HR Alerts

HR Alert April 25, 2017 Navigating Complex Mandates

Bonus HR Alert – April 25, 2017

Navigating Complex Mandates:  The DBA, The SCA, and The ACA | Boon or Bust:  Participant Loan Programs | Upcoming Speaking Engagements

Anne Tyler Hall Featured at Warren Averett’s 2017 Accounting Forum for Educational Institutions and Other Nonprofits

Thanks to all who attended last Friday’s forum!


 

Upcoming Speaking Engagements

May 3:  One AmericaMay 16:  Greenspring Wealth Management

August 3:  Burnette Insurance

 


Participant Loan Programs: Boon or Bust?

 

 

Participant loan programs are a popular feature within retirement plans. Under a participant loan program, participants borrow money from the retirement plan in exchange for a promissory note, and the borrower’s retirement account is used as collateral. Plan participants appreciate these programs for the flexibility they offer, and they often feel more secure contributing to their retirement plan knowing they can borrow money from the plan in the event of an emergency. Participants save for the long term with confidence, knowing they are not compromising their short-term financial security.

For plan administrators, participant loan programs are a boon and a burden. While loan programs make for a more attractive retirement plan and encourage confident participant contribution, the administrative requirements can be taxing. These requirements control nearly all aspects of the loan program, including the loan amount, the term of the loan, and the amortization rate. Failure to follow the numerous statutory and regulatory requirements can lead to participant taxation on loan amounts or even disqualification of the entire plan, and staying within the legal boundaries of plan loans requires diligent administration.

Unless they meet a multi-pronged prohibited transaction exemption, participant loans are “prohibited transactions” (defined in ERISA § 406). Among the exemption requirements are: (i) operation of the loan program according to a written plan or policy and (ii) treatment of all participants on a reasonably equivalent basis. Additionally, qualified plan anti-assignment rules generally forbid participants from using their account balances as collateral for loans. Improper participant loans are treated as early plan distributions, and the participant must pay tax and penalties on the loan amount. However, an exception does exist for participant loans meeting the prohibited transaction exemption.

Proper establishment and administration of participant loan programs can be challenging and technical, and failure to follow loan program requirements negatively affects the borrowing participant and the plan itself.Contact Hall Benefits Law with questions regarding operation or establishment of retirement plan participant loan programs.
 

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Navigating the Complex Mandates of the DBA, the SCA, and the ACA
The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931, as amended (“DBA”) applies to contractors and subcontractors performing federally funded or assisted contracts of more than $2,000 for construction projects or the alteration or repair of public buildings or public works. Under the DBA, employers are required to pay laborers and mechanics an amount equal to what other laborers and mechanics would receive in wages and fringe benefits for similar projects in the local area. In 1965, Congress passed the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract (“SCA”). The SCA requires general contractors and subcontractors performing services for the federal government or the District of Columbia in excess of $2,500 to pay service employees in a variety of different classes at least the prevailing wage rates and fringe benefits found in the local area or rates (including prospective increases) contained in a predecessor contractor’s collective bargaining agreement. Services for SCA purposes include, but are not limited to, security and guard services, janitorial services, and cafeteria and food services. Under the DBA and the SCA, employers may satisfy any fringe benefit requirements by paying a cash equivalent of the applicable fringe benefit.

In 2017, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposed yet another requirement on employers. Although ACA does not mandate additional wage requirements on employers, it does, under the Employer Shared Responsibilities provision, require certain employers, identified as applicable large employers (ALE’s), to: (i) provide their full-time employees with affordable health coverage that provides minimum value, or (ii) make an employer shared responsibility payment to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) if it does not offer a health plan and one full-time employee purchases health insurance through the marketplace and receives a premium tax credit.

The provisions of the DBA, the SCA, and the ACA can be confusing and frustrating for employers trying to navigate the maze of benefit requirements mandated by such laws.  Some of the issues facing employers struggling to meet the requirements of the DBA, SCA, and ACA include:

  • Whether an employer is required to furnish an employee with cash or another fringe benefit under the DBA or the SCA if that employee declines health care.
  • Whether the health plan mandate under the ACA is considered a legally required benefit under Federal or state law. Such a scenario  would preclude an employer from receiving a credit towards its fringe benefit obligations under the DBA or the SCA. For example, payments for worker’s compensation benefits cannot be credited by an employer towards its fringe benefit obligations under the DBA or the SCA.
  • Whether an employer may receive credit toward its fringe benefit obligations under the DBA or the SCA for any shared responsibility payments it makes under the ACA.

Because the DBA, the SCA, and the ACA are distinct laws, the Department of Labor requires that employers fulfill the mandates under each law without regard to the others. Fortunately, the DOL has provided guidance on the issues outlined above:

No, an employer’s fringe benefit obligations are not alleviated under the DBA or the SCA simply because an employee declines health care coverage. 

The DOL has stated that because an employer may choose how it satisfies its fringe benefit obligations under the DBA and the SCA (unless subject to a collective bargaining agreement), it controls whether an employee will be given the option to decline or accept the health plan. As such, if an employer decides to provide its employees with the option of declining health care coverage, and an employee opts to do so, then the employer must still satisfy its obligations under the DBA or the SCA and provide the employee either cash or another bona fide fringe benefit.

Yes, employers may continue to take credit for their contributions to a health plan as required under the ACA.

The DOL has advised that the ACA’s health plan requirement is not a legally required benefit because the employer has the choice of providing the health plan or making a payment to the IRS. Therefore, employers may continue to take the DBA or the SCA credit for their contributions to qualifying health plans.

No, an employer liable for the shared responsibility payments under the ACA may not use the payment as a credit toward its fringe benefit obligations under the the DBA or the SCA.

Because an employer’s shared responsibility payment does not confer a benefit to the employee, the payment of the shared responsibility payment is not creditable to an employer’s fringe benefit obligation under the DBA or the SCA.

For specific questions regarding the interplay of the DBA, the SCA, and  the ACA, contact Hall Benefits Law.

Thank you to Laura Delavan of Sterling Risk Advisors for suggesting this article topic.

April 2017 HR Alert | Second Quarter Compliance Calendar for Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with various reporting and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. To avoid costly penalties and excise taxes, employers must remain up-to-date with respect to benefit plan reporting and notice deadlines. The calendar below provides second quarter (April – June) key reporting and notice deadlines for calendar year benefit plans (the deadlines are different for a benefit plan with a non-calendar year plan year). Please note that this calendar does not include all applicable reporting and notice deadlines, just some of the common ones.

Deadline Document/Item Description Plans Affected
March 31 (Usual deadline of April 1 falls on a weekend) Notification of Age 70 ½ Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) Deadline for plan to distribute prior year’s required minimum distribution for any terminated employee who reached age 70 ½ or older during the prior year. Qualified Retirement Plans
Deadline for plan to distribute prior year’s required minimum distribution for any active employee who is also a 5% owner and who reached age 70 ½ during the prior plan year.
April 14 (Usual deadline of April 15 falls on a weekend) Deadline for Defined Benefit Plan Contributions First quarter defined benefit plan contributions must be paid (if applicable). Defined Benefit Plans
April 14 (Usual deadline of April 15 falls on a weekend) Excess Deferrals Deadline for plan to distribute prior year’s deferrals in excess of Internal Revenue Code §402(g) annual dollar limit and related earnings. 401(k) Plans
April 17 Underfunded Defined Benefit Plan Notice Deadline for underfunded defined benefit plans to provide notice to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Defined Benefit Plans
April 28 (Usual deadline of April 30 falls on a weekend) Annual Funding Notice Deadline for the plan administrator to provide a plan funding notice to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) and to each plan participant and beneficiary under the plan. The notice must include, among other information, the Funding Target Attainment Percentage (FTAP) for the current and two preceding plan years. Defined Benefit Plans
May 15 (within
4 1/2 months after the end of the plan year)
Form 990 and 990-EZ Deadline for plan administrator to file Form 990 with the IRS. Form 990 is required for organizations exempt from income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(a) with (i) gross receipts greater than or equal to $200,000, or (ii) total assets greater than or equal to $500,0000 at the end of the tax year.

Employers should file Form 990-EZ for tax exempt organizations with (i) gross receipts of less than $200,000, or (ii) total assets of less than $500,000 at the end of the tax year.

Employers may use Form 8868 to request a 90-day extension.

Health and Welfare Plans
June 30 (last day of 6th month following the plan year) Excess Contributions Deadline for employer to distribute eligible automatic contribution arrangement (EACA) excess contributions and earnings from the prior year.

Please note that for purposes of this calendar, “Qualified Retirement Plans” means all defined benefit and defined contribution plans that are intended to satisfy Code Section 401(a) and “Retirement Plans” means all employee pension plans defined in ERISA 3(2).

Hall Benefits Law recommends that you consult with ERISA legal counsel to assist you with any questions you may have regarding compliance with the first quarter reporting and notice obligations listed above and any other reporting and notice requirements (i.e., COBRA and HIPAA) for your employee benefit plans.

This content is intended to be informational and does not constitute legal advice regarding any specific situation. This material may also be considered attorney advertising under rules of certain jurisdictions.

March 2017 HR Alert | 60 Day Delay Proposed for Fiduciary Rule | Spotlight on Financial Wellness Programs | New Final Rule for Disability Claims Procedures

March 2017 HR Alert
Employee Benefit Spotlight:  Financial Wellness Programs

A new type of employee benefit has emerged within the last few years called financial wellness programs. These programs aim to empower participants to take control over their financial lives, with the goal of increased participant productivity as well as participation in and effective use of employer-sponsored retirement plans.

Financial wellness programs target workers’ lack of financial stability, a common issue in the workplace. Many adults possess insufficient financial literacy, and surveys of American workers indicate that as many as half of workers are concerned about their finances.  Lack of financial knowledge and insufficient financial planning negatively impact retirement savings, since employees living paycheck-to-paycheck have nothing left over to contribute to retirement. This results in under-utilized employer-based retirement plans and insufficient retirement savings. Personal financial issues also carry over into the workplace. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reports that one in five workers admits to skipping work in the last year to handle financial matters. Another report estimates that employees spend an average of three hours per week handling financial issues while on the job. Employer-based financial wellness programs are a response to these trends, and they seek to mitigate the effects of these issues through financial education and planning tools.

Approximately one quarter of employers are now providing some form of financial counseling for employees, and many employers are turning to commercial financial wellness programs to educate their participants and foster beneficial financial habits. The popularity of these programs is driven by their simple and accessible formats, purported benefits to both participants and employers, and their relatively low cost. Commercial programs typically include a combination of interactive financial tools and finance-oriented seminars. The financial tools offered are typically accessed through interactive, web-based applications that assist participants with a variety of tasks such as assessing their financial health, setting budget and savings goals, and tracking employee progress toward those goals. Many programs also offer interactive models demonstrating the impact of spending habits on debt-reduction plans and retirement savings. Financial seminars educate participants on a series of topics essential to basic financial literacy. These may include budgeting, debt management, basic investing principles, and retirement planning. Seminars may be presented in person, via live stream or recorded session, or as a self-paced, web-based course.

Financial wellness programs claim to aid both workers and their employers, with many companies citing research on the potential benefits of increasing employee financial literacy. Employees benefit through reduced financial stress, increased long-term financial stability, and better retirement planning. Financial wellness companies claim that employers benefit from decreased employee turnover and absenteeism and increased employee productivity.

Costs vary, but many financial wellness programs operate from a tiered system with additional features and components available for a higher per-participant fee. As plans enroll greater numbers of participants they may be offered progressively larger discounts.

Financial wellness programs marketed toward qualified retirement plans may advertise that their fees can be paid with participant contributions. Administrators should carefully consider the circumstances before committing plan assets to pay for the program. When utilizing participant contributions to pay for benefits, including financial wellness programs, plan administrators are held to the fiduciary standard of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”).

The ERISA fiduciary standard applies to anyone exercising authority or control respecting management or distribution of plan assets. When exercising control or authority over plan assets, ERISA requires the plan fiduciary to act exclusively to provide benefits to the participants, or to provide money to pay “reasonable” plan expenses associated with plan administration. Whether fees for a financial wellness program are considered reasonable is a highly fact-specific issue, and plan fiduciaries who improperly use plan assets can be held personally liable for costs to the plan participants. Fiduciaries may also be held jointly liable for the acts of co-fiduciaries.

Given the rigorous fiduciary standards, plan administrators looking to provide financial wellness programs using plan assets should carefully consider all factors involved and their fiduciary duties under ERISA.

If you wish to provide financial wellness products for your plan participants, Hall Benefits Law encourages you to seek the advice of an experienced ERISA attorney.

60-Day Delay Proposed for Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a rule that would delay by 60 days the effective date of the DOL’s fiduciary rule and related prohibited transaction exemptions. If put into effect, the proposed delay will stall application of the final fiduciary rule from April 10, 2017 until June 9, 2017. The proposed rule enacting the delay invites comments until March 17.
This is a proposed delay that will not take effect until a final version is published in the Federal Register. President Trump previously signed an executive order requesting the DOL review the fiduciary rule and its implications.

Is Your Health and Welfare Plan Subject to the DOL’s New Final Rule for Disability Claims Procedures?

On December 19, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its Final Rule (the “Rule”) that revises claims procedures for employee benefits under Section 503 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”).

The Rule outlines stringent procedural requirements for group health or disability benefits claims. More specifically, the new Rule has the following requirements for plan sponsors processing claims and appeals for disability benefits. Plan sponsors must:

1) Ensure that all claims and appeals for disability benefits are adjudicated independently and impartially;

2) Provide disclosures in benefit denial notices that include each of the following:

– An outline of all the reasons why a claim was denied and the standards used to make the decision;
– An outline of any basis for disagreement with a medical expert or vocational professional’s view of the disability claim obtained by the plan about an adverse benefit determination, regardless of whether the advice was relied on in making the benefit determination; and
– A statement that the claimant is, upon request, allowed access to their entire claims file and other relevant documents.

3) Provide claimants the right to review and respond to new evidence or rationales at the appeal level;4) Accept that the claimant will be deemed to have exhausted all administrative remedies and permitted to pursue his or her claim in a court of law if the plan fails to adhere to  claims process requirements, with a few limited exceptions;

5) Accept that any rescission of coverage, except when due to non-payment of premiums, must be treated as an adverse benefit determination, which permits the claimant to use the plan’s appeals process; and

6) Provide all claims and appeals notices in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner.

The Rule applies only to employee benefit plans covered under ERISA that provide disability benefits. A disability benefit is a benefit whose availability is conditioned upon the claimant proving that he or she is disabled.  If a decision must be made as to whether a claimant is disabled for the benefit to be provided, the claim must be treated as a disability claim for purposes of the Rule.

The Rule applies to disability claims submitted on or after January 1, 2017.

Hall Benefits Law encourages plan sponsors and plan fiduciaries to review their claims process and plan documents to ensure compliance with the requirements outlined under the Rule.

February 2017 HR Alert | Trump on ACA and Fiduciary Rule | New IRS Guidance on Forfeitures | Medicare and Medicaid Disclosure Form Deadlines

 
 
February 2017 HR Alert
 President Trump Directs Department of Labor to Review Fiduciary Rule

Last year the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the final Fiduciary Rule (“the Rule”), scheduled to take effect on April 10, 2017.On February 3, 2017, President Trump signed a memorandum requiring the DOL to review the Rule and determine whether to rescind or revise it, delaying its effective date by 6 months.

It is unlikely that the Department of Labor will begin its review any time soon, since Labor Secretary nominee Andrew Pudzer has not been cleared by the Senate.  Additionally, proposed revisions or new policies issued by the DOL will need to submit to a notice and comment period.

It will likely be some time before we have a clear picture on what, if any, changes will be made to the Rule. The uncertainty around the rule leaves plan sponsors and service providers questioning whether to continue to institute operational and system changes to comply with the now delayed Rule or stop such changes altogether. Some service providers have opted to stay the course due to the time and money already spent to become compliant with the Rule, while others have decided to stop making changes and wait for further clarification on the fate of the Rule.

Hall Benefits Law recommends that retirement plan fiduciaries reach out to their service providers to ascertain what impact this latest news will have on the services being provided
to the plan.


IRS Releases New Guidance on Forfeitures

On January 18,  the IRS issued new proposed regulations to amend the definitions of qualified matching contributions (“QMAC”) and qualified non-elective contributions (“QNEC”). In addition, the IRS issued proposed regulations related to the funding of contributions under a safe harbor plan.

Why is this newsworthy? In accordance with the relevant Sections of 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”), QMAC, QNEC, and safe harbor contributions are required to be fully vested on the date the contributions are made to the plan.  In the past, the IRS took the position that forfeitures could not be used as contributions for QMAC, QNEC or safe harbors because forfeitures are not fully vested on the date the contributions are made to the plan. The IRS’ narrow interpretation of the relevant Code Sections applied even when the plan documents allowed the use of forfeitures for QMAC and QNEC contributions.

Instead of requiring that contributions be fully vested at the time the contribution is made to the Plan, the new IRS regulations require that QMAC and QNEC contributions be fully vested at the time the contributions are allocated to the participants’ accounts.  The new regulation also permits the use of forfeitures to offset safe harbor contributions.

The proposed regulations will become effective after the final regulations are published; however, the IRS issuing these proposed regulations assures us that the regulations may be relied upon presently.

Before taking advantage of the benefits this regulation affords, Hall Benefits Law recommends that you take the time to review your plan documents to ascertain whether the plan permits or prohibits the use of forfeitures for the purposes discussed in this article. If the plan documents prohibit the use of forfeitures for QMAC, QNEC, or safe harbor contributions, you will need to contact the plan document sponsor to see whether it will amend the plan document to permit the use of forfeitures for these purposes. If an amendment is forthcoming, the plan document sponsor can tell you when the relevant amendment will take effect.

Finally, if you are a plan sponsor currently under audit and need to make a QMAC or QNEC contribution, now may be a good time to talk to the auditor and see if he or she will allow you to use forfeitures to make the relevant correction.

Hall Benefits Law can help you with any questions you have regarding this issue.


Contact Hall Benefits Law if you have any questions regarding the issues raised in this alert.

Executive Order Issued  on Affordable Care Act

 

President Trump made comments during Sunday’s Super Bowl pregame that indicate the process for coming up with a replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) may take longer than initially indicated: “Maybe it’ll take some time into next year, but we are certainly going to be in the process. I would like to say by the end of the year, at least the rudiments, but we should have something within the year and the following year.”

In contrast to his delayed action on the Fiduciary Rule, President Trump acted immediately regarding the ACA.  On January 20, 2017, Trump issued an executive order reinforcing his intent to repeal ACA. The order provided instructions to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and heads of all other executive agencies to use their authority and discretion to alleviate any provision under ACA that imposes an economic burden on states, consumers, pharmaceutical companies, and other entities affected by or required to comply with the provisions of ACA.

Although the executive order cannot overturn the provisions of ACA, it does allow the HHS and the heads of the other executive agencies the discretion and authority to administratively eliminate certain provisions of ACA. 

Despite these facts, any significant changes made to ACA because of President Trump’s executive order will likely take some time. President Trump needs his nominees for HHS and other executive agencies approved by the Senate. Once approved by the Senate, each needs time to transition into his or her new role. To make any changes to ACA the executive agencies then must follow the rules outlined in the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”). APA requires a certain process before implementing new policies. As an example, policies must be submitted for public review and comment. It will take some time before we see what effects the executive order has on ACA. 


Deadline Looms for Medicare and Medicaid Services Annual Disclosure Forms

Pursuant to the Medicare Prescription Drug Improvement and Modernization Act (“MMA”) of 2003, health plan sponsors are required to complete and submit an online form to The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (“CMS”) that discloses whether  prescription drug coverage provided under a plan is “creditable” or “not creditable.” Creditable coverage offers drug benefits at least as good as Medicare Part D’s prescription drug coverage.  If a plan sponsor’s prescription drug coverage does not meet that requirement, then it is “not creditable” coverage.

The Creditable Coverage Disclosure Notice must be completed on the occurrence of each of the following:

  • Annually, no later than 60 days from the beginning of the plan year;
  • Within 30 days after the termination of the prescription drug coverage; or
  • Within 30 days from the time the prescription drug coverage goes from creditable to non-creditable.

For plan years beginning January 1, 2017, the online Creditable Coverage Disclosure Notice must be completed by March 1, 2017. 

CMS can’t penalize plan sponsors for failing to complete the Creditable Coverage Disclosure Notice.  However, plan sponsors do not qualify for the Retiree Drug Subsidy if the notice is not completed. 

January 2017 HR Alert | First Quarter Compliance Calendar for Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Happy 2017 from Hall Benefits Law!

First Quarter Compliance Calendar for Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans
Employers and plan sponsors must comply with various reporting and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. To avoid costly penalties and excise taxes, employers must remain up-to-date with respect to benefit plan reporting and notice deadlines. The calendar below provides first quarter (January – March) key reporting and notice deadlines for calendar year benefit plans (the deadlines are different for a benefit plan with a non-calendar year plan year).  Please note that this calendar does not include all applicable reporting and notice deadlines, just some of the common ones.
Deadline Document/Item Description Plans Affected
January 31 IRS Form W-2 (must report value of health coverage) Deadline for employer to report the aggregate cost of applicable employer-sponsored health coverage on each employee’s Form W-2. The cost of coverage includes health and prescription drug coverage and health flexible spending account (FSA) value for the plan year (but only the amount in excess of the employee’s cafeteria plan salary reduction).  Long-term care insurance, HRA contributions and certain stand-alone dental or vision coverage is not required to be reported. Health and Welfare Plans
February 1  IRS Form 5300
Cycle Filings
Deadline for filing a Determination Letter request according to a five-year cycle based upon the last digit of the plan sponsor’s employer identification number (EIN).  Qualified Retirement Plans
IRS Form 1099-R Deadline for payer (i.e., employer, trustee or custodian) to issue IRS Form 1099-R to participants and beneficiaries who received a retirement plan distribution (including direct rollovers, periodic annuities, pension payments, excess deferrals or excess contributions). Qualified Retirement Plans
February 28 (paper forms)

March 31 (electronic forms)

IRS Form
1099-R
Deadline for payer to file Form 1099-R with the IRS for 2016 retirement plan distributions. Form 1096 should be filed with Form 1099-R if it is a paper filing. If the forms are filed electronically, the deadline can be extended until March 31. Qualified Retirement Plans
March 15
(2 ½ months after the end of the plan year)
Excess
Contributions
Deadline for plan to distribute excess contributions and earnings from the prior year to avoid 10% excise tax on employer (other than eligible automatic contribution arrangements (EACA’s)). 401(k) Plans Other Than EACA’s
Other DOL, IRS, ACA Reporting and Notice Deadlines
DOL
Deadline Document/Item Description Plans Affected
Upon enrollment and annually thereafter Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) Notice Deadline for providing a description of benefits available under WHCRA (and applicable deductibles and coinsurance limits for such benefits). Health and Welfare Plans that provide mastectomy benefits
IRS
Not less than 30 or more than 180 days prior to the initial payment starting date Notice of Eligible Rollover Distribution Deadline for notice explaining eligible rollover distribution to an eligible retirement plan (i.e., an IRA, §403(b), §457(b) or §401(a) plan) and mandatory withholding requirements. Qualified Retirement Plans
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Not less than 30 days before coverage may be rescinded Notice of Rescission Deadline for plan administrator (for self-insured plans) or plan sponsor or insurer (for fully insured plans) to provide written notice of retroactive termination of health coverage due to fraud or intentional misrepresentation of material facts by a participant. Health and Welfare Plans

Please note that for purposes of this calendar, “Qualified Retirement Plans” means all defined benefit and defined contribution plans that are intended to satisfy Code Section 401(a) and “Retirement Plans” means all employee pension plans defined in ERISA 3(2).

Hall Benefits Law recommends that you consult with ERISA legal counsel to assist you with any questions you may have regarding compliance with the first quarter reporting and notice obligations listed above and any other reporting and notice requirements (i.e., COBRA and HIPAA) for your employee benefit plans.

IRS Extends ACA Reporting Deadlines | Planning Ahead for 2017 | Questions for Retirement Plan Sponsors | From the United States Department of Labor

Don’t Let 2017 Become a Question Mark
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Are you ready for 2017? As an employer or a plan sponsor, do you know what you need to do to become compliant or remain compliant with the regulations that govern Retirement Plans and Health and Welfare Benefits? Does your Executive Compensation plan satisfy the complex rules related to Code 409(A)? Do your compensation arrangements attract and retain top executive talent? Does your business comply fully with Affordable Care Act rules? (Yes, ACA is still in effect.) Are you fully aware of the penalties associated with missed deadlines and failures to file required documentation with the government agencies that monitor compliance?

Plan sponsors have many questions about ERISA and Employee Benefits, and our ERISA attorneys work proactively to ensure that our clients can answer YES to the questions above. If you answered NO to any of the questions, it may be in your best interest to speak with a qualified ERISA attorney. To do so, send an email to David Hall at dhall@hallbenefitslaw.com to learn about our consultation process.


See the December 2016 HR Alert in its entirety HERE
Anne Tyler is a true expert in her field, and I am honored to refer my clients to her. All that I have referred to her are always impressed with her knowledge, compassion, and ability to give her clients clarity and creative solutions. I highly recommend Anne Tyler to anyone who is looking for an employee benefits attorney; she knows how to get results.
Sara KhakiAttorney/Owner |The Khaki Law Firm LLC
Hall Benefits Law, LLC assisted me with review, documentation, and a written opinion for a specific DOL situation. Anne Tyler is professional as well as personable, articulate, and knowledgeable on the subject for which I hired her. Working with someone who has personality and good communication skills is not necessarily a common attribute. Anne Tyler brings these attributes. The price for the work done, independent research as well as client presentation, was very fair and I would be happy to recommend Anne Tyler to any associate or colleague in need of her legal expertise.
H.W. YoungbloodPresident |Financial Network Associates, Inc.
Anne Tyler is an excellent advisor with a true command of ERISA and Benefits law.  She is an effective communicator and a favorite of clients and colleagues.
Anson AsburyPrincipal |Asbury Law Firm
My overall experience with Hall Benefits Law, LLC was very pleasing and the service received from Anne Tyler was exemplary in every way. I required technical research in a number of different areas and Anne Tyler performed them above expectation. She was knowledgeable, responsive, cogent, and accessible. I will be happy to recommend her for similar issues.
Samuel R. ChandOwner |Samuel R. Chand Consulting
Hall Benefits Law, LLC brings the unique qualities of availability and approachability, as well as thought provoking discussion that greatly assists us with our clients. Anne Tyler is always willing and available to bring her knowledge and expertise about health care law which eases any concerns about compliance. In a client meeting to discuss the Affordable Care Act, Anne Tyler’s unique way of presenting complex information in an easy to understand manner enabled the client to formulate an action plan. She is an absolute pleasure to work with.
Jeff KochDirector of Benefits & Marketing Communications |Resource Alliance
Anne Tyler is great at interpreting the law. Her research and easy to understand documents are professional, organized, thorough and delivered in a timely manner. We appreciate her accessibility and willingness to offer suggestions and meet with our clients in person or via phone for meaningful discussions and getting answers quickly.
Andy WeyenbergVP of Operations |Resource Alliance
Anne Tyler is an energetic and conscientious attorney with experience in compliance issues for ERISA and Benefits matters, having worked at some of the most prestigious law firms in the Southeast. She is also very personable, which is a great combination.
Nancy PridgenAttorney |Patel Burkhalter Law Group