Author: Trucker Huss

Delay of Some Key Provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the Affordable Care Act’s Transparency Requirements

MARY E. POWELL, August 31, 2021  On August 20, 2021, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury (collectively, the Departments), issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding the implementation of certain provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Fortunately, several of the most complicated […]

Internal Revenue Service Updates the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System under Revenue Procedure 2021–30

T. KATURI KAYE and NICOLAS DEGUINES, August, 2021  On July 16, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2021-30, an updated version of the Employee Plans Comp­liance Resolution System (EPCRS), which we will refer to in this article as the “EPCRS Update.” This article summarizes the significant changes and revisions made by the […]

IRS Guidance on COBRA Premium Assistance — What We Know Now

SARAH KANTER, July, 2021  After the passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) and release of DOL model notices and FAQs on April 7, 2021, employers and other plan sponsors were still left with many open questions regarding the implementation of COBRA premium assistance. The IRS provided clarity to many of these […]

Mitigating Fiduciary Risk: Lessons Learned About the Prudent Person Rule After Fifteen Years of Fee Litigation

DYLAN D. RUDOLPH and ROBERT R. GOWER, July, 2021  The uptick in lawsuits now commonly referred to as “excessive fee” fiduciary breach litigation began on September 11, 2006, when a St. Louis firm, Schlichter Bogard & Denton, filed its initial tranche of lawsuits against the fiduciaries of multiple large corporate 401(k) plans. In the fifteen […]

IRS Q&As Clarify COVID-19 Partial Plan Termination Relief

BRYAN J. CARD, June, 2021  On April 27, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published guidance in the form of five questions and answers (the “Q&A Guidance”) on the partial plan termination relief provided under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “Act”), which was signed into law on December 27, 2020. This partial plan termination […]

Ninth Circuit Approves ERISA Forum Selection Clauses

NICOLAS  DEGUINES and R. BRADFORD HUSS, June, 2021  The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in the recent case of In re Becker, No. 20-72805, 2021 WL 1219745 (9th Cir. Apr. 1, 2021), upheld the use of forum selection clauses in Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) governed plans as […]

DOL Issues New Cybersecurity Guidance — What Plans and Service Providers Need to Know

JENNIFER WONG and NICOLAS DEGUINES, April 29, 2021  On April 14, 2021, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) issued its first cybersecurity guidance for plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, recordkeepers, and plan participants.1 Intended to complement EBSA’s regulations on electronic records and disclosures to plan participants and beneficiaries, the guidance is comprised […]

Participant Data: Plan Asset or Fair Game for Recordkeepers to Use to Market Non-Plan Products?

CATHERINE REAGAN and R. BRADFORD HUSS, April 29, 2021   In an emerging theory of liability, plan fiduciaries’ treatment of participants’ personal data is coming under scrutiny. Over the last five years, we have seen how the collection of many individuals’ personal data can become a valuable asset in the right hands — whether it’s used […]

American Rescue Plan Act: COBRA Subsidy Relief and Dependent Care FSA Limit Increase

ELIZABETH LOH, March 18, 2021     On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”). This $1.9 trillion legislative package provides significant pandemic relief. This article focuses on the COBRA continuation coverage subsidy relief, as well as increased Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account (“Dependent Care FSA”) relief provided under […]

New FAQs Clarify Coverage Requirements for COVID-19 Testing and Vaccines

MARY E. POWELL and SARAH KANTER, March 1, 2021   On February 26, 2021, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services (HHS) and Treasury (collectively the “Departments”) released FAQs About Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) Implementation Part 44 (the “FAQs”).1 These FAQs […]

Outbreak Extension Period — When Does It End?

MARY E. POWELL and SARAH KANTER, March 1, 2021   On February 26, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01 (“2021 Relief Notice”)1, which explains how employee benefit plans must administer the end date of the tolling period for certain plan deadlines due to the COVID-19 national […]

An Overview of the Group Health Plan Provisions of the Consolidated Appropriations Act and the Final Transparency in Coverage Regulations

MARY E. POWELL and SARAH KANTER, January 29, 2021   The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the CAA) contains numerous provisions that impact group health plans. At a high level, these CAA provisions can be broken into three main categories: (1) reducing Out-of-Network (OON) costs for enrollees, (2) providing transparency regarding costs, and (3) permissive changes that […]

Retirement Plan Relief in Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

T. KATURI KAYE and CATHERINE L. REAGAN, January 14, 2021   Signed by the President in December, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) combines COVID-19 stimulus relief with a number of year-end appropriations bills, and it includes numerous provisions that will impact retirement plans. The retirement plan relief provisions in the CAA are divided between (1) […]

Flexible Spending Account Relief in Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

MARY E. POWELL and ELIZABETH LOH, January 6, 2021  In December, the President signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), which combines COVID-19 stimulus relief with a number of year-end appropriations bills. The CAA contains numerous provisions that will impact health and welfare plans. The provisions of the CAA that need immediate attention are the […]

Supreme Court to Decide on ERISA Preemption of State Law Regulating Prescription Drug Pricing

CLARISSA A. KANG, November 24, 2020  One of the cases heard by eight justices of the Supreme Court (after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died and before Justice Amy Coney Barrett was appointed and sworn in), Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association involves the question of whether ERISA preempts or supersedes an Arkansas state law governing […]

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