Significantly More Information to Be Collected Under the Proposed Form 5500

in Welfare Benefits

Extensive changes to the annual information return for employee benefit plans are being proposed and can be found here.  If adopted, the changes would be effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2019.  The revisions affecting pension plans, and details regarding changes to Schedules H and I that affect funded plans (such as those with VEBAs), are not addressed here.  With respect to group health plans, the main changes would include:

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations under Sections 457(f) and 409A

in Executive Compensation, Section 409A, Tax Exempt Entities, Tax Issues

On June 22, 2016, the IRS issued long-awaited proposed regulations on Section 457(f) plans, as well as additional proposed regulations under Section 409A.  As expected, the Section 457(f) rules have many similarities to the existing Section 409A rules; however, there are some welcome differences including the possibility of a noncompete agreement creating a substantial risk of forfeiture for purposes of Section 457(f).  While the proposed rules under Section 409A include several welcome...Continue Reading

Proposed Rules for Expatriate Health Plan and Certain Excepted Benefits under ACA

in Affordable Care Act, Health Benefits

Newly proposed regulations address the application of the Affordable Care Act to expatriate health plans (whether insured or self-insured), travel insurance and certain other excepted benefits, effective for plan years beginning on and after January 1, 2017.  These regulations include proposed conforming amendments relating to the Expatriate Health Coverage Clarification Act of 2014 (EHCCA) which generally exempts expatriate health plans from many of the ACA requirements.  The proposed...Continue Reading

End of Determination Letter Program: Nearly a Year Later, the Future is Still Uncertain

in IRS Examinations, Qualified Plans, Retirement Plans

It has been nearly a year since the IRS generated shockwaves in the retirement plan community by announcing its intention to end its regular, periodic determination letter program for qualified retirement plans due to budget constraints. (See our previous posts on the end of the regular determination letter process here and here.) The Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities’ 2016 Report of Recommendations (“Advisory Committee Report”), released on June 8, 2016, shows...Continue Reading

Certain Mental Health/Substance Abuse Plan Provisions Raise Red Flags

in Health Benefits, Wellness Programs

The Department of Labor has provided sample mental health/substance abuse (MH/SA) plan provisions that require scrutiny to determine compliance with the federal Mental Health Parity rules (MHPAEA).  Here are some common red flags:

Pre-Authorization or Pre-Service Notification requirements

- Blanket requirements for all MH/SA services

- Review required following a certain number of days of in-patient treatment

- Medical necessity and prescription drug reviews that differ from those imposed...Continue Reading