Published: July 27, 2020

Tax rules require retirement plan participants to start their benefits by a specific date. Generally, this date is based on the age of the participant and whether the participant is still working after reaching that age. Before the SECURE Act, these distributions – called Required Minimum Distributions or RMDs – had to start by a “Required Beginning Date” which was April 1 of the calendar year following the date the participant reaches age 70-1/2, or, if later, April 1 of the calendar year after the participant’s employment terminates.

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Published: July 16, 2020

Plan sponsors of safe-harbor 401(k) plans find it difficult to satisfy the conditions permitting them to amend safe-harbor plans mid-year to reduce or eliminate the employer safe harbor nonelective or matching contribution. They either had to reserve the right to amend the plan in the annual safe harbor notice provided to plan participants or be operating at an economic loss. In addition, in order to make any change to a safe harbor plan mid-year, participants had to be given an advance 30-day notice of the amendment.

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Published: May 21, 2020

There is new COBRA guidance that applies to ALL GROUP HEALTH PLANS subject to federal COBRA. (See our recent client alert). Rules and FAQs were issued jointly by the IRS and DOL that reflect the COVID-19 environment and the possibility that qualified beneficiaries may not timely elect COBRA or pay COBRA premiums. This guidance essentially “stays” or “tolls” the timelines for COBRA elections for the period starting March 1, 2020 and ending 60 days after the date the President declares that the COVID-19 national emergency has ended. In the meantime, even if COBRA is not elected and/or COBRA premiums are not paid, group health care coverage for these qualified beneficiaries cannot be terminated. In separate guidance plan administrators have been given additional time to issue COBRA notices and election forms.

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Published: May 20, 2020

Section 2202 of the CARES Act includes certain provisions relating to COVID-19 distributions from defined contribution plans (including 403(b) programs), and COVID-19 related loans. In Informal Guidance, the IRS has confirmed that it is optional to include these provisions in your plan.

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