Minnesota Establishes State-Sponsored ‘Secure Choice’ Retirement Program for Private-Sector Employers Without Retirement Plans

On May 19, 2023, Governor Tim Walz signed into law House File No. 782, establishing the Minnesota Secure Choice retirement program. Minnesota has now joined California, Colorado, Oregon, Illinois, and other states in creating a state-run retirement savings program for employees working with small employers without their own retirement plans.

No Change in DOL/Treasury Guidance for Employer Health Plans Issued Before Declared End of COVID-19 National Emergency

In response to House Joint Resolution 7, which was signed into law on April 10, 2023, ending the National Emergency declaration that had been in effect since March 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor and the U.S. Department of the Treasury have clarified informally that they intend to continue to use May 11, 2023, as the relevant date in applying guidance on the end of the National Emergency.

Employee Benefits and Rights in Puerto Rico: What to Know Now That Law 41-2022 Has Been Declared Null and Void

On March 3, 2023, the U.S. District Court for the District of Puerto Rico issued a decision declaring Law 41-2022 null and void, effectively reinstating the prior state of many of Puerto Rico’s employment statutory entitlements. The decision will impact employees’ statutory benefits and rights, including vacation pay and sick leave, meal periods, holiday bonuses, and statutory severance pay.

SECURE 2.0 Retirement Legislation Has Arrived in Style and Is Here to Stay: Top 10 Contribution-Related Provisions

After months of suspense and intrigue on whether SECURE 2.0 would make it to the finish line and become law, the U.S. Congress ended the suspense by attaching SECURE 2.0 to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 funding bill on December 23, 2022. President Biden made it official on December 29, 2022, by signing the appropriations bill into law (Public Law No. 117-328).

Federal Law Recognizing Same-Sex, Interracial Marriages Under Federal Law Signed

On December 13, 2022, President Joe Biden signed H.R. 8404, known as the Respect for Marriage Act, into law, guaranteeing marriage equality for same-sex and interracial couples under federal law. The law passed both houses of the U.S. Congress with bipartisan support, and the signing took place two weeks after the U.S. Senate voted 61–36 to approve it.


Massachusetts Unveils New Workplace Poster, Notifications for Employers

The Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) recently published a new workplace poster, notifications, and new rate sheets for all employers in the state for 2023 regarding the Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law. Employers are required to notify their employees of new contribution and benefits rates and new published notices.

IRS Provides Plan Amendment Deadline Relief

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.

Same-Sex, Interracial Marriages Federal Bill Takes Step Toward Approval

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.

Seriously Spiked COLAs for Qualified Retirement Plans for 2023

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.

Stabilizing Employment Through State Unemployment Workshare Programs

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.

On-Demand Pay: Employees Love It, But Tax Implications Linger

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.