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Business Insights, Research & Perspectives

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November 1, 2006

Reminder: Annual Medicare Part D Notices

The annual notices of creditable and noncreditable coverage to Medicare-eligibles must be provided no later than November 14, 2006.  Notices to be used on or after May 15, 2006, as well as Creditable Coverage Guidance, are all available on-line from the CMS website: http://www.cms.hhs.gov/creditablecoverage.

October 4, 2006

Default Investments: Great Expectations

One of the sections of the Pension Protection Act (“PPA”, P.L. 109-280) believed to be most important for purposes of augmenting retirement savings, is the default investment piece.  This section of the law is intended to provide a plan sponsor with some degree of relief from liability for any losses due to investment selections made on behalf of plan participants.  With the demise of defined benefit plans, and arguably, the weakening of Social Security, it is more and more incumbent upon individuals to save for retirement.  To this end, the law encourages employer/plan sponsors to place as many individuals in retirement plans as possible. 

October 4, 2006

Medicare Premiums and Deductibles for 2007

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have released the Medicare premium and deductible amounts for 2007. 

October 4, 2006

Projected 2007 Cost of Living Adjustments for Certain Benefit Plans

Following are 2007 projected cost of living increases for HSAs, MSAs, long term care and qualified transportation.  These are based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) recently issued.  Important to note, these are not the official figures from the IRS; they are projections.  As soon as the official figures have been issued, we will provide them to you.

September 6, 2006

HSA Guidance Again! Comparability Rules

As promised, the health savings account (HSA) rules relating to employer contributions have been finalized.  If an employer makes a contribution to the HSA of employees, the employer must satisfy what are known as the comparability rules.  The final HSA comparability rules make several significant modifications to the proposed regulations issued in August, 2005. 

September 6, 2006

Tax-Favored Medical Accounts - Pay the Right Party

In Revenue Ruling 2006-36, the IRS clarified that the only way medical expenses can be reimbursed on a tax-favored basis from a medical reimbursement account is if the expenses to be reimbursed are those of the employee, or his/her spouse or dependent(s). 

September 6, 2006

PPA: Pretty Powerful Act for Pension Protection?

On August 17, 2006, President Bush signed the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (“PPA”, P.L. 109-280).   This law makes significant changes to provisions affecting benefit plans.  The majority of this law relates to defined benefit plans.  However, it includes many changes affecting defined contribution plans, and even a few that affect welfare benefit plans.  Following is a summary of select provisions of the law.

August 17, 2006

PPA: Pretty Powerful Act for Pension Protection?

 On August 17, 2006, President Bush signed the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (“PPA”, P.L. 109-280).   This law makes significant changes to provisions affecting benefit plans.  The majority of this law relates to defined benefit plans.  However, it includes many changes affecting defined contribution plans, and even a few that affect welfare benefit plans.  Following is a summary of select provisions of the law.
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