Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

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

Category Archives: Coronavirus

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PBGC Provides Temporary Flexibility for Variable-Rate Premium Calculations

In late September, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the “PBGC”) published Press Release 20-04 and issued Technical Update 20-2 providing flexibility in the calculation of variable-rate premiums for plan sponsors who take advantage of extended pension contribution deadlines for 2020—even in certain circumstances where the plan sponsor has already completed its PBGC premium filing. The … Continue Reading

Internal Revenue Service Provides Temporary Relief and Other Guidance on Mid-Year Reductions of Safe Harbor Contributions to 401(k) Plans due to COVID-19

On June 29, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) issued Notice 2020-52 that provides temporarily relief to plan sponsors that amend their safe harbor Section 401(k) or 401(m) plans (“Safe Harbor Plans”) mid-year to reduce or suspend employer safe harbor matching or nonelective contributions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  To qualify for the relief, … Continue Reading

IRS Extends Participant Eligibility for Distributions and Loans Under the CARES Act

In Notice 2020-50, the IRS expanded eligibility for CARES Act distributions and loans, and provided additional guidance.  To recap (as described here), the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) added three types of distribution and loan flexibility under eligible retirement plans for certain “qualified individuals”: (1) “coronavirus-related distributions” (“CRDs”) up to $100,000 … Continue Reading

One Problem Solved: Notice 2020-42 Provides Temporary Relief for Witnessing Spousal Consents

This afternoon, the Treasury Department issued Notice 2020-42, ending the uncertainty surrounding spousal consents to retirement plan distributions and loans in the socially distanced COVID-19 world. As plan administrators know, when spousal consent is required for a plan distribution or loan, the law requires that the consent be witnessed by a notary public or plan … Continue Reading

IRS Expands Mid-Year Change Opportunities for Health and FSA Benefits and Increases Carryover Limit

On May 12, 2020, the IRS released Notice 2020-29, which provides significant flexibility for health insurance and flexible spending account election changes during 2020, and Notice 2020-33, which increases the amount that may be carried over from one year to the next under a health flexible spending account (FSA).  The guidance allows increased flexibility for … Continue Reading

New IRS Guidance Answers Pressing CARES Act Questions for Retirement Plans

On May 4th, the IRS released a set of FAQs focused on the special coronavirus-related distribution (“CRD”) and plan loan options under the CARES Act (described here). To recap, the CARES Act allows expanded distribution options and favorable tax treatment for up to $100,000 of CRDs from eligible retirement plans (including section 401(k) and 403(b) … Continue Reading

DOL/Treasury COVID-19 Relief Includes Long Extension of Participant Deadlines and Rule of Reasonableness for Plan Administration

On April 29, 2020, the U.S. Departments of Labor (Employee Benefits Security Administration, “EBSA”) and Treasury (IRS) published a final regulation, and EBSA issued a package of guidance and relief, for employee benefit plans affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.  EBSA’s package includes (i) EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-1, (ii) DOL COVID-19 FAQs for Participants and … Continue Reading

PBGC Announces COVID-19 Extensions for Premium Payments and Other Filing Deadlines

On April 10, 2020, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the “PBGC”) announced that deadlines for upcoming premium payments and certain other required filings due from April 1, 2020 through July 14, 2020 will be extended to July 15, 2020 as further described below. The PBGC’s announcement came a day after the Internal Revenue Service (the … Continue Reading

Minimizing the Risk of ERISA Litigation in a Turbulent Economic Climate

As recent history has shown, ERISA claims seeking recovery of investment losses tend to proliferate during times of market volatility.  The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic presents a unique opportunity for plaintiffs to search for and bring fiduciary-breach claims based on the underperformance of company stock funds and other available investment options in 401(k) and 403(b) plans.  … Continue Reading

Executive Compensation Considerations for COVID-19 (Salary/Wage Reductions)

COVID-19 has had significant impacts on all aspects of business.  While employers are assessing how to handle immediate employee needs related to sick leave, family leave and benefits claims, employers should also consider the impact that changes in their workforce or economic conditions will have on their compensation plans and programs. Click here to read … Continue Reading

Coronavirus Stimulus Deal’s Impact on Employee Benefit Plans

On March 27th, Congress passed a stimulus package in response to the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.  The package, which is entitled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act” or the “Act”), contains several provisions that affect employee benefits. Retirement Plans Early “Coronavirus-Related Distributions”: The CARES Act allows plans to offer “coronavirus-related distributions” up … Continue Reading

Executive Compensation Considerations for COVID-19 (Leave)

COVID-19 has had significant impacts on all aspects of business.  While employers are assessing how to handle immediate employee needs related to sick leave, family leave and benefits claims, employers should also consider the impact that changes in their workforce or economic conditions will have on their compensation plans and programs. Click here to read … Continue Reading

IRS Loosens HSA Rules for Coronavirus

On March 11, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-15, to address an important coronavirus issue for high-deductible health plans that are coordinated with health savings accounts (“HSAs”).  The guidance paves the way for health plans to waive or reduce deductibles for any “medical care services and items purchased relating to testing for and treatment of … Continue Reading
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