Posts Categorized: Welfare Benefits

House Tax Bill Would Terminate Popular Welfare and Fringe Benefit Plans

in Tax Issues, Welfare Benefits, Wellness Programs

The Senate is back in session this week.  One of the most important items is the vote on the Senate’s version of 2017 tax reform.  As background, the House has already passed its 2017 tax reform bill.  The Senate’s version was approved by the Senate Finance Committee prior to Thanksgiving Break.  Now, it’s up to the full Senate to pass its tax reform bill, and if it does, then both the House and the Senate versions will be taken up by a joint House/Senate committee to craft a compromise bill that both the House and the Senate will vote on… Continue Reading

Tax Reform Contains Drastic Welfare Plan Changes

in Tax Issues, Welfare Benefits

As you may have heard, the House and Senate are currently considering separate tax reform bills.  If these separate bills are approved by the House and Senate, they will then go to a conference committee, whereby a single, unified bill will be drafted, and the House and Senate will vote again to approve the unified bill. The current version of the House bill, which was approved today on a vote of 227 to 205, contains drastic welfare plan changes, including the elimination of dependent care reimbursement plans, and changes to the taxation of tuition reimbursement plans, adoption reimbursement plans, and… Continue Reading

Updated: IRS, PBGC and DOL Provide Additional Hurricane and Wildfire Relief

in Qualified Plans, Retiree Benefits, Retirement Plans, Welfare Benefits

Updated November 21, 2017 By: Sterling Perkinson and Harrison Taylor The IRS issued an announcement paralleling the relief granted to Hurricane Harvey victims to those in Florida affected by Hurricane Irma.  Announcement 2017-13 (the “Announcement”) relaxes hardship distribution standards for employees who live or work in a Florida county designated by FEMA to receive funds on account of Hurricane Irma, or who have family, such as parents, grandparents, children or grandchildren or dependents with a principal residence in an affected county. The full list of affected Florida counties can be found here. See our prior blog post on Hurricane Harvey… Continue Reading

New Disability Regulations: Wait-and-See or Move Forward?

in Disability Plans, Welfare Benefits

On December 19, 2016, the DOL issued final regulations modifying the claims procedures for adverse determinations relating to disability claims under ERISA. Most of the changes mirror the additional disclosure requirements that apply to health plan claims under the Affordable Care Act.  To allow employers, insurers and claims administrators time to comply, the final regulations apply to claims for benefits filed on or after January 1, 2018. At the end of July, the DOL announced that it is reviewing these new regulations “for questions of law and policy.” For those who administer ERISA plans, the uncertainty is unwelcome because decisions… Continue Reading

Eating Disorders and Information Requests under the MHPAEA

in Health Benefits, Welfare Benefits

On June 16, a new FAQ was released and additional steps were taken towards increasing disclosures to participants with respect to mental health/substance abuse benefits.  The FAQ confirms that eating disorders are a mental health condition and, therefore, the treatment of eating disorders is a mental health benefit under MHPAEA.  The Departments also requested comments on whether additional clarification is needed on how MHPAEA applies to this treatment. Perhaps of more consequence to plan administrators, the Departments also released a draft form that can be used by participants and their authorized representatives to request information regarding available mental health/substance abuse… Continue Reading