Showing 11 posts by Carl C. Lammers.
Are You Withholding Too Much on Nonqualified Deferred Compensation?
If you have a nonqualified deferred compensation plan for select employees, you are probably aware that benefit payments under a properly structured plan are generally not taxable for income tax purposes until the payments are received by the employee. Read More ›
If you keep tabs on employer group health plan litigation, you have perhaps noticed a substantial increase in lawsuits over plans denying coverage for various types of out-of-network residential treatment and "wilderness therapy" benefits during the last 18 months. Read More ›
The IRS finalized the proposed rules in mid-July. If you have not already done so, now is a good time to consider amending your plan to allow the use of forfeitures for funding safe harbor contributions, QNECs, and QMACs. Read More ›
Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Expanding Access to More Affordable Health Insurance for Small Employers and Sole Proprietors
Department of Labor (DOL) published its Final Rule, adding the new Section 2510.3-5 to CFR Title 29. This new section, promulgated in response to President Trump’s Executive Order 13813, provides an expanded definition of “employer” under Section 3(5) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which will change the regulatory requirements for Association Health Plans (AHPs) and likely reduce the cost of providing health care coverage to the association’s members. However, AHPs structured to meet the criteria under the DOL’s sub-regulatory guidance in place prior to the Final Rule can continue under the prior rules, which required a much closer organizational relationship and prohibited coverage of owner employees. Read More ›
Employers: Prepare to Address Disability Claims Under all Types of Benefit Plans Differently, Effective April 1, 2018
Beginning April 1, 2018, employers will need to be prepared to address Department of Labor (DOL) final regulations expanding the requirements for claims based on a “disability” under a wide variety of benefit plans. Any ERISA-covered benefit plan that provides a different right to participants who meet a definition of disability—for example, faster vesting, sharing in a year-end retirement allocation despite low active work hours, or receipt of disability income-replacement benefits—will be impacted by these new rules. Plan sponsors will need to review their plan documents and summary plan descriptions (SPDs) to modify written claims procedures, and, most important, must be ready to address disability decisions in operation in compliance with the new rules very quickly. Read More ›
October 12, 2017, was an eventful day for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) because of two executive orders issued by President Trump. While the orders lack detail, if they survive court challenges, they will have harmful effects on the ACA. The first order will likely have a more direct impact on employer sponsored group health plans, with the second having indirect effects. Read More ›
Open enrollment for employer-sponsored health and welfare benefits comes every year, usually with little fanfare as employers generally have a system in place to seamlessly handle enrollments. This changed with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, but now seven years later, employers again mostly have open enrollment standardized. This year brings a new challenge – the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) document that was created by the ACA has undergone its first major restructuring since 2012 when employers were first required to provide the SBC. The new SBC template must be used for open enrollments that occur on or after April 1, 2017. For calendar year plans, the upcoming 2018 open enrollment is the first open enrollment where the new SBC templates must be used. Read More ›
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released final regulations on Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in May 2016. Section 1557 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability by any entity that operates a health program or activity, any part of which receives federal financial assistance. This includes entities which provide, administer, or assist in obtaining health-related services or health-related insurance coverage. Read More ›
Payments under an Opt-Out Arrangement are included in the Health Coverage Affordability Calculation unless the arrangement is an "Eligible Opt-Out Arrangement." Read More ›
At the end of July 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (collectively, Agencies) jointly issued proposed revisions to the Form 5500 annual report. The proposed revisions, if implemented, would affect 5500 filings for both retirement and welfare benefit plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA). Plan sponsors and service providers won't be required to comply with the changes until preparing Form 5500s for the 2019 plan year. Read More ›
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Alison M. Stemler is FBT’s Employee Benefits Team leader. She advises on executive compensation and employee benefits plans, including equity-based and deferred compensation arrangements, and assists with compliance issues for retirement and welfare plans and HIPAA.