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  • Client Alert
January 18, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has finally released correction procedures to fix operational plan errors in 403(b) plans.  For many years, there was no clear guidance for sponsors of 403(b) plans to correct operational plan errors—i.e., errors due to the plan not being operated pursuant to its terms.  On December 31, 2012, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2013-12, which expands certain existing qualified plan correction procedures to 403(b) plans.

January 11, 2013
Under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (the “HITECH Act”), enacted in 2009, Congress tasked the Department of Health and Human Services (“DHHS”) with conducting periodic audits of covered entities and business associates to ensure compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (“HIPAA”).  To implement this mandate, the DHHS Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) developed audit protocols and created a pilot program to perform 115 audits of covered entities beginning in November 2011 and concluding in December 2012.
December 20, 2012

Media outlets throughout the country reported that the Hostess Brands Inc. (“Hostess”) CEO told a Wall Street Journal reporter that Hostess used funds “earmarked” for contributions to multiemployer pension plans to fund its Chapter 11 bankruptcy expenses. Some sources even indicated that these amounts were withheld from employees’ paychecks. Such allegations, if true, would expose Hostess executives to severe civil liability and potentially even criminal charges under ERISA for misuse of “plan assets.”

ERISA fiduciaries—which include any person dealing with or overseeing the use of plan assets—should take notice of the Hostess developments as a reminder of their obligations under ERISA.

December 12, 2012

Between November 26 and December 7, 2012, the government published a flood of proposed and final regulations relating to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), more commonly known as the health care reform law. This Client Alert provides an overview of the new regulations.

November 27, 2012
October 31, 2012

Nonqualified Deferred Compensation arrangements that provide for payments based on the execution of a release of claims may need to be amended for compliance with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A by December 31, 2012.

October 26, 2012

This year, retirement plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) were subjected to two new fee disclosure requirements.  First, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) required every “covered service provider” of an ERISA retirement plan to furnish the plan’s fiduciaries with a service and fee disclosure document by July 1, 2012 (the “Service Provider Disclosures”). Second, the DOL required qualified defined contribution retirement plans to disclose plan, investment and fee information to participants by August 30, 2012 (the “Participant Disclosures”).

October 19, 2012
2013 COLA Chart
October 18, 2012

As more employees choose to use smartphones for work, the landscape has once again shifted for employers. Several new mobile applications, or “apps,” for smartphones have given employees increased autonomy and abilities at work.

October 8, 2012

Beginning last year, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“PPACA”) changed the annual election period for Medicare Part D coverage which now begins on October 15 and concludes on December 7.

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