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Based on proposed regulations released by the U.S. Department of Treasury on November 14, 2018 (the “Proposed Regulations”), participants in 401(k) and 403(b) plans may find it easier to get hardship withdrawals as early as plan years beginning after December 31, 2018. Hardship withdrawals are permitted on account of financial hardships if the distribution is made in response to an “immediate and heavy financial need” and the distribution is necessary to satisfy that need. The…
The New York City Council (the “NYCC”) has proposed to establish a “Savings Access New York Retirement Program” (the “NYC Retirement Program”) that would require New York City private-sector employers with at least 10 employees to offer a new savings program to employees who are not eligible to participate in an employer-provided savings plan (such as a 401(k) or 403(b) plan). Currently the NYCC proposal is in committee, and no further action has…
The Department of Labor (“DOL”) previously announced the applicability date for the DOL’s fiduciary rule (the “Fiduciary Rule”) will be June 9, 2017.  On May 22, 2017, in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta disclosed that, despite the Administration’s agenda of deregulation, the regulators are required to following existing law and must enforce the Fiduciary Rule.  On the same date, the DOL announced, in Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-02 (“FAB…
A month into the Trump presidency, there have been a number of important statements from the executive branch on the regulation of executive compensation impacting the financial services industry. On February 3, 2017, President Trump issued a statement on the core principles for regulating the U.S. financial system (“Core Principles”). The statement requires the Treasury and all heads of member agencies of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to report within 120 days (by June 3,…
While Section 1557 imposes significant nondiscrimination requirements on “Covered Entities” (as discussed in the article above), most employers are not “Covered Entities” as defined under the final rule (“non-covered employers”). The impact of Section 1557 on non-covered employers depends on whether their respective group health plans are insured or self-insured and the level of involvement in the plans by insurance issuers that are “Covered Entities” under the final rule. Non-Covered Employers with Fully Insured Group…
On February 20, 2013, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury (the “Departments”) jointly issued a set of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) About Affordable Care Act Implementation (Part XII).  In the latest round of guidance, the Departments addressed the limitations on cost-sharing and the coverage of preventive services under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (the “Affordable…
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, employers with employees and operations impacted by Hurricane Sandy are asking what types of tax and employee benefits relief may be available to them and their affected employees.  The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), the Department of Labor (“DOL”) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) have moved quickly to provide disaster relief guidance for affected employers and their employees. IRS Relief.  In response to Hurricane Sandy, on November 2,…
On August 31, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), along with the Department of the Treasury, Department of Labor (DOL) and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), issued guidance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (the “Affordable Care Act”) on the application of the employer responsibility standards to large employers (the employer “play or pay” mandate), IRS Notice 2012-58 ,…
In May 2012, the Employee Benefit Research Institute (“EBRI”) issued a report showing that the percentage of workers covered by employer-sponsored health care coverage (measured through April 2011) continued to fall despite improvement in the economy.  Employer-sponsored health care coverage is the most common source of health care coverage for workers who exceed the poverty line and who are not yet eligible for Medicare.  It covers approximately 69% of workers, 46% of non-working adults and…
On March 26, 27 and 28, 2012, the Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) heard oral arguments in a series of cases, including Department of Health and Human Services, et al. v. State of Florida, et al, which addresses the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“PPACA”).  In the three days of testimony, SCOTUS debated whether (1) the Anti-Injunction Act bars a decision…