Understanding Employee Benefits

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans

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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 summarizes the 2016 retirement plan limits and other benefit plan limits. ... Read More

Topics: Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans

Business As Usual: Supreme Court Upholds ACA Subsidies

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The United States Supreme Court recently held in King v. Burwell that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) permits individuals to receive health insurance premium subsidies through federally-facilitated exchanges (in addition to state-based exchanges). Because this decision is consistent with existing agency interpretation, the decision has little direct effect on employer-sponsored... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare 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

Standard of Review is Important – Again

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I recently blogged about the importance the standard of review can make when a court decides whether a claims decision made under an employer plan will be upheld. My recent blog post dealt with the standard of review under a top-hat plan, a plan for executives. Another recent case makes... Read More

Topics: Welfare Plans

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND AICPA COMMENT ON DEFICIENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLAN AUDITS

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At a recent American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (”AICPA”) conference, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration reportedly commented that the ERISA benefit plan audits are deficient in over 1/3 of the audits they receive according to their recent survey of filings. In... Read More

Topics: Fiduciary Guidance, Form 5500s, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans