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February 6, 2008
Benefit Plan Eligibility: Your Opportunity to Clean House
It is always very important, whether a retirement plan, or a welfare benefit plan, and if a welfare benefit plan, whether the plan is insured or self-funded, that plan officials make certain that all terms and conditions of the plan are followed. Failure to follow the terms and conditions of a plan can result in plan disqualification; of particular note, is eligibility for plan benefits.
FMLA Brings Benefits to Military Families
On January 28, 2008, President Bush signed a law (National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2008, Public Law 110-181) that, in part, broadens the benefits available under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) specifically for employees who have family members called or ordered to active military service.
January 10, 2008
New Proposed Regulations
Retiree Health and Age Discrimination…the Final Scene?
On December 26, 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final regulations supporting the long-standing practice of coordinating retiree health benefits with Medicare. This matter was challenged several years ago in the Erie County case (see Retiree Health Coordination on the Move Again?, Retiree Health Rules Rolling Again, and Coordination of Retiree Health Benefits with Medicare). Since then, the pendulum has swung back and forth. While it may still be swinging, its arc is short and slow.
New Medicare Reporting Obligations
As part of the Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP Extension Act of 2007 (S. 2499) signed into law by President Bush on December 29, 2007, a new Medicare secondary payor reporting rule is imposed, primarily on insurers and third party administrators (TPAs).
December 6, 2007
Enforcement of Revised Form I-9
The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) recently announced that all US employers must begin using a revised Form I-9 for all newly hired employees, and for all employees whose status requires re-verification. The I-9 Form has been revised to bring it into compliance with existing regulations. According to USCIS, this new form is the only form that should be used, beginning on or after 11/7/07. If this Form is not used after 12/26/07, then penalties may be assessed.
IRS Issues Model 403(b) Plan
In July, 2007, the final 403(b) regulations were issued. These regulations require that all 403(b) plans be governed by a written plan document. Often, plans exempt from ERISA have not maintained a written plan document governing their programs.
PPA Notices…Re-Visited Again!
The IRS and Treasury have been busy issuing guidance that will assist plan sponsors in their efforts to make certain retirement plans remain qualified.
November 5, 2007
PPA Notices Re-visited
Qualified Default Investment Alternatives
Delay of 409A Implementation
The IRS recently issued Notice 2007-86, which extends thedeadline for compliance with 409A rules until December 31, 2008.