In response to ongoing requests by plan sponsors, service providers and industry associations alike, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued informal, legally nonbinding guidance earlier this year to help address issues surrounding missing retirement plan participants. Join members of Faegre Drinker’s benefits and executive compensation group on April 14 from 11:00 – Noon CT, as we explore best practices for plan sponsors to identify missing and nonresponsive plan participants, as well as potential approaches to facilitate compliance and mitigate risk of penalties.
As noted in our prior blog posts here and here, Section 214 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (“Act”) permits employers to amend their flexible spending account (FSA) plans to help participants avoid forfeiting unused amounts for the 2020 and 2021 plan years. The Act offers employers a myriad of temporary relief options for health FSAs—including expanded carryover relief, extended grace period relief, mid-year election change relief and post-termination spend down relief. The IRS recently issued Notice 2021-15 (“Notice”) giving employers significant flexibility to tailor these relief options to their particular concerns and objectives. This blog post answers common questions about how the guidance applies to health FSA benefits; the application to dependent care FSA benefits will be discussed in a forthcoming blog post.
Employers should keep in mind that:
- All of the relief options are optional. An employer can choose not to adopt any of them or can adopt only some options.
- All of the relief options require plan amendments.
- The options do not permit participants to receive refunds of their unused contributions.
- The options do not permit participants to use health FSA balances for dependent care expenses or vice versa.
As the pandemic continues, employers are increasingly faced with compliance challenges in response to new and pending legislation. Click here to view our webinar recording as members of Faegre Drinker’s benefits and executive compensation group discussed various welfare benefits provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 and the new provisions employers will need to navigate. Specifically, our team explored:
Continue reading “Recent Webinar Regarding Health Plan Provisions in Consolidated Appropriations Act: New Legislation Brings COVID-19 Relief and Shines a Light on Health Plan Price Transparency”
Employers considering layoffs during this period of economic uncertainty should be aware that extensive layoffs could inadvertently cause a partial termination of their company’s qualified retirement plan. Employers should monitor their employee turnover rate and consult with benefits counsel to determine the potential impact on their retirement plans.
Partial plan terminations can occur where a significant change to the plan or a significant event affects the rights of employees to vest in their plan benefits, such as termination of a large group of employees.