. The article notes that more employers that had decreased or suspended their match over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic are "reversing course as their businesses rebound."