On November 10, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court held oral arguments in California, et. al. v. Texas, et. al., the most recent challenge to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant burdens for employers and employees alike. While some businesses struggle to survive, others are fortunate enough to be in a position to help employees as they face hardships created by the crisis. Many employers in the latter category are looking for ways to best help employees who are facing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
One possible approach for these employers is a disaster relief fund under Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 139 disaster relief funds allow employers to make qualified disaster relief payments to employees to help with certain expenses they incur as a result of a qualified disaster.
In October 2018, the IRS updated the Employee Compliance Plans Resolution System (EPCRS) by issuing Rev. Proc. 2018-52. EPCRS is a program that allows plan sponsors to correct errors involving qualified plans (such as 401(k) plans, profit sharing plans, defined benefit pension plans, etc.) and certain other types of plans that, if left uncorrected, could jeopardize the tax-favored status of the plan. Among other changes to EPCRS, Rev. Proc. 2018-52 provides that, beginning Jan. 1, 2019, Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) submissions may be made electronically via www.pay.gov. Beginning April 1, 2019, the electronic filing requirement becomes mandatory.
Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, combined with the Republican Party’s retention of a majority in both houses of Congress, is likely to lead to significant changes in laws, regulations and policies that will impact many aspects of life and business in the United States for the foreseeable future. In the coming weeks and months, many employers will be asking how the election will affect the benefits they provide to employees.
Employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements are subject to a staggering amount of regulation. The laws, regulations and other guidance regarding these plans and arrangements are complex and often confusing. Audits and enforcement actions by governmental agencies against plan sponsors and fiduciaries — as well as class-action lawsuits by plan participants — have become increasingly common in recent years.