Kushner & Company Blog

The Kushner & Company blog brings current legal, regulatory, and items of interest to our business executives and HR professionals in all areas of HR and benefit design and administration. The extensive library of blogs is fully searchable and contains many ideas, tips, and updates on all things HR and benefits.

On March 11, 2021 President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). It contains many HR and benefit-related items, and in this post we’ll cover the temporary rules that apply only to 2021 for an increase in the limits for pre-tax Dependent Care Reimbursement Accounts (DCRAs).

Posted on March 18, 2021 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Administration, 
Blog, 
COVID-19, 
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
HR Policies and Procedures, 
Work / Life Balance

On March 11, 2021 President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). It contains many HR and benefit-related items, and in this post we'll cover the new temporary rules for this year's version of Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs).

Posted on March 17, 2021 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Administration, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
COVID-19, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
HR Compliance

On the last possible workday on which to provide needed guidance before health plan sponsors had to fend for themselves on when the COBRA and HIPAA Outbreak Period ended, the Employee Benefits Security Administration, part of the US Department of Labor, issued Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01.

Posted on February 26, 2021 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
COVID-19, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
Health and Welfare Team, 
HR Compliance, 
HR Outsourcing, 
HR Policies and Procedures

The US Department of Labor (DOL) is the responsible agency for overseeing compliance with ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. Penalties for a variety of ERISA violations are contained within the law and are indexed annually for inflation. They've increased substantially.

Posted on February 22, 2021 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
401(k), 
Administration, 
All Articles, 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), 
HR Compliance, 
IRS Form 5500 Services (BDA), 
IRS Form 5500 Services (RPS), 
Retirement Plans

We provided information at the end of April, 2020 about the IRS' and DOL's determination that the "pause" button was hit on a number of regular timing and payment due dates relating to COBRA, health plan claims (including health care FSA claims), and HIPAA Special Enrollment Periods. Is it ending?

Posted on February 18, 2021 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
COVID-19, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health and Welfare Team, 
Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA)

The Consolidated Appropriations Act contains many benefit changes, all of which are optional on the part of the employer. We know this is coming long after open enrollment has ended for most plans, but employers will want to pay close attention and decide which (if any) they'd like to adopt.

Posted on December 28, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
401(k), 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Health Savings Accounts (HSA), 
HR Compliance, 
Retirement Plans, 
Team Rewards, 
Total Rewards

This is a very difficult question, since neither the IRS nor the DOL has addressed it directly.

Posted on October 30, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Blog, 
COBRA, 
COVID-19

The IRS has now released all of the 2021 benefit limits. Earlier this year, they also released the High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and Health Savings Account (HSA) limits.

Posted on October 26, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
401(k), 
Administration, 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
Defined Contribution Plan, 
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA), 
FSA / HSA / HRA, 
Retirement Plans

On October 2, 2020, citing employers’ and insurers’ need for additional time to provide individuals with the Form 1095-Bs and 1095-Cs, the IRS issued Notice 2020-76 extending the deadline from January 31, 2021 to March 2, 2021 to provide those forms.

Posted on October 2, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Administration, 
Blog, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
HR Compliance

Employers that offer prescription drug benefits are required to provide an annual notice to all Medicare-eligible plan participants and qualified beneficiaries before October 15th of each year, the start of the Medicare open enrollment period. Most send it to all participants.

Posted on October 2, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
Benefits, 
Blog, 
ERISA-ACA Compliance, 
HR Compliance, 
Total Rewards

The same IRS Notice (2020-68) that addresses Qualified Birth or Adoption Distributions (QBADs) also deals with how to handle the SECURE Act’s inclusion of long-term part-time employees and their eligibility for 401(k) plans.

Posted on September 23, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
401(k), 
Blog, 
Defined Contribution Plan, 
Profit Sharing, 
Retirement Plans, 
Total Rewards

While QBADs have been permissible since January 2020 under the SECURE Act, many employers have been waiting for some IRS guidance on how these distributions would be implemented before making a decision as to whether to include a QBAD as a plan feature. IRS Notice 2020-68 does that (and a bit more).

Posted on September 23, 2020 By Gary B. Kushner, SPHR, CBP, President and CEO
Categories: 
401(k), 
Blog, 
Defined Contribution Plan, 
Profit Sharing, 
Retirement Plans, 
Total Rewards