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 Disability Claims Procedures May Apply to Qualified and Nonqualified Retirement Plans, Too

By Audrey Fenske | March 9, 2018

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans As mentioned in our recent blog, the date for complying with the new disability claims procedures (April 2, 2018) is rapidly approaching.  In addition to making sure disability plans comply with the new rules, employers should also be reviewing other ERISA plans, such as qualified retirement plans and nonqualified...

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Thanks for Noticing: Disability Claims Procedure Regulations Change Notice Requirement Next Month, Impose Strict Compliance Standard

By Abigail Clark | March 8, 2018

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans 29 C.F.R. §2560.503-1 The DOL's revised ERISA disability claims procedures regulations will be taking effect early next month, and plan sponsors should take a hard look at plan processes over the next few weeks to ensure compliance. The new requirements apply to disability benefit claims filed after April 1, 2018,...

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Department of Labor Issues Proposed Rules Expanding Access to Association Health Plans

By Jeffrey Cairns | January 5, 2018

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans On October 12, 2017 President Trump issued an Executive Order concerning a number of health plan market initiatives. One of the items included in the Executive Order was a directive to the Secretary of Labor to issue proposed regulations or guidance within 60 days from the date of the Order, “to expand access to...

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Social Security Administration Corrects and Updates Wage Base for 2018

By Mark Wilkins | December 1, 2017

Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans On November 27, 2017, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it is adjusting the maximum earnings subject to the Social Security tax for 2018 to $128,400.  As we have previously posted, the SSA had announced that it would increase the maximum earnings to $128,700.  The SSA made the adjustment after...

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IRS Begins Issuing ACA Employer Mandate Penalty Notices

By Tom Dowling | November 27, 2017

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Uncategorized, Welfare Plans Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) indicated that it would begin enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Employer Shared Responsibility provisions (commonly known as the "Employer Mandate"). Last week, the IRS followed through on its promise and began mailing notices informing employers of potential...

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IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2018

By Mark Wilkins | October 23, 2017

Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans On October 19, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service released the 2018 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.  The Service also announced various other inflation adjustments in...

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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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