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

Labor Issues Q&As on Required Fee Disclosures to Participants

By Jeffrey Cairns | May 9, 2012

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans             Once the ERISA Section 408(b)(2) fee disclosures are made from covered service providers to plan fiduciaries, plan fiduciaries are required to relay fee information relating to designated investment alternatives to plan participants.  The Department of Labor issued final regulations in 2010...

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HSA/HDHP Limits for 2013

By Angela Bohmann | April 30, 2012

Cafeteria Plans, Health Plan The IRS has released the 2013 limits for Health Savings Account (HSA) contributions. The annual contribution limit for 2013 increases to $3,250 for an individual with self only coverage and $6,450 for an individual with family coverage from $3,100 and $6,250, respectively for 2012. The minimum annual deductible for a...

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How to Pay the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund Fee

By Angela Bohmann | April 25, 2012

Health Care Reform, Health Plan In previous blogs here, here and here, I discussed generally the recently published proposed regulations on which taxpayers may rely regarding the new fee imposed under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund. The fee is considered an excise tax...

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Counting Average Number of Participants for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund Fee

Health Care Reform, Health Plan As noted in my two earlier blogs here and here, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) imposes a new fee to fund a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute that will research effective medical treatments. The fee is paid by insurance companies for fully insured plans and by plan sponsors for...

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408(b) (2) Disclosures – That Wasn’t So Bad Was It?

By Jeffrey Cairns | April 24, 2012

Fiduciary Guidance, Health Plan, Welfare Plans Last week I received copies of the first new fiduciary fee disclosures required by final Department of Labor Regulations under ERISA Section 408(b) (2).  Fee disclosures were received from Fidelity Investments and Prudential Financial, providers to two client retirement plans.  The details of the required...

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Which Employer Plans are Required to Pay the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund Fee?

Health Care Reform, Health Plan This is the second blog post discussing the recently proposed regulations (on which taxpayers can rely) on the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund fee. The first post is here. This new fee, required to fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute, is imposed under the Patient Protection and...

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After 20 Years the IRS Issues COBRA Examination Guidelines

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans             In 1993, the IRS assembled a task force to develop guidelines for field agents to conduct COBRA examinations and compliance checks.  However, these guidelines were not released to the general public.  More recently, the IRS updated those guidelines to reflect certain changes in the laws that...

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IRS Issues Guidance on New Health Care Reform Fee

By Angela Bohmann | April 23, 2012

Health Care Reform, Health Plan Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) issuers of certain health insurance policies and plan sponsors of certain self-funded health plans must pay a fee to fund a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund. This trust fund will be used to allow the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute...

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Another Way to be Hit with Withdrawal Liability

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Multi-employer Plans, Retirement Plans Employers who participate in multiemployer pension funds know that if they withdraw from those funds they may be required to pay withdrawal liability if the plan is underfunded. Employers who sell their assets to an unrelated buyer can avoid that withdrawal liability if the buyer agrees to assume an obligation to...

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Are your 401(k) participant plan loans in compliance with the tax and ERISA rules?

By Jeffrey Cairns | April 9, 2012

Fiduciary Guidance, Form 5500s, Retirement Plans   According to the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), one out of every four (25%) of 401(k) plans surveyed in a recent study had engaged in prohibited transactions as a result of non-compliant participant plan loans and/or real estate investments that were not...

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