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Post-Holiday Gift – ACA Reporting Deadlines Relaxed for 2016

Post-Holiday Gift – ACA Reporting Deadlines Relaxed for 2016

December 29, 2015

Authored by: benefitsbclp

We have been shouting the ACA reporting compliance deadlines from the rooftops for months now.  Well, I guess it is a case of the “boy who cried wolf”.  At the eleventh hour, the IRS has caved to a slew of complaints, concerns and continuing questions about the new (and complex) ACA reporting requirements and given employers a post-holiday present in the form of IRS Notice 2016-4.   But is it too little too late? The Notice relaxes the current deadlines for those who are not ready to file (or still have unanswered questions preventing them from filing).  Specifically, the Notice provides:

  • an automatic 60-day extension for furnishing Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to employees, and
  • an automatic three-month extension for filing the required forms with the IRS.

By “automatic”, we mean that no action is required (and nothing needs to be sent to the IRS) to avail yourself

Reacting to Our Failure to Effect Sound Retirement Policy

December 11, 2015

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Reacting to Our Failure to Effect Sound Retirement Policy

December 11, 2015

Authored by: benefitsbclp

Puzzle PiecesEver since ERISA was first promulgated, and notwithstanding consequential economic, societal and demographic changes, efforts at improving the nation’s employer-based retirement structure have had fits and starts mostly due to the failure of Congress and the Nation to revisit retirement policy in a meaningful way. A cynic (or maybe a pragmatist) would surely believe that Congress’ part in failing focuses primarily on using the retirement system as a tool to exact revenue for the federal treasury, contrary to policies that enhance tax advantages for retirement saving. The smoke and mirrors of Congressional budgeting lead to intentional ignorance of most of the impact of long-term revenue from the retirement system.(To say nothing of changes to the Social Security system, which is beyond the scope of this piece.)

ERISA was a wonderfully crafted and meaningful

DOL’s Proposed Amendments to the Claims Procedure For Plans Providing Disability Benefits

Recently, the DOL released proposed amendments to the current procedural rules for employees claiming disability benefits under an ERISA plan. The proposed rules enhance existing procedures, mirror the procedural protections for claimants contained in the PHS 2719 Final Rule, and update the ERISA claims procedures (set forth in ERISA Section 503) to align with these standards.

Summaries of the major provisions follow:

  • Independence and Impartiality – avoiding conflicts of interest. All claims must be adjudicated in a manner which ensures that the persons making the decision are independent and impartial. The proposed rules specify that this independence and impartiality requirement mandates that decisions involving the hiring, compensation, termination, promotion, or similar matters of individuals making claims-related decisions, such as a claims adjudicator or medical experts, cannot be made based on the likelihood that the individual will support the denial of disability benefits.
  •  Enhanced
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