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Employer Action Item – Health Care Reform

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2015, certain large employers who do not offer affordable health insurance that provides minimum value to their full-time employees may be subject to significant penalties. Please refer to our article titled “Health Care Reform: Employers Should Prepare Now for 2015 to Avoid Penalties” for information … Continue reading Employer Action Item – Health Care Reform
August 11, 2014

IRS GUIDANCE: EMPLOYEE INCOME TAX CORRECTION FOR SAME-SEX SPOUSAL HEALTH COVERAGE AFTER UNITED STATES V. WINDSOR

  On June 27, 2014, the IRS released Information Letter 2014-0012, which contains guidance for employees who have had the value of same-sex spousal coverage under employer health plans — which until recently was required to be included in gross income — reported on their Forms W-2. BACKGROUND Historically, the employer cost of opposite-sex spousal … Continue reading IRS GUIDANCE: EMPLOYEE INCOME TAX CORRECTION FOR SAME-SEX SPOUSAL HEALTH COVERAGE AFTER UNITED STATES V. WINDSOR
August 1, 2014

Dueling Decisions in the 4th and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals Spell More ACA Uncertainty for Employers

Just as employers are gearing up to prepare for compliance with the Shared Responsibility rules under the ACA, a pair of decisions from two federal appeals courts has thrown a curve ball into what was already a complicated assessment of risk for employers and raised new questions. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District … Continue reading Dueling Decisions in the 4th and D.C. Circuit Courts of Appeals Spell More ACA Uncertainty for Employers
July 23, 2014

Getting Ready for 2015: How Government Contractors, Health Care Reform, and the Family Medical Leave Act Intersect

It’s summer now, mid-year 2014. Open enrollment for the 2015 health plan year is just around the corner. . . We want to make sure that all employers are ready. We want to ensure, as well, that government contractors specifically understand the intersection of the Service Contract Act (SCA) with other federal laws. To be … Continue reading Getting Ready for 2015: How Government Contractors, Health Care Reform, and the Family Medical Leave Act Intersect
July 18, 2014

EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Enforcement Guidance Implicates Contraception Coverage Concerns

On July 14, 2014, the EEOC issued new Enforcement Guidance on Pregnancy Discrimination and Related Issues.  The immediately-effective Guidance sets forth the EEOC’s policies with regard to its enforcement of pregnancy-based employment discrimination prohibitions under Title VII — as clarified by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 — and other federal laws. With regard to … Continue reading EEOC Pregnancy Discrimination Enforcement Guidance Implicates Contraception Coverage Concerns
July 15, 2014

New Regulations Permit the Purchase of Longevity Annuities by Qualified Retirement Plans

Under the directive of providing individuals with additional lifetime income options, the IRS issued final regulations on July 2, 2014, permitting the purchase of longevity annuity contracts.  The regulations apply to participants in certain types of retirement plans and IRA owners and allows them to purchase a “qualifying longevity annuity contract” (QLAC) with a portion … Continue reading New Regulations Permit the Purchase of Longevity Annuities by Qualified Retirement Plans
July 11, 2014

SUPREME COURT RULES THAT ACA’S CONTRACEPTIVE MANDATE VIOLATES RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Last week the Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., et al., that closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraceptive coverage as mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because the requirement violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA).  At issue in the case were regulations promulgated … Continue reading SUPREME COURT RULES THAT ACA’S CONTRACEPTIVE MANDATE VIOLATES RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
July 7, 2014

Wellness Program Update: EEOC is Planning to Issue Proposed Regulations to Address ADA, GINA Issues

In May, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it intends to issue proposed regulations addressing health plan-based wellness programs. According to the EEOC’s announcement, the guidance is expected to address the following items: Does title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allow employers to offer financial inducements and/or impose financial penalties as part of … Continue reading Wellness Program Update: EEOC is Planning to Issue Proposed Regulations to Address ADA, GINA Issues
June 5, 2014

Remember ERISA Basics: SPD and Eligibility

During the past 14+ years practicing employee benefits law, I’ve seen many changes, not the least of which has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, with all of the recent changes flowing from the ACA, it is important not to forget some very basic and long-standing aspects of plan compliance, design, drafting and administration, … Continue reading Remember ERISA Basics: SPD and Eligibility
June 2, 2014

IRS Commences IRC Section 409A Audits

The IRS has commenced a compliance initiative project (“CIP”) aimed at nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements subject to Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (“409A”). Although the project scope is limited, employers with arrangements that may be subject to 409A should take this regulatory action as a prompting to review their arrangements and make any … Continue reading IRS Commences IRC Section 409A Audits
May 20, 2014

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