Benefits Notes |

Employee benefits are an important part of every employees' total compensation package. The continuously evolving landscape in the areas of health care reform, retirement plan design, and executive compensation makes it difficult for employee benefits professionals to keep up with relevant developments. The employee benefits attorneys at Stinson Leonard Street provide human resources professionals, plan fiduciaries, actuaries, accountants, and others in the industry with practical and cost-effective assistance as they navigate through the complex laws, regulations and guidance that govern employee benefits plans. This blog highlights key developments in the employee benefits field and items of interest to our clients. Our Bloggers →

Latest Welfare Plans Posts

New Law Permits Stand-Alone Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) For Small Employers

By Todd Martin | December 14, 2016

Cafeteria Plans, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans On December 13, 2016 President Obama signed into law the 21st Century Cures Act. The law had been approved with bipartisan support in the House by a vote of 392 to 26 and in the Senate by a vote of 94 to 5.  The law addresses a number of health care issues such as streamlining the process for FDA approval of drugs...

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IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2017

By Abigail Clark | October 28, 2016

Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2017 On October 27, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service released the 2017 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans and health savings accounts. Changes from 2016 were minimal. Notice 2016-62 is available...

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Employers Who Self Administer Life Insurance Plans Had Better Do So Correctly

By Angela Bohmann | September 13, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Uncategorized, Welfare Plans Many employers self-administer welfare benefit plans such as life insurance or disability insurance plans. This self administration requires the employer to determine eligibility for coverage, remit proper premiums and notify the insurance carrier about changes in coverage. The insurance carrier often does not even...

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Proposed Form 5500 Changes & the new Schedule J: Big Changes for Small Group Health Plans

By Abigail Clark | July 26, 2016

Form 5500s, Health Plan, Welfare Plans The US Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed changes to the Form 5500 and schedules that will affect ERISA Title I group health plans of all sizes, but small group health plans should be especially aware of the changes. Certain small group health plans (fewer than 100 participants) are currently exempt from filing...

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EEOC Issues New Wellness Guidance

By Angela Bohmann | May 26, 2016

Health Plan, Welfare Plans My colleagues in the Labor and Employment Group have published an Alert on the new wellness guidance from the EEOC. It is linked here.

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Time to Review Plan Subrogation Procedures, Part 2

By Angela Bohmann | March 25, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Welfare Plans I blogged a few days ago about the U.S. Supreme Court decision making it harder for plans to recover from a third-party settlement fund for the amount the plan paid when a participant is injured by that third-party. A recent federal district court decision highlights the need to provide appropriate notice of the...

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Time to Review Plan Subrogation Procedures

By Angela Bohmann | March 23, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Welfare Plans Most self-funded ERISA medical plans provide that participants who have been injured by other people (think car accidents) must reimburse the plan if the participant recovers from the other person for those injuries. In order to obtain that reimbursement, a plan document must contain appropriate...

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Federal Court Determines that Employer Use of Employee Health Insurance Premium Payments Breach of ERISA Fiduciary Duties

By Jeffrey Cairns | November 17, 2015

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Health Plan, Payroll, Welfare Plans On November 9, 2015, Minnesota Federal District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that the president and CEO of Faribault Woolen Mills Company breached his fiduciary duties under ERISA by diverting Employee health insurance premiums toward corporate and personal use. The lawsuit was brought by the U.S. Department of...

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What Does the Trust Requirement of ERISA Mean?

By Angela Bohmann | October 29, 2015

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Welfare Plans ERISA requires that plan assets be held in trust so that they are protected from claims of the employer. With pension plans, it is generally easy to determine when assets become plan assets and when they should be held in trust. For welfare benefit plans, such as health plans, the situation is more complicated....

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IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans

By Jeffrey Cairns | October 22, 2015

Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2016 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans and health savings accounts, which are largely unchanged from the 2015 numbers. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-news/IR-15-118.pdf.  The following chart...

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