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4 Steps for Compliance with the New Disability Claims Procedures

January 16, 2018

Authors

Meredith Jacobowitz and Lisa Van Fleet

4 Steps for Compliance with the New Disability Claims Procedures

January 16, 2018

by: Meredith Jacobowitz and Lisa Van Fleet

Did you read our post “Work Now, Party Later,” advising you to do just that in response to the new Department of Labor rule governing disability claims procedures? If so—party on! If not, we hope you enjoyed your holiday celebrations, because it is now time to work.

On January 5, the Department of Labor announced its decision that the new disability claims procedure rules will take effect on April 1 of this year. Here is our suggested plan of attack for employers:

Step 1: Review our previous blog post to familiarize yourself with the new rules.

Step 2: Identify which of your plans offer disability benefits.

Remember to check both your ERISA qualified and nonqualified plans.

Step 3. Determine whether you need to amend your plan and/or SPD.

Under the new rules, participants who file a disability claim must receive an expanded explanation of their adverse

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Reimbursing Employees for Individual Health Insurance Policies Subjects Employers to Hefty Excise Taxes

December 4, 2014

Authors

benefitsbclp

Reimbursing Employees for Individual Health Insurance Policies Subjects Employers to Hefty Excise Taxes

December 4, 2014

by: benefitsbclp

What, you may ask? That’s right. It no longer works to reimburse employees for the purchase of an individual health insurance policy. I know, many of you have always done this. Well, not any longer under guidance issued under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Beginning with an IRS Notice issued in September 2013 and most recently in November 2014 DOL FAQs, the federal government has made it clear that this practice does not work under the ACA. While it flew under the radar for some, this rule became effective in 2014.

 

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Why, you may ask? When an employer reimburses an employee for an individual health insurance premium, or pays the premium directly to the insurer, it has (perhaps inadvertently) established a “group health plan” which is subject to the so-called

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Forget Spring – Government Audits Are In The Air!

May 1, 2014

Authors

Christy Phanthavong and Lisa Van Fleet

Forget Spring – Government Audits Are In The Air!

May 1, 2014

by: Christy Phanthavong and Lisa Van Fleet

Employers are all too familiar with the more common investigation efforts by government agencies, such as an EEOC investigation blossoming from a single employee Title VII or ADEA charge into an onsite investigation of purported pattern and practice violations, or HHS turning a self-reported breach into a broad review of HIPAA compliance.  But the government is increasingly expanding and using its investigation tools in less common areas.  Audits are in the air – are you ready?

Consider whether your policies, practices and files are in order on the following subjects:

  • Health Plan Audits under the Health Benefits Security Project (“HBSP”):  This audit initiative is part of the Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”) National Enforcement Projects.  It includes a broad range of healthcare investigations as well as enforcement of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). More specifically, EBSA will review plans for documentary and operational  compliance
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DOL Seeks Input on Guidance Regarding Lifetime Income Illustrations

May 13, 2013

Authors

benefitsbclp

DOL Seeks Input on Guidance Regarding Lifetime Income Illustrations

May 13, 2013

by: benefitsbclp

The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”) recently released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking  (“ANPR”) focusing on lifetime income illustrations that may be required to be provided to participants in defined contribution retirement plans (including 401(k) and 403(b) plans).  The impetus for the ANPR is the shift from the historical defined benefit (i.e., pension) structure to the defined contribution structure provided over the last several decades, and the corresponding need of employees to focus on the income they need to save to secure their retirement. The ANPR provides an opportunity for early input into the development of proposed regulations; comments will be accepted through July 8th. As described by Assistant Secretary of Labor Phyllis C. Borzi in the DOL’s news release,  EBSA hopes that providing defined contribution plan participants with “a lifetime income illustration might spur better planning for the future.”  EBSA’s goal is to illustrate for workers

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Fiduciary Fitness Requires Training, or At Least the DoL Thinks So

January 23, 2013

Authors

Chris Rylands

Fiduciary Fitness Requires Training, or At Least the DoL Thinks So

January 23, 2013

by: Chris Rylands

This recent post on the Plan Sponsor Council of America’s website states that the Department of Labor has recently requested evidence of fiduciary training as part of its audits. While there is no express ERISA requirement that fiduciaries be trained, the DoL seems to take the view that training is evidence of a fiduciary properly exercising his or her duty of prudence.  (It also happens to be one of our New Year’s Resolutions for fiduciaries too.)

The first step is deciding whom to include.  Basically, a fiduciary is (1) anyone with discretionary authority over the management or administration of an ERISA plan, (2) anyone with discretionary authority over the management or disposition of its assets, or (3) anyone who provides investment advice for a fee.  (Individuals in category (3) should have their own training already.)  Fiduciaries of the plan include the trustee, the plan

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