Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

The View from Proskauer on Developments in the World of Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation & ERISA Litigation

Robert Projansky

Robert Projansky

Partner

Robert M. Projansky is a partner in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group and head of Proskauer's Health Care Reform Task Force.

His practice covers the full spectrum of employee benefit issues, including advising clients regarding all aspects of pension and welfare plan administration, plan investment issues, health care reform, mergers and terminations, government audits, participant communications, fiduciary responsibility matters and prohibited transactions issues.

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The Time is Right to Contact Recordkeepers About Hardship Substantiation

If your 401(k) plan recordkeeper has not talked to your company lately about hardship distributions, it may be time to reach out to the recordkeeper.  The short story is that the IRS recently issued an internal memorandum (found here https://www.irs.gov/pub/foia/ig/spder/tege-04-0217-0008.pdf) providing guidance to its employee plans examination group on the substantiation requirements for hardship distributions … Continue Reading

Protecting Your Qualified Retirement Plan Now that the IRS Determination Program is (Mostly) Closed

A lot has been written over the last few months about what to do now that the IRS has closed its determination letter program for ongoing individually designed tax-qualified retirement plans. Some see this as cause for celebration because we no longer have to go through the trouble of collecting documents, filling out forms, and … Continue Reading

U.S. DOL To Issue Final Rule and Exemptions on Fiduciary Standards

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor will release its highly-anticipated Final Rule and Exemptions addressing when a person providing investment advice with respect to an employee benefit plan or individual retirement account is considered to be a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Internal Revenue Code.  According to a … Continue Reading

IRS Notice 2015-87 (Part 1) – IRS Issues New HRA Integration Rules

On December 16, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2015-87 containing guidance on a wide-range of topics under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition to providing guidance on affordability and COBRA matters (which will be described in subsequent blogs), Notice 2015-87 builds upon prior guidance to regulate further the use of health reimbursement … Continue Reading

Reminder: Non-Grandfathered Plans Must Implement Embedded Out-of-Pocket Maximums

As employers and plans prepare for 2016 open enrollment, they must be sure to address in their benefit design and with their third party vendors the new embedded out-of-pocket maximum limitations on individuals that were announced at the end of May by the U.S. Departments of Labor (“DOL”), Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and the … Continue Reading

King v. Burwell – Supreme Court Upholds Premium Subsidies under Federally-Run Marketplaces; ACA Remains (Mostly) Unfazed

On June 25, 2015, the United States Supreme Court released its much anticipated King v. Burwell decision regarding the validity of premium assistance issued by Federally-run Marketplaces.  Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the 6-3 majority, agreed with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) interpretation that premium assistance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of … Continue Reading

DOL’s New Audit Focus? Health Plan Claims and Appeals and Hard to Value Assets

In recent talks and appearances, representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor have issued a warning about new areas of focus of DOL audits and enforcement actions.  While there are a number of different enforcement priorities, we discuss two of them—health plan claims and appeals and valuation of hard to value assets— here because these … Continue Reading

Contributing Employers to Multiemployer Plans Are Not Off the Hook – Tracking the Full-Time Status of Employees

Contributing employers to multiemployer plans were relieved by the Treasury Department’s interim guidance stating that they will not be subject to the employer shared responsibility payments under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) with respect to employees for whom they contribute to a multiemployer plan that provides minimum value, offers dependent child coverage and is affordable.  … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Finds Severance Payments are Subject to FICA

On March 25, 2014, in a decision highly anticipated by employers, the U.S. Supreme Court held unanimously that certain severance payments paid to employees who were involuntarily terminated were taxable wages for purposes of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA). United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., et al., No. 12-1408 (U.S. Mar. 25, 2014). The … Continue Reading

More Multiemployer Plan Relief – Final Rule Exempts Self-Insured/Self-Administered Plans from Transitional Reinsurance Fee in 2015 and 2016

On March 5, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services released a Final Rule addressing, among other things, transitional reinsurance fees payable in the 2014 through 2016 benefit years. By way of background, under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), a transitional reinsurance fee applies to most group health plans. The transitional reinsurance fee is … Continue Reading

Relief for Multiemployer Plans (and the Employers That Love Them)

As previously reported, on Monday, February 10, 2014, the IRS released final regulations on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer “shared responsibility” provisions, also known as the “pay-or-play” mandate. While the final regulations have (predictably) received mixed reviews, some employers – most notably those with 50 to 99 employees or those that covered almost but … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Decide Whether RIF-Related Severance Pay Is Subject to FICA

Although some would argue that the next U.S. Supreme Court term is not shaping up to be as monumental as the last term, employers should have their eye on the recent decision of the Court to hear United States v. Quality Stores, Inc. The Court’s decision in this case in the next term will finally … Continue Reading

IRS Clarifies Applicability of Pay or Play to Multiemployer Plans’ Contributing Employers

Last Friday, employers contributing to multiemployer plans received some good news. As expected, the Internal Revenue Service amended the transition rule for 2014 originally set forth in its proposed regulations on the pay or play mandate. (The new text of the rule can be found here). An employer required by a collective bargaining agreement to contribute to … Continue Reading
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