Legislative & Regulatory Updates

The IRS Paves the Way for More Preapproved Plans

On June 30, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Procedure 2017-41, which makes significant changes to the IRS’ opinion letter program for preapproved retirement plans. On the same day, the IRS issued the 2017 Cumulative List, which lists changes to the qualification requirements that are required to be taken into account in preapproved defined contribution plans that are submitted for opinion letters during the third six-year remedial amendment cycle.

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Round One in “Church Plan” Battles Goes to Healthcare Systems

On June 5, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued their 8-0 decision in Advocate Health Care Network et al. v. Stapleton et al., holding that ERISA’s exemption for a “church plan” includes a plan maintained by a church-associated organization the principal purpose of which is the maintenance of the plan. The petitioners described themselves as church-associated nonprofit healthcare systems that run hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

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The Rubbber Meets the Road for the Fiduciary Rule - Well, Almost

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) delayed fiduciary rule, which includes extensive changes to the definition of a "fiduciary" applicable to both individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and ERISA-governed plans, will generally become effective June 9, 2017.

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ASU 2017-09 - Providing Clarity to Modifications to Share-based Compensation Arrangements

In May 2017, the FASB issued Accounting Standards Update 2017-09, Scope of Modification Accounting, which amended Accounting Standards Code Topic 718.

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Numerous Hikes for HSA and HDHP Limits

On May 4, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service announced in Revenue Procedure 2017-37 the 2018 limits for contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and definitional limits for High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs).

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ACA Fees Still Apply: Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) Fee Payment Is Due July 31st

While the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was passed by the House of Representatives, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is still in effect and as such, the applicable PCORI fees are to be paid by July 31, 2017. 

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House Passes American Health Care Act: So Now What?

Eventually we may see the AHCA enacted with a few minor changes, or it may be a very different looking repeal and replace piece of legislation. Therefore, at this moment in time, employers and plan sponsors must recognize that the ACA is still the law of the land, and they should continue to act accordingly under all current ACA requirements.

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The 2017 Operational Compliance List - A Promised Tool from the IRS

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) handed sponsors of individually designed plans the second of two annual compliance tools on February 27, 2017, when it published the Operational Compliance List on its website.

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IRS: Forfeitures can fund QNECs and QMACs

On January 18, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") issued proposed regulations that amend the definitions of qualified matching contributions ("QMACs") and qualified nonelective contributions ("QNECs") so that they can be funded with plan forfeitures.

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Proposed New Funding Mortality Rates

On December 28, 2016, the IRS issued proposed regulations with new required mortality rates for defined benefit pension plans for funding purposes, effective starting in 2018. The proposed regulations don't address the mortality required for minimum lump sum calculations, but it is expected that the IRS will propose a unisex version of the new rates that will be effective in 2018 as well.

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What's New in Claims Procedures for Disability Benefits

The Department of Labor issued a final rule on December 16, 2016 that amends the claims procedure regulation for disability benefits claims. The aim of the new rule is to give disability benefit claimants the same level of procedural protections that group health benefit claimants have after the enactment of the Affordable Care Act.

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