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 Benefits Notes Posts

IRS Clarifies Medicare Premium Deductions for Sole Proprietors, Partners and S Corporation Shareholder-Employees

By Angela Bohmann | July 31, 2012

Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan, Payroll Sole proprietors, partners (including LLC members) and two percent shareholders in an S corporation are not treated as “employees” for purposes of certain benefits. Among those benefits is employer provided health insurance coverage. While employer subsidies for health coverage are generally excluded from the...

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DOL Publishes Submission Procedures for Employers to Report Delinquent Service Providers

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans As we have blogged before (here and here), certain service providers to qualified plans are required to provide plan administrators with fee disclosures. The initial disclosures were due July 1, 2012. The Department of Labor has now published a new mailing address and web based procedures for employers and plan...

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It is Always Good to Follow the Plan’s Claims Procedure in Denying a Claim

By Angela Bohmann | July 30, 2012

Compensation Questions, Deferred Compensation and 409A, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Executive Compensation A recent Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision involved high ranking executives who participated in a company’s long-term incentive plan. Under the plan agreements, executives who did not continue employment for a three year performance period forfeited benefits under the plan unless they qualified for a...

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Participants Are Entitled to Specific Information About Their Service Credit Even Before They Are Entitled to Their Pensions

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Retirement Plans In a recent federal district court case, Whirlpool Corporation closed a factory and notified a number of former employees about the status of their pensions, including their years of credited service. The corporation’s records differed from the service records maintained by the union. Approximately five years after...

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IRS Issues Q&As on Collection of Additional Medicare Tax in 2013

Health Care Reform, Payroll The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provided a number of new taxes to help finance the new health care law. One such tax is an additional Medicare tax on high earners that takes effect for tax years beginning after 2012. To assist taxpayers and employers in implementing the collection of the new...

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Self-Compliance Tool for HIPAA and Other Health Care Related Provisions

By Angela Bohmann | July 27, 2012

Health Care Reform, Health Plan The Department of Labor recently updated its self-compliance tool for plan sponsors and plan administrators of group health plans. The self-compliance tool contains questions relating to requirements on issues such as limitations on preexisting conditions, certificates of creditable coverage, special enrollment...

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President Signs Highway Funding Bill

By Jeffrey Cairns | July 12, 2012

Retirement Plans On June 29, 2012, Congress passed a highway funding bill (H.R. 4348) which includes as a funding source, certain pension funding stabilization provisions. The impact of the pension changes would be to increase the segment rates used to calculate liability and normal costs for purposes of determining minimum required...

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Key Provisions of the Affordable Care Act Upheld by U.S. Supreme Court

By Jeffrey Cairns | July 2, 2012

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans             Last Thursday, June 28, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (the “Affordable Care Act” or “Act”) is constitutional paving the way for final implementation of its provisions....

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Stuck Between the IRS and the NLRB

By Angela Bohmann | June 26, 2012

Retirement Plans Employers who sponsor 401(k) plans know that distributions from those plans can be made only on certain allowable events, such as separation from service. While an employee is still employed, distributions can be made after age 59½ or as a result of financial hardship. Defined benefit pension plans face similar...

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If the Tax Withholding is Wrong, Don’t Rely on the Employer to Fix it

By Angela Bohmann | June 25, 2012

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Payroll, Retirement Plans Verizon Communications, Inc. sponsored a number of plans for its foreign employees. These employees were citizens of foreign countries who never worked in the United States. Because these employees never worked or resided in the United States, their employment income and the benefits from their retirement plans were...

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