In recent guidance, the IRS noted the “unprecedented public health emergency posed by COVID-19” (the disease that results from the 2019 Novel Coronavirus), and the need to remove potential administrative and financial barriers to COVID-19 testing and treatment under the health savings account (HSA) rules. Issued on March 11, 2020, IRS Notice 2020-15 responds to […]

Companies that have entered into arrangements (1) to pay deferred compensation to key employees (including owners), or (2) to provide employee benefits specifically for apprentices or trainees should immediately determine whether a “top-hat filing”  is required, and, if so, whether it has been properly filed with the Department of Labor. Two very recent legal developments—increased […]

A federal appellate court has ruled, in MBI Energy Services v. Hoch, decided in July 2019, that a single document may serve as both the summary plan description (SPD) and the formal plan document for an ERISA welfare benefit plan. In this case, the plan sponsor of a self-insured group health plan paid benefits on behalf […]

The IRS recently issued guidance expanding the types of preventive care services that can be provided by a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), before the deductible is met, without eliminating a covered individual’s eligibility to participate in a Health Savings Account (HSA). The new guidance was published on July 17, 2019 and took legal effect on […]

Beginning January 1, 2020, employers will have the option to reimburse employees’ individual ACA Exchange (or Marketplace) health insurance premiums under an employer-sponsored Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA). This is a significant change from current rules, which generally permit an HRA to reimburse only group (not individual) health insurance coverage, and which prohibit employer reimbursement of […]

The IRS Employee Plans division on Friday, April 19, released an updated version of its comprehensive retirement plan correction protocol.  Although touted as a “limited update” to the Employee Plan Compliance Resolution System, or EPCRS, the changes contained in this new Revenue Procedure 2019-19 nonetheless offer substantial savings opportunities for certain employer sponsors of 401(k), […]

Employers who are classified as covered entities under HIPAA are required to report any 2018 breach of protected health information that affected fewer than 500 individuals (also known as a small breach) by March 1, 2019. This current breach notification requirement arises from amendments made to HIPAA under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical […]

The two-year budget agreement passed by Congress on Friday, February 9th, and signed by President Trump later that day, includes tax policy changes that affect qualified retirement plans. Specifically, qualified retirement plan hardship withdrawal operations will be impacted by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (the Budget Act) as follows: Removal of the six-month prohibition […]

Employer sponsors of nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plans, as well as the executives and other service providers, who benefit from them, can breathe a sigh of relief. The ability to reward and retain key employees with incentive and compensation plans that provide a current opportunity to earn a payment to be provided (and taxed) in […]

Buried in IRS guidance issued on November 2 is news that the IRS will soon be issuing notices to employers of potential ACA taxes. While the ACA employer payments are widely referred to as “penalties,” they are actually “assessable payments” in the form an excise tax. Specifically, the IRS has announced that applicable large employers […]

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