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On July 26, 2021, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Angus King (I-ME), and Susan Collins (R-ME) sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) encouraging the agency to support policies that will allow Americans to personally import certain prescription drugs from Canada. In the letter, the senators noted that, “Americans, on average, pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world and are struggling to afford the medications…
Recently, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2021-30 to update its guidance on the correction program under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). Under EPCRS, plan sponsors are permitted to correct failures using one of three correction methods: the Self-Correction Program (SCP), the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP), and the Audit Closing Agreement Program (“Audit CAP”). Rev. Proc. 2021-30 replaces Rev. Proc. 2019-19 and is effective as of July 16, 2021. Highlights of the significant changes…
Every six years, sponsors of 401(k) plans that utilize pre-approved plan documents must update those documents and file them with the IRS for approval. Then, employers using these pre-approved plan documents must adopt the updated pre-approved plan. Employers must adopt the most recent Cycle 3 restatement by no later than July 31, 2022. The IRS has new Cycle 3 restatement requirements for employers that utilize a fully discretionary matching contribution formula to their pre-approved plans.…
On July 9, 2021, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued an interim final rule (IFR) on the process for eligible distressed multiemployer pension plans to calculate and apply for Special Financial Assistance (SFA) awards under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). Following is a summary of the key components of the IFR: SFA Award Calculation Plan sponsors that qualify for PBGC assistance may apply for a one-time lump sum payment to cover…
Under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA), certain financially troubled multiemployer pension plans are eligible for financial assistance from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), which estimates that approximately 11 percent of multiemployer pension plans in the U.S. are in critical condition. Plan sponsors that qualify for PBGC assistance may apply for a one-time lump sum payment to cover all benefits due through 2051 without any reduction in earned benefits for participants if…
On July 22, 2021, the American Academy of Actuaries (“the Academy”) provided comments to the Department of Treasury and the IRS on temporary funding relief under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). The comments pertain to interpretive issues and considerations for the temporary funding relief provisions outlined in sections 9701, 9702, and 9703 of ARPA as follows: Section 9701. Temporary Delay of Designation of Multiemployer Plans as in Endangered, Critical, or Critical and…
California’s labor commissioner has levied fines totaling almost $448,000 against three El Super grocery stores for their failure to comply with California’s COVID-19 paid sick leave policy for 95 workers affected by the coronavirus. The state labor commissioner’s office launched an investigation in September 2020 after receiving complaints from El Super employees and a referral from the labor union that represents the workers. The complaints allege that the grocery stores told sick workers who exhibited…
The No Surprises Act (NSA), which was part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, that became law in December 2020, restricts medical providers from sending consumers surprise medical bills for emergency care, transport by air ambulance, or non-emergency care at an in-network facility when patients are unknowingly treated by an out-of-network doctor or lab. The NSA includes a provision that exempts enforcement in states that already have surprise billing statutes on the books. Currently, there…
On May 20, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota dismissed a breach of fiduciary duty class action against UnitedHealth Group over an overpayment recovery process known as cross-plan offsetting that the plaintiffs claimed is a prohibited transaction under ERISA. The court found that the plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the practice since none of them had been denied benefits or suffered any injury due to defendant’s use of cross-plan offsetting. Cross-plan…
The United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) has filed suit against Cornerstone Labor Services for failure to give adequate notice of a mass layoff at its West Virginia Coal Mountain Mine in violation of the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which requires employers to give 60 days’ advance notice of a mass layoff or plant closing. The UMWA filed the suit on behalf of Local Union 8783, which represents 124 mine workers…