Posts Categorized: Welfare Benefits

Illinois Civil Unions

in Health Benefits, Welfare Benefits

Effective June 1, 2011, both same gender and opposite gender civil unions are permitted in Illinois.  A link to the bill – SB 1716 – is appended below.  It’s time to dust off those domestic partner and marriage policies for health plans. http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/96/SB/PDF/09600SB1716enr.pdf

Revised Red Flags Rule

in Cafeteria Plans, Welfare Benefits

This week President Obama signed revised red flags rule legislation designed to exempt professionals and “other service providers” from the FTC Red Flags Rule.  It is unclear if this new legislation will change its application to health FSAs and HRAs that utilize debit cards.  The FTC website indicates that it is updating its guidance and will update the website when that process is complete.  In the interim, you can review the application of the Red Flags Rule for employee benefits, by reviewing our Legal Alert:  http://bit.ly/i5YOSm

Transit Benefit Extension Approved

in Tax Issues, Welfare Benefits

Last night the House approved the extension of the current income tax rates and unemployment insurance benefits. President Obama is expected to sign the bill today or tomorrow. The bill includes an extension of the transit-parking parity rules for another year. Thus, for 2011 the parking and the mass transit limit will now be $230 per month. The extension of the parity rules begins to apply January 1, 2011. See, Section 727 of the attached bill:  http://www.rules.house.gov/111/LegText/111_satohr4853_txt.pdf

Transit Benefit Extension

in Tax Issues, Welfare Benefits

The current transit benefit of $230 per month expires at the end of this month, and the transit benefit reverts back to its prior limit of $120 per month. The legislation to extend the current income tax rates and unemployment insurance benefits is currently being drafted in the Senate. This legislation also extends the increased transit benefit of $230 per month through December 31, 2011. The legislation is expected to be voted on in the Senate early next week, and thereafter addressed by the House.

All Quiet in DC this Week

in Health Benefits, Retiree Benefits, Welfare Benefits

Now that the set of Transformers 3 has moved out of DC, it is fairly quite this week.  It appears that everyone is digging out from the avalanche of Affordable Care Act guidance, and waiting for the elections in two weeks.  As you are updating your enrollment guides and summary plan descriptions, and drafting plan document amendments, keep in mind that plaintiffs lawyers love obscurity and inconsistency.  The best way to draft any plan language is to be clear and consistent among your enrollment guides, summary plan descriptions and plan documents.