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Compliance Corner

November 29, 2017

Health Care Reform

DOL Publishes Final Rule Delaying Disability Claims Regulations

On Nov. 29, 2017, the DOL published final regulations providing a 90-day delay – through April 1, 2018 – of the effective date of the final regulations concerning claims procedures for plans that provide disability benefits.

As background, on Oct. 12, 2017, the DOL released proposed regulations providing a 90-day delay — through April 1, 2018. The final regulations – which subject disability claims procedures to requirements similar to health care reform's enhanced requirements for group health plans – were discussed in our Jan. 10, 2017, edition of Compliance Corner and are scheduled to apply to claims for disability benefits under ERISA-covered employee benefit plans that are filed on or after Jan. 1, 2018.

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Federal Updates

DOL Publishes Advance Copies of 2017 Forms 5500 and 5500-SF

On Nov. 20, 2017, the DOL published advance information copies of the 2017 Form 5500 return/report, which includes Form 5500-SF and corresponding instructions. These advance copies are only for informational purposes and may not be used for 2017 Form 5500 or 5500-SF filings, but employers should familiarize themselves with the changes in preparation for 2017 plan year filings. Important modifications to the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF instructions and schedules are summarized below.

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Retirement Updates

DOL Finalizes Extension of Fiduciary Rule Transition Period

On Nov. 29, 2017, the DOL finalized an extension of the Fiduciary Rule's (the Rule) transition period. As background, the Rule became effective on June 9, 2017. However, the best interest contract (BIC) exemption and other related prohibited transaction exemptions (PTEs) weren't going to become effective until Jan. 1, 2018. The DOL has now finalized a rule that extends that transition period from Jan. 1, 2018, to July 1, 2019.

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Podcast Episode 20: IRS Letters on Employer Mandate Penalties

In this episode, Suzanne Spradley and Chase Cannon discuss IRS Letter 226J—the IRS's first wave of ACA employer mandate penalty notices. Chase and Suzanne review the important information outlined in Letter 226J, including the employer's due date for a response, the proposed penalty amounts and instructions on responding to the proposed penalty. The two describe potential responses to the letters, including important information on documentation and recordkeeping that might help support an employer's response.

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Employer Mandate Letter Webinar – Register Now

NFP's Benefits Compliance team is hosting a webinar on the IRS's recent actions to enforce the ACA's employer mandate. Join us for this webinar as we discuss the IRS Letter 226-J and what it tells employers. We'll also highlight IRS guidance on how employers should respond, whether they agree or disagree with the proposed employer mandate penalty.

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State Updates


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In order for a high deductible health plan to be qualified, what are the 2018 coverage requirements?

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NFP Corp. and its subsidiaries do not provide legal or tax advice. Compliance, regulatory and related content is for general informational purposes and is not guaranteed to be accurate or complete. You should consult an attorney or tax professional regarding the application or potential implications of laws, regulations or policies to your specific circumstances.