15 January 2020

Budget Spending Deal Contains Changes That Impact Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans

This client alert summarizes key health benefit changes on several fronts—legislative, regulatory, and in the courts.  Legislatively, President Trump signed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (the “Act”) on December 20, 2019 to avoid a shutdown of the federal government.  The Act also contained a number of provisions impacting employer-sponsored group health and welfare plans […]


09 January 2020

The SECURE Act Passes: The Future Is Now

Those of you who attended our fall client employee benefits seminar learned about the future of retirement plans, including the likely enactment of the SECURE Act in the near future.  As expected, the SECURE Act became law on December 20, 2019 and several of the provisions are already in effect.  This Alert will focus on the […]


19 December 2019

IRS Clarifies Remedial Amendment Period for Compliance With Final Hardship Withdrawal Regulations – But Operational Changes Still Required by January 1, 2020

Introduction As we previously reported here, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made several changes to the hardship withdrawal rules for 401(k) and 403(b) plans.  Two years in the making, the IRS issued final regulations on September 23, 2019 to implement these changes.  Many of the […]


18 December 2019

NLRB Sides with Employers on Email and Confidentiality Rules

On December 17, 2019, the NLRB issued two important decisions impacting private sector employers. First, in Caesar’s Entertainment, 368 NLRB No. 143 (2019), the NLRB held that employers may lawfully restrict non-business use of company email and are not required to allow employees to use company email or IT systems for union organizing or related […]


16 December 2019

NLRB Revamps Rules and Extends Timelines in Union Elections

Friday, December 13, 2019, the National Labor Relations Board published its Final Rule modifying the Board’s election procedures.  The Final Rule rolls back some of the so-called “quickie election” rules that had been enacted in 2014 by the President Obama-era NLRB. At their core, these changes will give employers more time to address both the […]


13 December 2019

Important Updates Taking Effect in January: Higher Salary Threshold for White-Collar Workers and Clarification Regarding Overtime Calculations

The U.S. Department of Labor regulations increasing the salary threshold for employees who are exempt from overtime pay under the so-called “white-collar” exemptions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) go into effect on January 1, 2020.  The new salary minimum for these “white-collar” employees (i.e., employees subject to the Executive, Administrative, and Professional exemptions) […]


06 December 2019

Not Surprisingly, IRS Continues ACA Reporting Relief. But This Time with a New Twist

On December 2, 2019, the IRS issued Notice 2019-63, which—similar to years past—extends both: (1) the filing deadline for Forms 1095-C and 1095-B; and (2) the good-faith reporting relief.  But this year, there’s more.  In limited circumstances, the IRS will not penalize entities for the failure to furnish information to individuals using Form 1095-B, and […]


13 November 2019

Do You Remember The HPID Requirement? Good, Now You Can Forget It.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued regulations repealing the Health Plan Identifier (HPID) requirement for group health plans.  Since we anticipate that many plan sponsors forgot about the HPID requirement because it was delayed on October 31, 2014, we suspect that the repeal will come as a welcome surprise to most […]


07 November 2019

2020 Annual Limits for Retirement Plans and HSAs Announced

The IRS recently released inflation-adjusted limitations that apply to various employee benefits in 2020. Social Security Taxable Wage Base for 2020 The Social Security Administration recently announced that the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax will increase from $132,900 in 2019 to $137,700 in 2020. Retirement Plan Dollar Limitations for 2020 The […]


25 October 2019

New California Law Imposes FSA Notice Requirements

Beginning next year, a new California law will require employers to notify employees of any deadlines to submit flexible spending account (FSA) claims before the end of the plan year. New Required Notice The new law applies to medical and dependent care FSAs.  Most FSAs allow employees to submit claims for eligible expenses incurred during […]