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March 9, 2009
Retirement Plan, Automatic Contribution Regulations – Issued
Final regulations have been issued relating to qualified automatic contribution arrangements and eligible contribution arrangements. These concepts were established by the Pension Protection Act, and modified in the “Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008.” (See Benefit Beat, October, 2006 – “Default Investments: Great Expectations”).
New HIPAA Special Enrollment
On February 4, 2009, President Obama signed the “Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2009”, which re-authorizes the program to provide health coverage for low-income children. This law will affect employers in several ways:
Qualified Transportation Subsidy
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”) includes a temporary expansion of the mass transit and van pooling monthly limits for qualified transportation.
February 2, 2009
COBRA is playing a key role in the economic stimulus proposals being contemplated by Congress.
Investment Advice, Regulations – Final?
On January 21, final participant investment advice regulations were published in the Federal Register. They are substantially similar to the proposed regulations issued in August (see Benefit Beat, 9/4/2008 – “Proposed Rules: Investment Advice Exemption for 401(K) Plans and IRAS”). These regulations are to take effect March 23, 2009; however, whether this will actually happen is an open question.
New Medicare Part-D Notices – Again?
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) is at it again.
Supreme Court Says “Yes” To Beneficiary Designation Reliance
The United States Supreme Court has simplified the lives of ERISA plan administrators by giving credence to proper plan administration.
Massachusetts Fair Share Filing - Streamlined
Fair Share Contribution Filing Requirement
January 13, 2009
New Pension Relief Law
On December 23, 2008, President Bush signed the “Worker, Retiree, and Employer Recovery Act of 2008” (Public Law 110-458) into law. This law provides some pension plan relief from the required minimum distribution provisions for the 2009 year only (the IRS has taken the position that no relief will be available for minimum distribution requirements for 2008). The required minimum distribution requirement applies to retirement plan participants, aged 70½ or older, and mandates that these individuals take a minimum distribution from their plans. Because of the reduction in account values, this news should be welcome.
Extension of Written Plan Document for 403(b) Plans
On December 11, 2008, the IRS issued some temporary relief to 403(b) plan sponsors, in the form of Notice 2009-3. Specifically relating to the plan document requirement, all 403(b) plans were, by January 1, 2009, to have a written document in place. This notice delays the written plan document requirement to December 31, 2009. However, a good faith effort must be made to administer the plans in accordance with the final 403(b) regulations during 2009.