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Non Discrimination & Classing Rules for Health Plans: An Employer’s Guide

Group health plans and tax-favored accounts—including health savings accounts (HSAs), health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs), and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs)— are subject to numerous nondiscrimination provisions under federal law. As a result, employers that wish to adopt arrangements which exclude certain classes of employees from group health plan coverage or offer different benefits or contributions to different classes of employees (e.g., managerial vs. non-managerial) must analyze these arrangements under several laws to determine whether such treatment is permissible. The following provides a summary of key nondiscrimination requirements that may apply to group health plans and tax-favored accounts under federal...

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EEOC Pushes Back 2017 EEO-1 Report Deadline to June 1

Certain Employers Must Submit Report The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has pushed back the deadline for required entities to submit their 2017 EEO-1 report to June 1, 2018. Previously, the deadline was March 31, 2018. As a reminder, private employers with 100 or more employees and federal government contractors or first-tier subcontractors with 50 or more employees and a contract/subcontract of $50,000 or more are generally required to file the EEO-1 report annually. EEOC's EEO-1 website contains additional information on the EEO-1 report filing requirement.    ...

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How Does Your Defined Contribution Plan Compare? A Look at Automatic Contribution Escalation

Four-fifths of non-government plans that have automatic enrollment also offer automatic contribution escalation (80%).  After rising sharply from 2015 to 2016, the prevalence of automatic contribution escalation among non-government plans has remained at about seven in ten for the past two years.  The number of plans with automatic contribution escalation that use an opt-out approach increased markedly (70.8%), compared to previous years: 2016 (59.5%), 2015 (60.7%), and 2014 (52.8%). Only 5% of non-government plans without automatic contribution escalation are very likely to adopt this feature in 2018. The top reason for not offering automatic contribution escalation among non-government plans is that...

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Final Regulations – 2019 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters

On April 9, 2018, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final regulations and related guidance on Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions including Essential Health Benefits (EHBs), out-of-pocket (OOP) maximums, and Marketplace updates and reforms. These regulations, generally effective for plans and plan years beginning on and after Jan. 1, 2019, largely mirror the proposed regulations issued Oct. 27, 2017. The final rule affords greater flexibility to states for determining EHBs, reduces some regulatory requirements in the individual and small group markets and provides annual benefit provision updates. Additional guidance expands the individual mandate hardship exemptions available for 2018...

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$6,900 Re-Established as 2018 HSA Contribution Limit for Certain Individuals

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has re-established $6,900 as the 2018 health savings account (HSA) contribution limit for individuals with family coverage under a high deductible health plan (HDHP). This limit was previously announced as $6,900 in May 2017, but was revised to $6,850 in March 2018 due to an inflation adjustment provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The 2018 health savings account (HSA) contribution limit for individuals with self-only coverage under a HDHP remains unchanged at $3,450. Click here to read the IRS announcement.   ...

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Small Businesses May Be Able to Keep Existing Health Coverage Through 2019

A previously extended transitional policy that permits health insurance issuers to continue group coverage that would otherwise be terminated or cancelled due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been further extended to policy years beginning on or before October 1, 2019, provided that all policies end by December 31, 2019. Health insurance issuers that renew coverage under the extended transitional policy are required to provide standard notices to affected small businesses for each policy year. Policies subject to the transitional relief will not be considered to be out of compliance with key ACA provisions, including: The requirement to cover a core...

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Are Summer Interns Subject to Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay Laws?

While the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires for-profit employers to pay "employees" for their work, interns and students may not be employees under the FLSA. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and many courts use the "primary beneficiary" test to determine whether an intern or student is, in fact, an employee under the FLSA. This test examines the "economic reality" of the intern-employer relationship to determine which party is the "primary beneficiary" of the relationship. The following seven factors are included in the test: The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation...

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DOL Clarifies Federal Law on Tip Pooling

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released guidance clarifying federal law on tip pooling. The guidance was issued in response to a federal law that amended the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) tip pooling rules. The DOL guidance states that: Employers are prohibited from keeping tips received by their employees, regardless of whether the employer takes a tip credit against the minimum wage for its employees. Federal regulations no longer prohibit tip pooling when employers pay tipped employees at least the full federal minimum wage and do not claim a tip credit. Employers who pay at least the full federal minimum...

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FAQs on Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit Released

The Internal Revenue Service has released FAQs on the Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit, which certain employers can soon claim based on wages paid to employees on family and medical leave. The tax credit is effective for tax years 2018 and 2019. Among other questions, the FAQs answer: Which employers can claim the credit; How the credit is calculated; and How the credit impacts an employer's tax deduction for wages paid. Click here to read the FAQs. ...

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