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The Force Awakens on 2016

January 4, 2016

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The Force Awakens on 2016

January 4, 2016

Authored by: Carrie Byrnes

The ball dropped on 2016, but don’t drop the ball on your benefit plan compliance.  As part of our annual tradition, we’re pleased to present this year’s Top Ten New Year’s Countdown for the reading pleasure of our fellow ERISA geeks.  You may remember last year’s Top Ten list was set to Pop Culture themes that dominated 2014?  Well, we’ve decided to embrace the Star Wars fever that currently has a firm grip on our society and devote our entire list to Star Wars’-themed tips.  Get your lightsabers ready…

  • This epic space opera list starts just where you’d expect it:  A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away (called Congress)…there was born a law called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The law made it through infancy and even toddlerhood…but then it required reporting of a kind never seen before.  If you’re reading this article, you likely
  • Notre Dame Contraceptive Challenge is “Fast-Tracked” in the Seventh Circuit

    January 24, 2014

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    From BenefitsBryanCave.com

    The University of Notre Dame, a Catholic higher education institution, challenged ACA’s provision that, as the University describes, requires coverage of certain “abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization procedures, which are contrary to Catholic teaching” in May of 2012.  The University’s original lawsuit was dismissed by a judge in the Northern District of Indiana in December of 2012 for lack of standing.  In its opinion, the district court found that, at that time, the HHS’s regulatory requirement was not sufficiently final to be ripe for review because the government indicated that the regulations would be modified and provide a safe harbor for Notre Dame to protect it from the then-existing regulation.

    Given the issuance of the revised guidance in 2013, which provided for the so-called “accommodation” for religious not-for-profit organizations that are not churches and that self-certify their objections to providing the coverage (by shifting the obligation to

    457(b) Plan Update – IRS Compliance Check On the Horizon

    July 17, 2013

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    From BenefitsBryanCave.com

    Tax-exempt entities are permitted to sponsor non-qualified deferred compensation plans for select groups of highly compensated employees, managers, directors or officers (i.e., “top hat” plans) under Code Section 457(b).   Approximately 200 non-governmental organizations sponsoring these plans will receive a “compliance check“ letter by the end of September 2013, and another 200 in the next 12-month rolling period, from the IRS’s Employee Plans Compliance Unit (“EPCU”).  This outreach effort is part of a project recently announced by the IRS designed to:

    • learn more about the operation of these plans,
    • verify that the plans comply with the applicable Code requirements,
    • identify common issues of noncompliance, and
    • recommend ways to remove any “barriers” to compliance.

    EPCU is requesting “timely” responses to its request for information (or a response indicating that the compliance request was received in error because the employer does not maintain a 457(b) plan).  While the compliance

    Keeping up with the IRS

    June 25, 2012

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    Keeping up with the IRS

    June 25, 2012

    Authored by: Carrie Byrnes

    From BenefitsBryanCave.com

    With the benefits community waiting with baited breath to hear how the Supreme Court will rule on health care reform, it is easy to get behind on IRS guidance. Since the IRS has not stopped issuing guidance, we wanted to alert you to a few minor changes that may have flown under the radar:

    • IRS issued a revised Form 2848 in March 2012. The March 2012 version of Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative,  can only cover one taxpayer; thus, separate Form 2848s should be completed for joint or multiple taxpayers. According to an Employee News Release dated June 8, 2012, beginning March 1, 2012, the IRS’s three Centralized Authorization File processing sites:
      • Discontinued processing all powers of attorney that are not submitted on either the October 2011 or March 2012 versions of the Form 2848 (unless a