Understanding Employee Benefits

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2019

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IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2019 By Jeffrey P. Cairns The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2019 cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions for qualified retirement plans. The Notice providing the cost-of-living adjustments is available here 2018-83. The Service announced the Health Savings Account... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Payroll, Retirement Plans

Same Sex Marriage: Effect on Benefits

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The United States Supreme Court recently held in Obergefell v. Hodges http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf that all states must recognize and allow marriages between same sex partners. Depending on an employer’s current employee benefits plan, certain provisions may need to be changed in light of this ruling. For those employers who already provide... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans

Filed Your 2013 Health and Welfare Plan 5500s? Did you Include Your M-1 Attachments?

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A provision of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) included additional reporting requirements and greater U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) oversight of Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs). The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued final rules earlier in 2014 which clarified the requirements for initial and annual Form... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Form 5500s, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans

Gas Prices Must be Going Down

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Every year the IRS issues optional standard mileage rates that can be used by taxpayers to calculate the deductible cost of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Many employers reimburse employees based on this standard mileage rate. The standard mileage rate also factors into medical expense... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Payroll

IRS Loosens Use It or Lose It Rule

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As employers who sponsor cafeteria plans know, flexible spending accounts (FSAs) under those plans have had a “use it or lose it” rule. Under that rule, employees who participate in the spending accounts must make elections at the beginning of the year to set aside amounts to pay medical expenses... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans

No More Pre-Tax Premiums for Individual Insurance Policies?

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Over the years we have seen some employers, particularly small employers, choose to provide health coverage to their employees by paying all or part of the premium for individual insurance policies that the employees have obtained. Under an old IRS revenue ruling, Rev. Rul. 61-146, that type of premium subsidy... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Compensation Questions, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll, Welfare Plans

Federal Agencies Issue Guidance that Valid Same Sex Marriages Recognized for All Federal Tax Purposes

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On August 29, 2013, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued a public announcement and released Revenue Ruling 2013-17 wherein it answered a number of open questions concerning the impact of the U.S. Supreme Court Decision, United States v. Windsor. This is the case that overturned the federal... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan, Retirement Plans

Supreme Court Strikes Down Federal Defense of Marriage Act – Open Questions for Benefit Plan Sponsors

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On June 26, 2013, in a 5-4 vote the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1993 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional as a violation of Fifth Amendment guarantees of equal protection and equal liberty. The case, United States v. Windsor No.12-307(US June 26, 2013)  http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/12pdf/12-307_6j37.pdf dealt with the... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Payroll, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans

New Requirements for BAAs

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As many employers know, HIPAA rules require them to sign on behalf of their health plans Business Associate Agreements (BAAs) with the vendors who assist in plan administration. Many employers also know that earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued final regulations which will require... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan