Employee Benefits

INSIGHTS AND LEGAL UPDATES ABOUT PRIVATE SECTOR EMPLOYEE BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION PLANS.

The IRS released 2022 cost-of-living adjustments for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) in Revenue Procedure 2021-25, which will be published in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2021-21 on May 24, 2021. 2022 HSA Contribution Limits. For 2022, individuals enrolled in a high-deductible health plan may make pre-tax contributions of up to $3,650 to an HSA if they have self-only coverage (an increase from $3,600 for 2021), or up to $7,300 if they…
On April 8, 2021, Washington Governor Jay Inslee issued Proclamation 20-46.3, which modifies proclamations issued in 2020 that provide employment and benefit protections during the COVID-19 pandemic emergency for “high-risk employees.” (For purposes of the Proclamation, a “high-risk employee” is any employee that the Centers for Disease Control defines as being more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19.) This is a new development since our July 2020 Client Update, “State of Washington
On April 15, 2021, in response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a temporary deviation from the handwritten signature requirement for a limited list of tax forms, including elections under Section 83(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, allowing taxpayers and representatives to use electronic or digital signatures when signing such forms. The temporary deviation expires on December 31, 2021, and applies to forms signed and postmarked on August 28,…
In 2019, Washington passed the first law in the nation requiring employees to fund a state-operated long-term care insurance program. The program, codified at RCW 50B.04 and set to begin on January 1, 2025, will be funded by an uncapped payroll tax starting at 0.58% on all employee compensation beginning January 1, 2022. Although changes to the law are subject to final approval, Governor Inslee is expected to sign the final bill (HB 1323) shortly.…
On April 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released three-part guidance on cybersecurity issues for employee benefit plans, marking its first significant commentary on the issue since its comprehensive but nonbinding report in late 2016. The DOL’s guidance provides tips and best practices for ERISA plan sponsors, responsible fiduciaries, recordkeepers, service providers, and participants in appropriately safeguarding nonpublic plan and participant information against cybersecurity threats. The DOL also issued a tip sheet for…
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 includes a 100% federal subsidy of COBRA premiums (including the up-to-2% administrative fees) during the period of April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021. Earlier this week, the Employee Benefits Security Administration published clarifying FAQs and model notices related to the COBRA subsidy. This update discusses the guidance most relevant to employers and highlights areas where additional guidance is still needed. Read the full article.…
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) includes a 100% federal subsidy of COBRA premiums (including the up-to-2% administrative fees) during the period of April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021. The subsidy applies to group health coverage typically subject to COBRA, except for health flexible spending accounts. This update summarizes the ARPA’s COBRA subsidy provisions and flags key implementation considerations to assist employers and plans with planning as we await critical additional guidance…
The multiemployer pension plan system is facing a funding crisis with over 100 plans projected to become insolvent in the next 10 to 20 years. This rate of plan insolvency was projected to cause the collapse of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (PBGC’s) multiemployer benefit insurance fund. Insolvency of both underfunded multiemployer pension plans and the PBGC would have left millions of Americans without retirement benefits. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) creates a…
In late December, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 that included cafeteria plan relief but left many open questions regarding how the relief provisions should be implemented and administered. The IRS issued Notice 2021-15 on February 18 to provide much needed clarification on the CAA’s cafeteria plan provisions. In this update, we discuss some of the key takeaways from the IRS’s clarifying guidance. Read the full article.…
With multiple states rolling out phased access to COVID-19 vaccines, many employers are considering whether they want to require employees to be vaccinated, how to encourage employee vaccinations, and the implications of vaccine policies for their businesses. Here are some of the top questions that Perkins Coie has received from its clients. Read the full article.…