The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a proposed rule on December 27, 2022, that would permanently allow remote witnessing of spousal consent elections under certain circumstances. The proposed rule would go into effect six months after publication in the Federal Register. Taxpayers can continue to make remote spousal consent elections according to the proposed rule until it formally goes into
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No Surprises Act Gives Plan Sponsors Savings Opportunities
By Grant Shuman, Tim Kennedy and Anne Tyler Hall (March 22, 2023, 5:36 PM EDT)
The No Surprises Act, enacted as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and made effective Jan. 1, 2022, was designed to protect patients from surprise bills for emergency services at out-of-network facilities — or out- of-network providers at in-network facilities — holding patients…
SEC Declines to Fine McDonald’s After Corporation Claws Back Former CEO’s $105 Million Salary
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) highlighted the duty of public companies to protect their shareholders and cure misconduct in an enforcement action concerning McDonald’s Corp. and its former CEO, Stephen J. Easterbrook. In a recent development, McDonald’s, Easterbrook, and the SEC reached a deal by which Easterbrook agreed to a $400,000 fine and a five-year ban on serving…
Biden Administration Proposes to Reverse Trump-Era Medical Conscience Rule
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking entitled “Safeguarding the Rights of Conscience as Protected by Federal Statutes” on December 29, 2022. The proposed rule would partially rescind a Trump-era OCR regulation, which never went into effect because three federal courts previously found the regulation…
HHS Extends Deadline to Submit First RxDC Report
The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) requires insurance companies and employer-based health plans to file periodic Prescription Drug Data Collection reports (RxDCs) with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Service (CMS). The purpose of this data is to allow government agencies to analyze American medical spending.
The first RxDC report, which is to contain 2020 and 2021 data, was originally…
FL COBRA Notice Suit Against Wells Fargo Survives Motion to Dismiss
A Florida district court judge has denied Wells Fargo & Company’s motion to dismiss a proposed class action suit over deficient COBRA notices sent to thousands of health plan participants. The case is Blessinger et al. v. Wells Fargo & Company, case number 8:22-cv-01029, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Three former Wells Fargo employees sued the…
Internal Revenue Bulletin: 2023-1
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Internal Revenue Bulletin 2023-1 on January 3, 2023. Bulletin 2023-1 contains various revisions that supersede some 2022 Revenue Procedures.
Rev. Proc. 2023-1, 2023-2, and 2023-3 all cover administrative issues. These procedures are effective as of January 3, 2023.
Rev. Proc. 2023-1 contains revised procedures for letter rulings and information letters issued by the…
HBL Adds Renowned Los Angeles ERISA Attorney to Of Counsel Ranks
ATLANTA, GA – Serving employers in thirty-nine states, boutique ERISA law firm Hall Benefits Law (HBL) welcomes Los Angeles-based attorney Alex M. Brucker to the Firm as Of Counsel.
Brucker boasts almost fifty years as an employee benefits attorney, lecturer, and author, having begun his career in benefits law in 1974, the same year ERISA was enacted. He has been…
CA Federal Court Refuses to Dismiss ERISA Safe Harbor 401(k) Claims Against Calbiotech
A California federal judge has denied Calbiotech’s bid to dismiss a former employee’s ERISA suit involving a claim that it failed to match contributions to employees’ 401(k) plans. The judge also kept the former employee’s retaliatory discharge claim alive but tossed his claims related to a separate employer-sponsored pension plan. The case is Raya v. Barka et al., case number…
Battle Over ESG Means Balancing Act For Benefits Plans
Law360 (March 3, 2023, 9:57 PM EST) –
Congress recently passed legislation seeking to nix a U.S. Department of Labor rule meant to help retirement plan managers factor things like climate change and social justice into investment decisions, a move that attorneys say highlights the legal risks for plans that offer funds devoted to socially conscious investing.