Earlier this year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2022-23, which extended the deadline to make certain amendments pursuant to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 (Miners Act), and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to December 31, 2025.
On November 29, 2022, the U.S. Senate passed the Respect for Marriage Act, which would guarantee marriage equality, including for interracial and same-sex couples, under federal law. The bill, H.R. 8404, passed the Senate in a 61-36 vote with bipartisan support. The bill must still be voted on by the U.S. House of Representatives, which passed a similar version in July, before it goes to President Biden’s desk for approval.
On November 7. 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to review a case by a Georgia fire chief alleging she was discharged for being transgender in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The latest idea for attracting and retaining employees in this post-COVID-19–pandemic era of the Great Resignation and “quiet quitting” is one that was usually limited to professors in higher education: the sabbatical.
With the rise of inflation and other negative economic indicators, most news reports are suggesting that the U.S. economy is facing uncertain times. Some economists predict that the economy is headed for a recession or that the United States has already entered one, while others are more optimistic.
Qualified retirement plans will experience unusually sharp increases to compensation and contribution limitations for 2023 compared to adjustments in recent years. On October 21, 2022, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2022-55, providing the 2023 calendar year cost-of-living adjustments, also known as COLAs, for tax-qualified retirement plans.
Many employers have already claimed millions of dollars in tax credits through the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). Those employers that have not yet claimed (or incorrectly claimed) any ERTC may still do so retroactively by filing amended payroll tax returns for tax years 2020 and 2021.
On September 29 and 30, 2022, Governor Gavin Newsom signed more than one hundred new pieces of legislation, several of which directly affect California employers.
Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall somewhere between Tampa, Florida, and the Florida panhandle this week as a Category 4 hurricane according to the National Hurricane Center.
Employers are facing increasing—and conflicting—pressures over health plan coverage of puberty-blocking medications used to treat some minors for gender dysphoria.
The Biden administration announced several student loan debt relief measures on August 24, 2022, including an extended loan repayment moratorium through December 31, 2022, and debt cancellation that will be available near the end of the year.
Employers may be able to alleviate some of the stress and burden associated with economic downturns by working with state unemployment agencies and using workshare programs. Workshare programs allow employers to enter into agreements with state unemployment agencies to reduce employee hours without laying off employees or disqualifying them from state unemployment compensation benefits to supplement their reduced wages.
Research suggests that more than 60 percent of U.S. workers would like to be able to access their earnings before their regularly scheduled paydays. Responding to this desire, many employers and their payroll providers now offer so-called on-demand pay arrangements that allow employees to receive their wages the same day they earn it. While on-demand pay may be a valuable recruiting and retention tool for employers, the immediate availability of wages carries with it certain tax implications for employers that may not easily be avoided without updates to the tax laws and regulations.
On August 16, 2022, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) (P.L. 117-169), a budget reconciliation act focused on tax reform, climate change, and healthcare costs. One notable provision of the IRA for employers is the expansion of coverage of insulin under high deductible health plans (HDHPs).
For the second time in six months, frequently asked question (FAQ) guidance from federal regulators is calling attention to the requirement that employer-sponsored health plans provide coverage for women, without any cost sharing, for the full range of contraceptive methods approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Every six years, all preapproved defined contribution retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans) must be restated in new plan documents that have fresh approval from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The deadline to adopt the newest preapproved documents was July 31, 2022.
Many states have enacted or revived statutes limiting or barring access to abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization and further legislative or regulatory initiatives on this subject are likely.
Employers will have the opportunity to review and self-correct retirement plan failures upon being identified for plan examination by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its highly anticipated decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, No. 19-1392. The Dobbs decision expressly overrules the two key precedents that established and upheld a constitutional right to abortion and gives states the authority to regulate abortion.
Employers that provide 401(k) and other defined contribution retirement plans to their employees on plan documents that have been “pre-approved” by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must sign updated documents by July 31, 2022.
There is a growing trend of using participant data to cross-sell financial products unrelated to plan recordkeeping by large recordkeepers and asset custodians of employer-sponsored retirement plans. In light of the fact that plan fiduciaries are ultimately legally responsible for the management and mismanagement of a retirement plan, this trend to use participant data may raise issues for employers in their role as plan sponsors and fiduciaries.
As usual, there are some important changes in German employment law that went into effect at the beginning of the new year. Here are eight of the most important new developments about which employers may want to be aware.
On February 23, 2022, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas struck down the part of the interagency interim final rule implementing the “independent dispute resolution” (IDR) procedures created by the No Surprises Act, which took effect for calendar-year plans on January 1, 2022 (Texas Medical Association v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). Though the bulk of the rule remains in effect, the changes will impact health plans and the employers that sponsor them.
On February 4, 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), U.S. Department of the Treasury, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued subregulatory guidance that provides greater flexibility and clarifies a few points on the required coverage of over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests, which took effect for employer health plans and health insurers on January 15, 2022. The guidance, in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQs), expands on the agencies’ prior guidance, which was issued last month. That initial guidance outlined the required coverage under section 6001 of the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) and established enforcement safe harbors for plans and insurers.
On January 27, 2022, Governor Jay Inslee signed two bills that delay implementation and propose several reforms to the Washington Cares Act, which created a payroll tax to support Washington residents with the costs of long-term care.
Employer health plans and health insurers will be required to cover over-the-counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests, even without a health care provider’s order or an individualized clinical assessment, and generally without cost sharing or medical management, beginning with tests purchased on or after January 15, 2022.
On December 22, 2021, Governor Jay Inslee sent a letter to Washington’s Employment Security Department (ESD) ordering it to not collect premiums under the Washington Cares Fund program until the legislature addresses some of the law’s issues. The letter acknowledged that “legislative leadership has strongly encouraged the employer community to pause collection of premiums from employees.”
On December 17, 2021, Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, and House Speaker Laurie Jinkins released a joint statement announcing that the premium assessment under the Washington Cares Fund would be delayed. Employers had been set to collect premiums from Washington employees starting on January 1, 2022, but with this announcement, state leaders have “strongly encourage[d]” employers to “pause on collecting premiums.”
Employers and their benefit administrators have more detail and a more convenient way to submit “top 50” lists and other data—but no more time to comply with—daunting prescription drug cost reporting requirements in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA), under new interim final regulations.
On December 2, 2021, President Joe Biden made comments announcing the White House’s plan for combating COVID-19 and the emerging new variant, Omicron. As part of the nine-step plan, President Biden announced an initiative that would require private health insurers to reimburse covered individuals for the cost of at-home COVID-19 diagnostic tests during the public health emergency.