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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.
December 10, 2008
Final FMLA Regulations
Last month, the Department of Labor issued final regulations relating to the Family and Medical Leave Act. Not only do these regulations clarify FMLA issues that have arisen since the law’s enactment in 1993, but they also address the two new forms of FMLA leave signed into law last January, specifically, relating to military families (see FMLA Brings Benefits to Military Families). These regulations become applicable January 16, 2009, and therefore, command immediate attention.
Massachusetts: How to be MCC-Compliant
The Massachusetts ‘Commonwealth Connector” has issued guidance (Administrative Bulletin 01-08: Guidance Regarding Minimum Creditable Coverage (MCC) Certification ) addressing how a plan can be certified as MCC-compliant. As part of the Massachusetts health care reform project, the law requires residents to be covered by minimum creditable coverage.
DOL Guidance Relating to ERISA’s Bonding Requirement
The Department of Labor recently provided guidance relating to the ERISA bonding requirement. This guidance is provided in the form of Field Assistance Bulletin (‘FAB’) 2008-04, directed to the DOL’s field offices.
November 6, 2008
Notice Reminders: Medicare Part D
Agencies Finalize Rules on Maternity Hospital Length of Stay
The IRS, DOL and HHS have issued final rules relating to the federal Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act of 1996 (“Newborns’ Act”). These rules are substantially the same as the interim regulations issued several years ago. Nevertheless, it is a good time to review plans to ensure compliance.
2009 Retirement Plan COLAS
Following are highlights of the 2009 cost-of-living adjustments issued by the IRS, applicable to defined benefit and defined contribution plans.
San Francisco’s Health Care Ordinance Challenged Again
As a follow-up to last month’s Benefit Beat article, San Francisco’s Health Care Ordinance Stands, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals’ three-judge panel decision was not good enough for the Golden Gate Restaurant Association (GGRA). The GGRA has requested a rehearing of this matter before the whole (en banc) 9th Circuit Panel. In the meantime, employers still have to grapple with satisfying San Francisco’s HCSO mandate.
Qualifying Child Redefined… Again!
A few weeks ago, President Bush signed the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (“Adoptions Act”, Pub. L. No. 110-351), which, among other things, amends the definition of qualifying child found in IRC Section 152(c) yet again. This definition, along with the definition of qualifying relative (which remains unchanged), is important for determining who can receive tax-advantaged benefits, such as benefits from a:
2009 Cost of Living Adjustments Applicable to Various IRS Benefits, Social Security, and Medicare
In Revenue Procedure 2008-66, the IRS released several cost of living adjustments for various benefits. Following are amounts applicable to tax years beginning in 2009.