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Employee Benefits Archives

Did You Miss the Retirement Plan Restatement Deadline?

By April 30, 2016, profit sharing, 401(k), and money purchase pension plans using pre-approved IRS documents were required to restate their plans to comply with the Pension Protection Act of 2006. If an employer finds this year end that the company's plan was not timely restated, the error can be corrected with the IRS. More importantly, if the error is found and corrected before April 30, 2017, the IRS fee to correct the error is reduced.

IRS Announces 2017 Pension Plan Limitations

On October 27 the IRS announced cost-of-living adjustments for 2017 retirement plan contributions. For 2017, the amounts that individuals will be able to contribute to retirement plans will remain unchanged at $18,000. The catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and over will also remain unchanged at $6,000. IRA and SIMPLE retirement plan contribution limits will not change for 2017.

The Ohio Supreme Court Brings the Sunshine Laws into the Technological Age

In May, the Ohio Supreme Court in White v. King, 2016-Ohio-2770, expressly provided that a meeting of a public body does not have to occur face to face. A meeting includes discussions that occur "telephonically, by video conference, or electronically by e-mail, text, tweet, or other form of communication."

The Importance of "Wrap" Documents - A Key to ERISA Compliance for Group Health and Welfare Plans

To ensure compliance with ERISA's documentation and disclosure rules for health and welfare plans (medical, dental, vision, group term life insurance, and disability insurance plans), the plans must be set forth in written plan documents that meet specified content requirements. Although employers receive insurance policies or certificates of coverage from insurers or third party administrators, these documents rarely specify the named fiduciary, the procedures for amending the plan or the allocation of responsibilities for the operation and administration of the plan among the employer, the insurer, and the third party administrator.

IRS Announces 2016 Pension Plan Limitations

On October 21 the IRS announced cost-of-living adjustments for 2016 retirement plan contributions. For 2016, the amounts that individuals will be able to contribute to retirement plans will remain unchanged at $18,000. The catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and over will also remain unchanged at $6,000. This chart summarizes the limitations for 2016:

IRS Affordable Care Act Penalty Relief for Small Employers Expires Soon

Previously the IRS announced that employer payment plans would violate the Affordable Care Act and subject an employer to penalties. An employer payment plan is a plan under which an employer reimburses an employee for all or part of the premium for an individual health insurance policy. The penalty for this arrangement is $100 per participant/per day.

IRS Announces 2015 Pension Plan Limitations

On October 23, 2014, the IRS announced cost-of-living adjustments for 2015 retirement plan contributions. For 2015, the amounts that individuals will be able to contribute to retirement plans will increase $500 to $18,000. The catch-up contribution limit for employees age 50 and over will also increase $500 to $6,000.

Failure to Provide COBRA Notice Results in Penalties Even When Employer Pays the Bills

Regina Honey was pregnant with her second child and experiencing pre-term labor. Her doctor ordered bed rest for about two weeks. When Ms. Honey was ready to return to work at Dignity Health, she was told her employment was terminated. About two months later she was reinstated. However, the pre-term labor returned and her doctor ordered bed rest for the remainder of the pregnancy. Ms. Honey remained on bed rest until her son was born in July 2010.

IRS Announces Restatement Deadline for Retirement Plans

An employer that has an IRS preapproved retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan, profit sharing plan, or money purchase pension plan, is required to restate the plan every six years for changes in the law. The last six year restatement cycle ended April 30, 2010 and the IRS has announced that the second restatement cycle will run through April 30, 2016. Any employer that does not restate a preapproved retirement plan by April 30, 2016 will be subject to a late amender penalty.