Affordable Care Act Whistleblower Complaint Procedures

On October 11, 2016, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration published a final rule that establishes procedures and time frames for handling whistleblower complaints under the Affordable Care Act (ACA); for hearings before US Department of Labor (DOL) administrative law judges in ACA retaliation cases; review of those decisions by the DOL Administrative Review Board; and judicial review of final decisions.

Read the full article here.

Financial Planning & Analysis

On Monday, October 24, Chicago partners Todd Solomon and Brian Tiemann will speak at the Association of Financial Professionals conference in Orlando, Florida. Joined by Kendall Frederick, Senior Manager of Finance Integration at Hanesbrands Inc., the panel will discuss how to use financial planning and analysis analytics to help plan fiduciaries assess the need and potential effectiveness of plan design changes for 401(k) plans, including automatic enrollment and reenrollment strategies. The panel will discuss the analytics considered by Hanesbrands prior to its recent participant reenrollment and introduction of white label funds under its 401(k) plan as a case study.

Conference attendees can join the speakers for this discussion on Monday, October 24 at 8:30 a.m. Eastern in Room W307CD at the Orange County Convention Center, located at 9400 Universal Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819. More information is available here.

Wellness Incentive Programs: Navigating Legal Landmines and Designing Effective Employee Communication Strategies

This year’s Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress featured a presentation by Susan Nash that addressed the many shapes and sizes of wellness programs today. Programs are typically designed to promote health and to educate employees about prevention, but some are disease management oriented, while others are designed to improve the general overall health of an employee population.

Presentation focal points included:

  • HIPAA Nondiscrimination Rules
  • Tri-Agency Guidance under ACA on Wellness Programs
  • Americans with Disabilities Act and GINA
  • EEOC Enforcement of ADA and Final Regulations
  • Internal Revenue Code Limitations

View presentation slides.

Maintaining Retirement Plan Documents after Revenue Procedure 2016-37

At the 2016 Joint Fall CLE Meeting on October 1, 2016, Andrew Liazos presented on “Maintaining Retirement Plan Documents after Revenue Procedure 2016-37.”

As an employer sponsoring a retirement plan, you are required by law to keep your books and records available for review by the IRS. Having these records will also facilitate answering questions when determining participants’ benefits. As a plan sponsor you should keep the plan and trust document, recent amendments, determination and approval letters, related annuity contracts and collective bargaining agreements.

The presentation highlights key changes under Revenue Procedure 2016-37 and the consequential impacts on annual audits, plan drafting, choice of plan, existing plan administration, EPCRS and other various transactions.

View presentation slides.

Final IRS Regulations Simplify Pension Plan Requirements for Partial Annuity Distributions

The Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service issued final regulations addressing the minimum present value requirements for pension benefits payable partly as an annuity and partly in an accelerated form, usually a lump sum. With these regulations, Treasury and IRS take another step in promoting lifetime income alternatives for retirement plan participants with simplified calculations for partial annuity payments.

Read the full article.

One Year Later: The Yates Memo, False Claims Act and Director & Executive Liability

On September 19 and 27, 2016, the US Department of Justice announced two False Claims Act settlements that required corporate executives to make substantial monetary payments to resolve their liability. How will director and executive liability be impacted by the Yates Memo and False Claims Act in an evolving health care climate?

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Exploring LGBT Discrimination in the Workplace

The effects of same-sex marriage on employee benefits, companies’ actions to prevent employee discrimination and an evolving focus on benefits with special implications for diverse employees continue to be hot topics in today’s workplace.

View presentation slides.

Why a Careful Review of Outsourcing Agreements is Important in International M&A Transactions

Outsourcing agreements are behind the most important vendor relationships. They therefore require a detailed review as part of the due diligence process of any M&A deal or spinout transaction. With more and more businesses relying on outsourcing, the underlying agreements have become an important factor in M&A transactions.

Read the full article here.

Score on Wellness Lawsuits—Wellness Plans 3, EEOC 0?

On September 19, 2017, in the ongoing lawsuit the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought against Orion Energy Systems Inc. (Orion) regarding its wellness program, a Wisconsin federal judge found that Orion’s wellness program was voluntary. The employees have a choice between participating in the program or paying the full price for health benefits. The final results of this case remain to be seen since the judge also held that the EEOC can apply its new rules on such wellness programs retroactivity.

Section 457(f) Proposed Regulations – Not What We Expected (In a Good Way)

The very long awaited release of the new proposed regulations for Internal Revenue Code (the ‘‘Code’’) Section 457(f) plans arrived at the end of June and presents welcome and surprising new opportunities with respect to tax-exempt and governmental entities’ ‘‘ineligible nonqualified deferred compensation’’ arrangements.

The Proposed Regulations present some unexpected and surprising opportunities with respect to the ability to electively defer compensation and to have deferred compensation paid out, contingent on a valid covenant not to compete and upon a rolling risk of forfeiture.

Read the full article here to learn more.