Latest from SW Benefits Blog

This year is off to a fast start and plan sponsors might find their heads spinning as they try to keep track of rapidly developing employee benefits legislation and guidance.  We periodically consolidate key newsletters and blog posts to help our readers stay organized and catch up on anything they might have missed in the mayhem.  Below, please find links to several SW Benefits Updates and blog posts covering critical developments in the employee benefits…
As we previously reported, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) provided for an employee retention credit (“ERC”) designed to encourage employers to retain workers during the COVID-19 crisis.  In general, the ERC permits eligible employers to claim a refundable tax credit of a portion of qualified wages paid to employees over a given period. Initially, the IRS issued guidance on ERCs in the form of online Frequently Asked Questions
While many of us were still in a food coma from the holidays, former President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the “CAA”) on December 27, 2020.  The CAA includes provisions impacting both retirement plans and health and welfare plans.  This blog focuses on the effective dates for the health and welfare changes.  In later articles we will provide more substantive information. Some of the CAA protections expand upon protections offered…
On December 23, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2021-03, which extends relief from the “physical presence” requirement applicable to signatures that must be witnessed by a plan representative or notary public.  By way of background, Treasury Regulations Section 1.401(a)-21(d)(6)(i) provides that, in the case of a participant election that is required to be witnessed by a plan representative or a notary public (such as a spousal consent to a waiver of a QJSA), the…
For years we have been trying to understand how the EEOC regulates wellness programs. Although we still do not have a complete picture, we are getting closer with the EEOC’s new Notices of Proposed Rulemaking on wellness programs under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”). This blog summarizes the status of the ADA wellness program rules and the changes under the recently released proposed ADA wellness program rules.…
As reported in Part 3 of our 2020 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List, Section 6039 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) requires employers to provide a written information statement to each employee or former employee and file information returns with the IRS regarding: (1) the transfer of stock pursuant to the exercise of an Incentive Stock Option (“ISO”); and (2) the first transfer by the employee or former employee of…
Last month, we reported that Moderna was seeking FDA authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine and reminded readers about the immunization coverage requirements in Section 3202 of the CARES Act in our SW Benefits Blog, “Free COVID-19 Vaccine and Testing Update.”  As of the date of this blog, the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines have been approved and group health plans must act quickly to meet the requirements of the CARES Act. On October…
The IRS recently published Notice 2020-86 (the “Notice”), which provides clarification with respect to certain changes made by the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the “SECURE Act”). In particular, the Notice answers several outstanding questions related to the maximum default deferral rate for qualified automatic contribution arrangements. As previously reported here, the SECURE Act raised the maximum permissible deferral rate for qualified automatic contribution arrangements to 15% of compensation…
On November 30, Moderna announced that it is seeking FDA authorization for its COVID-19 vaccine.  In addition, on November 17 the FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the first COVID-19 diagnostic test for self-testing at home.  With these recent developments, a COVID-19 update for health and welfare plans might be helpful. Free COVID-19 Vaccines – As reported in our April 1, 2020 SW Benefits Update: “The CARES Act – What Are the Health
Each year, we publish health and welfare, cost-of-living, executive compensation, and qualified retirement plan checklists to help individuals and employers stay apprised of updates to the law of employee benefits.  We recently published the last of these annual checklists.  In case you missed them, the links are below. Happy holidays! 2020 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List (Part 1) Health & Welfare 2020 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List (Part 2)