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

Health Care Reform – What if it is Struck Down?

By Jeffrey Cairns | June 12, 2012

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans             There has been much discussion and blogging about different possible outcomes from the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, it is only recently that we are starting to see articles analyzing the effect that a complete repeal might have. If the Supreme Court...


Not All Courts Agree With The Eighth Circuit

By Angela Bohmann | June 4, 2012

Deferred Compensation and 409A, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Executive Compensation I blogged recently about an Eighth Circuit decision concluding that an agreement with a single employee cannot be an ERISA plan because a plan necessarily requires more than one participant. Other courts disagree. Recently the United States District Court for the District of Idaho in the case of Knoll v. Moreton...


Top Hat Plan Benefits Can Be Garnished

Deferred Compensation and 409A, Executive Compensation, Payroll In a recent District Court decision, a court held that non-qualified deferred compensation benefits being paid  to a participant under a “top hat” plan could be garnished by the participant’s creditor. Employers who sponsor plans covered by ERISA know that creditors cannot garnish a participant’s benefits...


IRS Issues Guidance on $2,500 Limit on Health FSAs

Cafeteria Plans, Health Care Reform Under the Health Care Reform Act, health flexible spending arrangements under cafeteria plans are limited to $2,500 in salary reduction contributions beginning in 2013. Employers with plan years that were not calendar years have been wondering how the limit would be applied. The IRS has now issued guidance in the form...


FAQs Issued on Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008

By Angela Bohmann | June 1, 2012

Health Plan The Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services have the responsibility to administer and enforce the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008. The Departments recently issued two sets of FAQs, describing the guidance issued under the Act and restating some of that guidance in an...


FAQs Issued on the Summary of Benefits in Coverage

Health Care Reform, Health Plan The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury have jointly issued another set of FAQs on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the health care reform law. These are part nine of FAQs issued on different PPACA topics. This particular set discusses the Summary of Benefits and...


IRS Issues Guidance on W-2 Reporting of Health Care Coverage

By Angela Bohmann | May 30, 2012

Health Care Reform, Payroll The IRS issued recently FAQs relating to W-2 reporting of employer-provided health care coverage, a health care reform requirement that employers must first meet for the 2012 calendar year. We have previously discussed these requirements [Link to earlier health care reform posts]. These FAQs largely restate prior...


Short Term Disability Plan as a Payroll Practice

By Angela Bohmann | May 16, 2012

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Welfare Plans I blogged recently about an Eighth Circuit decision where the court concluded that a deferred compensation agreement with a single employee did not constitute an ERISA plan. I warned employers that courts do not always accept an employer’s characterization of a plan or program as being covered by ERISA. Another...


Texting Can Cause HIPAA Violations

Health Plan The Office for Civil Rights, which is the arm of the Department of Health and Human Services that enforces HIPAA privacy and security rules, recently announced the settlement of an enforcement action against a small cardiothoracic surgery practice. The practice reportedly posted protected health information (PHI) on...


What is a Trade or Business and Why Does It Matter?

Multi-employer Plans, Retirement Plans If an employer withdraws from a multiemployer plan and is assessed withdrawal liability, all members of the employer’s controlled group are liable for that assessment. The controlled group rules look at the extent of common ownership among various trades or businesses, whether or not incorporated. The determination...