Archive for DOL’ Category

Agencies Provide Relief for Group Plans and Donation Programs Affected by Hurricanes/Wildfires | Houston Benefit Advisors
Dec

15

2017

Agencies Provide Relief for Group Plans and Donation Programs Affected by Hurricanes/Wildfires | Houston Benefit Advisors

Guidance for Group Health Plans Impacted by Hurricane Maria and California Wildfires The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued a news release to recognize that plan participants and beneficiaries may encounter problems due to Hurricane Maria and the California Wildfires. The DOL advises plan fiduciaries to make reasonable accommodations to prevent workers’ loss of benefits and to take steps to minimize the possibility of individuals losing benefits…

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The DOL’s Final Overtime Rule Saga Continues | Houston Benefit Advisors
Apr

26

2017

The DOL’s Final Overtime Rule Saga Continues | Houston Benefit Advisors

The change in the regulations that would increase the salary threshold for overtime exemption that was all over the news for the last several months may now be decided by the end of June. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) another 60-day extension of time to file its final reply brief in the in the pending appeal…

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Discovery for Health and Welfare Benefit Plans: Required ERISA Reporting—Form 5500 | Houston Benefit Advisors
Apr

24

2017

Discovery for Health and Welfare Benefit Plans: Required ERISA Reporting—Form 5500 | Houston Benefit Advisors

Most companies are fully aware of Form 5500 reporting requirements related to their 401(k) plans, but are less familiar with the Form 5500 reporting requirements for their health and welfare benefit plans. Requirements: Most employer-sponsored health and welfare benefit plans, including, but not limited to, group health, dental, vision, life insurance, disability insurance, voluntary worksite benefits (typically, but not always), and health flexible spending account…

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Department of Labor Delays Enforcement of the Fiduciary Duty Rule | Houston Benefit Advisors
Apr

9

2017

Department of Labor Delays Enforcement of the Fiduciary Duty Rule | Houston Benefit Advisors

On April 4, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced that the applicability date for the final fiduciary rule will be extended, and published its final rule extending the applicability date in the Federal Register on April 7. This extension is pursuant to President Trump’s February 3, 2017 presidential memorandum directing the DOL to further examine the rule and the DOL’s proposed rule to extend…

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Congress Abandons Effort to Repeal the ACA | Houston Benefit Advisors
Apr

1

2017

Congress Abandons Effort to Repeal the ACA | Houston Benefit Advisors

On Friday, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives pulled pending legislation, known as the American Health Care Act, from further consideration. The bill had been scheduled for a vote on the House floor Friday afternoon but, recognizing that it was headed for defeat, the House leadership cancelled the vote. It is now unlikely that Congress will pursue any legislation to repeal or replace the…

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DOL Increases Penalty Amounts to Adjust for Inflation
Jan

24

2017

DOL Increases Penalty Amounts to Adjust for Inflation

For the second time in less than a year the Department of Labor (DOL) has increased the civil monetary penalties assessed or enforced by the DOL. The increases were announced in a final rule issued by the DOL on January 18, 2017. The increases were made pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015, which requires federal agencies to annually…

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Department of Labor Form 5500’s Time-Intensive and Expensive Reporting Requirements Painful for Small Employers
Jan

20

2017

Department of Labor Form 5500’s Time-Intensive and Expensive Reporting Requirements Painful for Small Employers

Proposed regulations for revising and greatly expanding the Department of Labor (DOL) Form 5500 reporting are set to take effect in 2019. Currently, the non-retirement plan reporting is limited to those employers that have more than 100 employees enrolled on their benefit plans, or those in a self-funded trust. The filings must be completed on the DOL EFAST2 system within 210 days following the end…

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Federal Employment Law Update – January 2017
Jan

7

2017

Federal Employment Law Update – January 2017

FAQs About Affordable Care Act Implementation Part 35 On December 20, 2016, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) addressing special enrollment for group health plans, coverage of preventive services under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements. The FAQs were prepared jointly by the Department of Labor (DOL), the Department of Health and Human Services…

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Ten o'clock on the white wall clocks
Nov

25

2016

BREAKING NEWS: Texas Court Issues Injunction Blocking New December 1st Overtime Regulations

On November 22, 2016, a federal district court in Texas granted a preliminary injunction that temporarily blocks the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) from implementing and enforcing its recently revised regulations on the white collar exemptions to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The regulations, which were released in May and scheduled to go into effect on December 1, would more than double the minimum…

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Aug

4

2016

Salary Considerations under the New DOL Standards

On December 1, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) will implement changes raising the minimum compensation for exempt employees to $47,476 annually. While salary is just half of a two-part equation that includes a duties test of essential job functions, scrutiny is under way to analyze compensation and find solutions to avoid conflict with the new rule.Why not just have all employees work 40 hours…

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