Industry & Regulatory News

Industry & Regulatory News
House Passes Affordable Insulin Now Act

The House has passed the Affordable Insulin Now Act (the “Act”) to limit the cost of insulin to either $35 or 25 percent of the plan’s negotiated price, whichever is less. Group health plans or health insurance issuers of group or individual insurance would be required to implement the coverage of insulin products beginning January 1, 2023. In addition, the Act caps the cost-sharing limit under Medicare to $35 in 2023, even if the individual has reached the annual out-of-pocket limit and to $35 in 2024 for those who have not yet reached their annual out-of-pocket limit. The legislation must still pass the Senate before it is enacted.

April 05 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
IRS Issues Deadline Relief for Puerto Rico for Severe Storms

The IRS has issued a news release announcing the postponement of certain tax-related deadlines for victims of severe storms, flooding, and landslides in Puerto Rico. The tax relief postpones various tax filing deadlines that began February 4, 2022. Affected individuals and households who reside or have a business in municipalities of Cataño, Dorado, Toa Baja, Vega Alta, and Vega Baja as well as taxpayers with records located in the covered area that are needed to meet covered deadlines, qualify for relief.

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). Affected taxpayers with a covered deadline on or after February 4, 2022, and before June 15, 2022, will have until June 15, 2022, to complete the acts. This includes filing Form 5500 series returns that are required to be filed on or after February 4, 2022, and before June 15, 2022.

"Affected taxpayer" automatically includes any individuals who live, and businesses whose principal place of business is located, in the covered disaster area. Those who reside or have a business located outside the covered disaster area, but have been affected by the disaster, may contact the IRS to request relief.

April 05 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
Protecting America’s Retirement Security Act Introduced in House

Representative Lucy McBath (D-GA) and five other Democratic co-sponsors have introduced the Protecting America’s Retirement Security Act in the House of Representatives. The bill proposes fee disclosure improvements, increasing spousal protections, and automatic reenrollment for defined contributions plans. Additionally, the bill would direct the creation of a personal finance education portal as well as a rainy-day refund savings program that would allow taxpayers to elect deferment of 20 percent of their tax refund to an interest-bearing account that would be available for distribution at a later date.

April 01 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
Health Care Equality and Modernization Act Introduced in House

Representative Peter Sessions introduced the Health Care Equality and Modernization Act of 2022 (the “Act”) in the House of Representatives. The Act contains various provisions that would amend the Affordable Care Act (ACA), redefine individual health coverage HRAs (“ICHRAs”), limit premium tax credits, and improve health savings accounts (HSAs).

The Act would repeal the ACA employer mandate and related information reporting, limit consumer protections, and impose a 20 percent penalty assessed as a premium increase for any individual that does not have continuous health insurance coverage for a period of 12 months. The Act would redefine ICHRAs to no longer treat them as group health plans pursuant to the ACA, ERISA, or the IRC. In addition, the Act would not require ICHRAs to comply with various federal laws, including ERISA, the IRC, the ACA, COBRA, and HIPAA. The Act would also limit premium tax credits to those individuals in states that have expanded the Exchange to all areas. Premium tax credits may also be used, at the discretion of the individual, to fund an HSA. Related to HSAs, the Act would increase the individual contribution limit to $5,000 and the family limit based on the number of individuals enrolled in family coverage. Upon the death of the account holder, the Act would also permit for easier transfer by treating the surviving spouse as the named account holder.

April 01 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
DOL Issues Compliance Release on Cryptocurrencies

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued Compliance Assistance Release 2022-01 pertaining to the use of cryptocurrencies as plan investments in 401(k) plans. In it, the DOL cautions fiduciaries to exercise extreme care before considering the addition of cryptocurrency options in a plan’s investment menu and elaborates that the failure to remove an imprudent investment option from a menu of options is a breach of fiduciary duty.

The DOL expresses concerns about significant risks and challenges related to fraud, theft, and loss due the following factors

  • Speculative and volatile investments due to early stage of development
  • Ability for participants to make informed investment decisions due to the unique nature of cryptocurrencies and lack of investor knowledge
  • Custodial and recordkeeping concerns related to the asset not being held in a trust or custodial account but rather, stored as “lines of computer code in a digital wallet”
  • Valuation concerns with reliability and accuracy, citing disagreements by experts
  • Evolving regulatory environment that could result in unlawful transactions or inadequate disclosures

The DOL intends to conduct an investigative program aimed at plans that offer participant investments in cryptocurrencies and related products—including those within brokerage windows and take “appropriate action” to protect the interests of plan participants and beneficiaries.

March 10 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
House Passes Spending Bill That Would Include Telehealth Extension

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a substantial $1.5 Trillion omnibus spending package to fund the government. Included in the bill is a provision that would temporarily allow expenses for telehealth and other remote care services to continue be paid from a health savings account (HSA) without first meeting the deductible under the high deductible health plan (HDHP). The provision would allow the deductible to be disregarded for the period April 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022.

Previously, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act amended the same provision to temporarily cover telehealth and remote care services without meeting the deductible for the period after January 1, 2020, for plan years beginning on or before December 31, 2021.

While the provision, if enacted, would allow additional temporary flexibility for HSA owners to cover telehealth expenses from their accounts before meeting deductibles, it is important to note that due to the timing of the expiration of the CARES relief and the extension proposed in the legislation, telehealth services for the period January 1, 2022, through March 31, 2022, would be subject to the HDHP deductible requirements before they would be considered a qualified medical expense for HSA purposes.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where a vote is expected by a Friday funding deadline. However, House lawmakers also passed a stopgap measure by voice vote that lasts until Tuesday to ensure that the Senate has enough time to clear the omnibus package without risking a government shutdown.

March 10 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
DOL Releases Proposed Rule Updating Davis-Bacon Regulations

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Wage and Hour Division has released a proposed rule Updating the Davis-Bacon and Related Acts Regulations. The DOL indicates that the proposal is the most comprehensive review of the Davis-Bacon Act regulations in 40 years.

The Davis-Bacon Act generally requires payment of locally prevailing wages under direct federal contracts and for covered contractors and their subcontractors. The employer’s obligation can be met by paying the applicable prevailing wage entirely as cash wages or by a combination of cash wages and employer-provided bona fide fringe benefits—including pension and health benefits.

All comments must be received within 60 days of the rule being posted in the Federal Register. While the Wage and Hour Division solicits comments from across the construction industry, it encourages all stakeholders to participate in the process.

March 14 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
PBGC Issues Interest Rate Assumptions for DB Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued updated interest rate assumptions for benefit payments in terminating single-employer defined benefit (DB) pension plans. Specifically, these interest assumptions are for benefit payments with valuation dates in the second quarter of 2022, and apply to plans insured by PBGC.

March 14 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
DOL Final Rule on SECURE Act Group of Plan Reporting at OMB

Final regulations entitled, Implement SECURE Act and Related Revisions to Employee Benefit Plan Annual Reporting on the Form 5500, issued by the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), have been received by the federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) provides final review of regulatory guidance before its official release.

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act included a provision that would allow employers sponsoring defined contribution plans that have the same trustee, administrator, fiduciaries, plan year, and investment options, to file one common Form 5500 beginning in 2022. Proposed guidance was issued last fall under a larger guidance package, with details shared in a Washington Pulse.

March 18 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
IRS Issues Temporary Suspension of Prototype IRA Opinion Letter Program

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued Announcement 2022-6, providing that effective March 14, 2022, and until further notice, the IRS will not accept applications for opinion letters on prototype IRAs (Traditional, Roth, and SIMPLE IRAs), SEP plans (including salary reduction SEPs (SAR-SEPs)), and SIMPLE IRA plans. Adopters of these arrangements may rely on a previously received favorable opinion letter, and can use existing model forms to maintain or establish plans and accounts.

The temporary suspension will allow the IRS to update the prototype IRA opinion letter program, issue revised model forms and Listings of Required Modifications (LRMs), and issue published guidance to reflect recent legislation. This is essentially the first step in a larger process requiring document updates for these arrangements pursuant to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, details of which will be provided in future guidance.

March 18 2022