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February 3, 2010

Medicare Part D Reminder: Annual Disclosure Notice to CMS

Group health plans are required to submit an annual report to CMS describing whether the prescription drug coverage is creditable or not creditable. This filing must be accomplished electronically, and is due within 60 days of the beginning of the plan year. For calendar year plans, this means March 2, 2010.

February 3, 2010

Timing of Taking the COBRA Subsidy Credit

The IRS issued an FAQ (Reporting and Disclosure, RD-6) relating to the timing of reporting credit for payment of the COBRA subsidy premium.  If a COBRA premium, subject to the COBRA subsidy, is paid in 2010 for coverage in 2009, the employer may claim the credit for the related premium subsidy on Form 941 for either:

January 7, 2010

COBRA Subsidy Extended

Congress has given plan administrators and COBRA continuees a Christmas present in the form of extending the COBRA subsidy that is part of theDepartment of Defense Appropriations Act of 2010 (“DOD Act”, HR 3326).  President Obama signed this Act on December 19, 2009. 

January 7, 2010

Extension of Deadline to Adopt Certain Retirement Plan Amendments

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (“PPA”, Public Law 109-280) as subsequently amended by the Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (“WRERA”, Public Law 110-458), require several changes to qualified plans.  Many of these changes were required to have been made by December 31, 2009 for calendar year plans. 

January 7, 2010

Updated IRS Publications

The IRS has recently updated several publications that may be of interest to employers:

January 7, 2010

Delayed Effective Date for Debit/Credit/Smart Cards Used for Qualified Transportation Expenses

According to IRS Notice 2009-95, the effective date for usingdebit or credit cards, or other smart cards, to pay for qualified transportation expenses, has been extended for one year, to January 1, 2011.  The reason for the delay is to allow additional time for certain transit systems to modify their technology and make it compatible with the requirements of transit vouchers.  In the interim, individuals may rely upon the 2006 guidance (seeSmartcards and Debit Cards Allowed for Qualified Transportation Expenses, Benefit Beat, December 2006).

January 7, 2010

2009 Form M-1 Filing

The DOL has released the 2009 edition of the Form M-1 Filing Packet.  If you sponsored a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) in 2009, make certain that you file the Form M-1 annual report by March 1, 2010 (an automatic 60-day extension to May 3, 2010 can be requested). 

January 7, 2010

IRS Provides Relief for NQDC Plan Document Failures

Code Section 409A governs taxation of nonqualified deferred compensation.  It provides specific rules relating to funding and distribution (also see409A Documentation Limited Relief from the Oct 2007 Benefit Beat).  The IRS just issued Notice 2010-6, providing a voluntary document correction program for failures occurring in these plans. 

December 3, 2009

Form 5500 Updates

Schedule C Guidance

December 3, 2009

IRS Pilot Project Aims to Reduce Identity Theft

In an effort to address identity theft issues, the IRS and Treasury Department have started a 2-year pilot project for 2009-2010 (IRS Notice 2009-93), that would permit, but not require, the use of a truncated Social Security Number (SSN) number on paper copies of the Form 1098 series, the Form 1099 series, and the Form 5498 series.  The pilot project is only available for paper filings of these types of payee statements.  It would allow SSNs, or other 9-digit IRS tax identifying number, to be truncated by replacing the first five digits of the 9-digit number with asterisks or Xs (for example, a social security number 123-45-6789 would appear on the paper payee statement as ***-**-6789 or XXX-XX-6789).

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