Author: Trucker Huss

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 […]

Keeping COBRA Notices Compliant in an Ever-Changing Landscape

JAHIZ NOEL AGARD, November 24, 2020  2020 has presented several issues requiring urgent attention for employers who sponsor group health plans, including a need to update the notices required under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA), in particular the general (or initial) notice and the continuation coverage election (or enrollment) notice. This […]

A Pecuniary Focus: Department of Labor Issues Final Rule on Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments

ROBER R. GOWER, November 12, 2020  On October 30, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule (the “Final Rule”) amending the investment duties regulation under Section 404(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The significant and much-anticipated Final Rule updates the existing investment duties regulation framework to provide […]

Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans Must Be Amended by December 31, 2020, to Remove Mandatory Payment Delays due to 162(m) Nondeductibility

J. MARC FOSSE, October 8, 2020  The amendments to section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) can create a payment trap for nonqualified deferred compensation plans with a mandatory payment delay of amounts that are not deductible under Code section 162(m). The proposed Treasury Regulations under […]

New Proposed Rule Regarding Grandfathered Plans

SARAH KANTER, October 8, 2020  A new proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”), released by the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS) (the “Departments”) on July 10, 2020, would permit grandfathered group health plans and grandfathered group health insurance coverage (“grandfathered plans”) to make greater increases to certain types of cost-sharing requirements […]

The Importance of Including Exhaustion Requirements in Plan Documents: Taking a Closer Look at the Sixth Circuit’s Decision in Wallace v. Oakwood Healthcare, Inc.

 ANGEL L. GARRETT, August 27, 2020  A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reminds plan fiduciaries once again of the importance of including claims and appeals procedures and administrative exhaustion language in their plans. See Wallace v. Oakwood Healthcare, Inc., 954 F.3d 879 (6th Cir. 2020). Often, plan fiduciaries […]

IRS Guidance on Coronavirus-Related Distributions and Plan Loans

BRYAN J. CARD, August 27, 2020  On June 19, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2020-50 (the “Notice”), which provided much needed guidance on Section 2202 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). Section 2202 of the CARES Act provides economic relief to certain individuals who have been […]

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