One of the least noticed provisions of the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), sometimes referred to as Obamacare, is a transitional reinsurance fee applicable to 2014 through 2016. The Department of Human Services issued regulations implementing this provision on March 11, 2013. These regulations clarify that although governmental entities are exempt from tax and from most of ERISA, health plans that governmental employers maintain for their employees will be subject to the new fee.
Rev. Proc. 2013-12 for the first time allows 403(b) plans (tax-sheltered annuities or custodial accounts for employees of public schools, churches, and certain other tax-exempt organizations) the same ability to correct plan errors under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (“EPCRS”) as is provided in the case of qualified plans. The IRS has now issued a plain language “Fix-It Guide” for 403(b) plans that discusses common mistakes, how to avoid them, and how to fix them if they occur.
After two years in which Social Security tax rates for employees (though not for employers) were reduced, rates returned to normal levels for 2013. Read more
Same-sex marriage is legal in Maryland as of January 1, 2013. A two-part series of articles in Baltimore OUTloud discusses how this will affect employee benefits in that state.
The IRS explanation states as follows: Read more
The IRS has issued a copy of its long-awaited final regulations on the extent to which a pension plan can make distributions to an individual in the process of a phased retirement. A copy of the regulations can be seen by clicking here.
On April 5, 2007, the IRS proposed new regulations under section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), as amended. Section 415 limits the benefits that may be paid by defined benefit plans and contributions that may be made to defined contribution plans. While some of the provisions may be a restatement of the current rules or a codification of guidance issued over the years since the current regulations were adopted, other provisions may represent new interpretations that need to be studied carefully. Read more
The recent case of Sanzo v. NYSA-ILA Pension Trust Fund illustrates the perils of a badly drafted qualified domestic relations order (“QDRO”). Although directly applicable only to QDROs of ERISA-covered plans, the principles underlying it would also apply to governmental and church plans that allow for the recognition of domestic relations orders. Read more
Why did Shakespeare say, “Let’s kill all the lawyers”? And what is the relevance for employee benefits law? Read more