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

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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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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