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 Challenges – Oral Arguments at the Supreme Court

By Benefits Notes Team | March 23, 2012

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans On Monday March 26th, almost exactly two years after its enactment on March 23, 2010, the United States Supreme Court will begin the first of three days of oral arguments relating to the health care reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“PPACA”). The Supreme Court agreed to hear six...

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Current Challenges and Best Practices for ERISA Compliance for 403(b) Plan Sponsors

By Angela Bohmann | March 22, 2012

Retirement Plans The Department of Labor recently posted the report of the ERISA Advisory Council on Current Challenges and Best Practices for ERISA Compliance for 403(b) Plan Sponsors. The report contains a good side by side comparison of 403(b) and 401(k) plans that may be of interest to plan sponsors eligible for both types of...

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Privacy and Security Issues Affecting Employee Benefit Plans

Retirement Plans The Department of Labor recently posted the report of the ERISA Advisory Council on Privacy and Security Issues Affecting Employee Benefit Plans. The report contains some good due diligence questions for plan sponsors to ask their service providers about privacy and security of personal identifiable information (PII),...

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Beware Unexpected Tax Consequences from Telecommuting

By Angela Bohmann | March 21, 2012

Compensation Questions, Payroll, Uncategorized, Welfare Plans Mary worked for IT, Inc. at its headquarters in Maryland. Her husband moved to New Jersey for his work and Mary moved with him. Mary continued to work for IT, Inc., writing computer code from her home in New Jersey and uploading her work to her co-workers in Maryland via the Internet. IT, Inc. withheld New Jersey...

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What if DOMA Is Declared Unconstitutional?

By Angela Bohmann | March 5, 2012

Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans Most employers are aware that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for federal law purposes, including federal tax and benefits law. For benefits governed by ERISA, this means that state laws that recognize same sex marriages are preempted. Although for...

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Can You Decline Medicare if You Take Social Security?

By Angela Bohmann | February 29, 2012

Health Plan The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently said no. A group of seniors, including former US House Majority Leader Dick Armey, had sued the federal government to be allowed to accept Social Security payments, but decline Medicare coverage. They preferred to keep their private coverage to...

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Unreasonably Low Compensation and FICA Taxes

Compensation Questions, Payroll In many cases where the IRS claims that compensation is not "reasonable," the focus is on whether the compensation is too high to be deductible by the employer. The arguments are often reversed in the S corporation context. Because there is only one level of tax in the S Corporation, some owners try to minimize the...

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Thoughts on the Longevity Annuity Guidance Issued by the IRS

By Angela Bohmann | February 23, 2012

IRAs, Retirement Plans I am of an age to be contemplating retirement (and I work in the field so that age may come sooner for me than for others).  My parents are both in their late 80s; I had a grandmother who died a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday.  So I have a personal interest in the risk of outliving one’s retirement...

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A Quirk in the Effective Date for the New Summary of Benefits and Coverage

Health Care Reform, Health Plan This is one of several posts we intend to make on the recently issued guidance on the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC).  This is the four (double sided, so actually eight) page uniform summary that will be required for group health plans, as well as for individual insurance policies.  It is intended to provide...

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Section 401(k) Compliance Check Questionnaire — Interim Report Issued

By Angela Bohmann | February 22, 2012

Retirement Plans Those of you interested in data regarding the prevalence of certain features in 401(k) plans may find of interest the Interim Report on the Section 401(k) Compliance Check Questionnaire.  This is the first report of the IRS on the extensive questionnaire that it sent to sponsors of 401(k) plans a year or so ago. ...

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