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By Jessica Curtis on March 30, 2020 at 2:40 PM

Retirement benefits on cellphone screenOn March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. The CARES Act includes the following provisions that impact retirement plans and provide relief to plan sponsors and plan participants.

Coronavirus-related distributions

  • Participants may take “coronavirus-related distributions” from qualified retirement plans.
  • A coronavirus-related distribution is exempt from the 10 percent penalty that otherwise applies to early distributions from qualified retirement plans.
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By Jeffrey Herman on March 19, 2018 at 10:27 AM

Graduation cap sitting on the top of moneyThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) eliminated a host of miscellaneous itemized deductions through 2025, including a deduction for job-related education expenses pursuant to Code Section 162. Simple enough.

Except that many employer-provided education benefits are directly tied to the employee’s right to claim a deduction under Section 162. These include tax-free employer payments and reimbursements for college courses and continuing education, as well as an employer’s in-kind provision of such education. If no individual deduction is available for such expenses under Section 162, can the employer still provide, pay for, or reimburse employees for education without it being taxable to the employee?

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By Jeffrey Herman on January 22, 2018 at 9:15 AM

Health insurance application form on a wooden table with glassesIn Executive Order 13813, President Donald Trump made it the official policy of the executive branch to find ways to expand the use of Association Health Plans (AHPs) as a means of providing quality, affordable coverage across state lines.

On January 4, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a proposed rule designed to do just that. Based on 2015 figures, the proposed rule has the potential to impact the health coverage of about 44 million people, whether by expanding coverage to the uninsured, by making more affordable coverage available to sole proprietors and small employers, or by cutting back some individuals’ benefits.

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By Heather Mehta on October 24, 2017 at 10:15 AM

Exempt spelled out in block lettersThe federal agencies charged with administering the Affordable Care Act released interim final regulations Oct. 6, 2017, that extended the exemption from providing contraceptive coverage to more employers and individuals effective immediately. Days later, the government settled dozens of lawsuits filed by organizations challenging the so-called “contraceptive mandate.” But several new cases challenging the expanded exemption were filed.

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By Jeffrey Herman on February 10, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Q&A on chalkboardThanks to the 21st Century Cures Act, beginning Jan. 1, 2017, some employers can now offer employees a new type of health reimbursement arrangement, called a Qualified Small Employer HRA. Primarily governed by 26 U.S.C. § 9831(d), these HRAs are designed to help subsidize employees’ purchase of health coverage on the exchange, although they can also be used to help pay for other medical expenses.

The following questions and answers explain how these new HRAs work.

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By Daniel Schwartz on July 21, 2016 at 10:14 AM

The U.S. Department of Labor recently issued a proposed prohibited transaction exemption allowing privately held conglomerate ABARTA to contribute real property to its defined benefit plan and simultaneously lease back the property. 

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