Welfare Benefit Plan ERISA News
October 2016

 
Flex Contributions and Opt-Out Payments Under ACA

"Employers that offer flex contributions and/or opt-out payments face some unique issues in determining if the health coverage they offer to employees is affordable under the ACA's shared responsibility rules. Depending on how the program is structured, these contributions and payments can adversely affect affordability." (Xerox HR Services)

Can We Allow Laid-Off Employees to Spend Down Their Health FSAs Without Electing COBRA?
"QUESTION: Our company offers a calendar-year cafeteria plan with a health FSA funded through employee salary reductions. The health FSA is subject to COBRA, and our plan documents provide that health FSA coverage ends upon termination of employment. Before year-end, we expect to eliminate several positions at our company. Can we amend our plan to permit the laid-off employees with unused amounts remaining in their health FSAs to be reimbursed for eligible expenses incurred after their employment terminates, so that they can use up their account balances without electing COBRA?" (EBIA Weekly Newsletter)

Cybersecurity and the Role of ERISA Fiduciaries

"The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), protects plan participant benefits and account balances by imposing high standards of care on the plan's fiduciaries. Fiduciaries who do not follow these standards – most notably, the protection of participant personal and plan information – may be personally liable to restore losses to the plan. Recent technological advancements, especially in the area of cybersecurity, however, have only now become the focus of most ERISA fiduciaries. Due to the increasing frequency and sophistication of cyber-related threats to employee benefit plans, their trustees and third-party plan administrators and the potential financial repercussions, compliance with ERISA fiduciary standards will require implementation of a prudent cyber risk management strategy." (Pillsbury)

ACA Employer Compliance: Changes in 2017 Looming

"In addition to implementation of new regulations, employers entering the second year of compliance with ACA reporting requirements won't have some of the good faith and transitional relief that was available for 2015 reporting." (Bloomberg BNA)
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© 2017 ERISAPros, LLC, All rights reserved. Information on ERISAPros' website, its newsletter, “News & Views,” and its blog, “ERISA Wonk,” is published as a general informational source. Information and articles are general in nature and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice in any particular matter. Blog posts and comments reflect the personal views of their respective authors - not those of ERISAPros. Transmission of this information does not create an attorney-client relationship. ERISAPros, LLC is not a law firm and is not giving legal or tax advice. It does not warrant and is not responsible for errors or omissions in the content on its website or in its newsletters. ERISA is a complicated and confusing law. Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), Wrap Plan Documents, and Form 5500s require review and updating by qualified ERISA compliance professionals.

 

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