Category: Benefits

From 401(k) plans to vacation policy, this topic gives HR and Compensation professionals specific strategies on how to handle benefit plans. Articles also provide guidance to brokers, advisers and consultants.

IRS Providing Interim 403(b) Plan Document Relief

The IRS is promising that changes to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System program are coming soon, and those changes will provide a way to correct plan document errors. The IRS has also proposed a “remedial amendment period” for 403(b) plans, as part of its proposed 403(b) prototype program, which will allow employers to retroactively […]

New FMLA Certification Forms Available from DOL

The U.S. Labor Department has updated its model forms and notices relating to Family and Medical Leave Act certification. Except for a new expiration date — Feb. 28, 2015 — the new documents are identical to those that expired at the end of last year. Here are links to the forms. WH-380-E Certification of Health […]

The Four Questions to Ask Before Switching to PTO

Hagan, a partner in the Dallas office of law firm Sarles & Ouimet, LLP, made his suggestions at a recent BLR webinar. Here are his four questions: Question 1: Will an Anticipated Change Affect Existing, Accrued Leave? If you anticipate making a change that might affect existing accrued vacation, you will have to determine if […]

PTO Plans vs. Traditional: Plusses and Pitfalls

Absences, like terminations, can be voluntary or involuntary; however, unlike terminations the distinction between voluntary and involuntary absences is not typically determined by who initiates the absence, says Hagan, who is a partner in the Dallas office of Sarles & Ouimet, LLP. He made his suggestions at a recent BLR webinar. Involuntary absences are employee […]

DOL’s Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Request Grants Premium Authority to PBGC

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its budget request for the federal fiscal year (FY) 2013 on Feb. 13, as part of the budget proposal President Obama sent to Congress. The DOL budget request for FY 2013 is $12.0 billion, down from $12.6 billion for FY 2012. The department’s press release emphasized this reduction, […]

Washington State Legalizes Same-sex Marriage; Will Others Follow Suit?

And then there were seven: Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire (D) on Feb. 13 signed a measure making same-sex marriage legal in that state. Washington joins Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, New York, Iowa and the District of Columbia as U.S. jurisdictions with that distinction. The Washington law goes into effect on June 7. The Washington […]

COBRA and ARRA Rules Misread in Slapping Employer with $500 Notice Penalty

Here’s one positive pattern in COBRA coverage lawsuits: Even if a plan administrator violated the COBRA law, if it acts reasonably under the circumstances, courts are inclined to mitigate the amount of any penalties. But even though the law is more than 25 years old, case law shows there’s still a learning curve about its […]

Bill Would Allow Tax Reimbursement to Federal Employees for Domestic Partner’s Travel

Heads of federal agencies would have the authority to reimburse employees for the taxes imposed on reimbursements of travel or transportation expenses their domestic partners incur when accompanying them on a business trip, under a bill introduced in the U.S. House on Nov. 18 —  the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act (H.R. 3485). The […]

Health Reform News: Final SBC Rule Tries to Eliminate Redundancy with SPD

The departments implementing health reform can turn around a project when they are under the gun. Responding to concerns that the new “summary of benefits and coverage” (SBC) mandated by the health reform law is redundant, HHS, DOL and Treasury/IRS quickly turned around a final rule that eases some SBC requirements. The final rule and […]