The rules and regulations governing employee benefits plans are constantly in flux, making it increasingly difficult for employee benefit plan sponsors and service providers to navigate this complex landscape. Our attorneys have created this blog as a resource to help guide employers of all sizes through the complex administrative and legal challenges facing their employee benefit plans.
Representing employers in their role as plan sponsor, we also counsel insurance companies, third-party administrators, outside consultants, trustees, investment managers, fiduciaries and others acting in the role of employee benefit plan service providers. We use a wealth of experience to serve large companies with complex employee benefit plan structures and regularly work with clients’ in-house general counsel, the human resource/benefits department, the finance department, and other executives.
For more information about our Employee Benefits Practice Group, please visit the services page.
Recent Blog Posts
- CARES Act provides temporary fringe benefit for employer repayments of employee student loans By Greg Daugherty and Victoria Hanohano-Hong The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act has provided a wide range of programs that affect employee benefit plans, employers and employees. One benefit that has flown under the radar is a new, temporary tax-qualified student loan repayment plan. Section 2206 of the CARES Act allows employers to claim a tax deduction for repayments of employee student loans, and allows employees to exclude these payments from taxable income, in amounts up to $5,250... More
- Stop and review COVID-19 distribution and loan forms carefully By Greg Daugherty, Deb Boiarsky, Victoria Hanohano-Hong and Rich Helmreich The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, authorizes employers to make changes to their qualified retirement plans to increase loan limits, delay loan repayments, and make distributions to plan participants experiencing certain COVID-19 related circumstances. Due to a lack of guidance from the IRS, there’s confusion among third-party administrators (TPAs) about how to administer these changes, resulting in potential issues with forms used by TPAs to approve these CARES... More
- How to claim COVID-19 tax credits via payroll By Victoria Hanohano-Hong, Dave Tumen and Porter Wright Employers may claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit and the tax credits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. They do this first, by reducing the employer portion of Social Security taxes, and then, by reducing the employer’s payroll deposits in an amount equal to the refundable portion of the accrued credits, instead of depositing said amount with the IRS. The payroll taxes an employer may retain... More
- The Employee Retention Tax Credit By Victoria Hanohano-Hong On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law. The CARES Act introduced the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), a new tax credit to incentivize employers, who are economically distressed due to COVID-19, to retain employees. The credit The ERTC provides a 50% tax credit on qualified wages paid to employees. For every dollar of qualified wages paid to an employee, the employer can claim a credit of 50 cents. There... More
- How to claim COVID-19 tax credits under the FFCRA and the CARES Act By Victoria Hanohano-Hong There are three COVID-19 related tax credits that were introduced under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which are subject to various limitations: Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act tax credits – a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for qualifying wage payments of emergency paid sick leave; Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act tax credits – a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for qualifying wage payments of family leave; and The Employee Retention... More
- UPDATE: Tax credits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act By Victoria Hanohano-Hong On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law requiring employers with fewer than 500 employees to make payments for COVID-19 related FLMA leave and paid sick leave required by the Act. To lessen this financial burden to employers, the act provides for refundable tax credits to offset payroll taxes. The FFCRA tax credits will be provided for eligible wages paid from April 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020. Paid sick leave tax... More
- Tax credits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act By Victoria Hanohano-Hong This post was updated on April 7, 2020. Please read the update here. On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law requiring employers with fewer than 500 employees to make payments for COVID-19 related FMLA leave and paid sick leave required by the act. To lessen this financial burden to employers, the act provides for refundable tax credits to offset payroll taxes. The FFCRA tax credits will be provided for eligible wages... More
- Employer disclosures of COVID-19 diagnoses By Victoria Hanohano-Hong As more test kits become available for COVID-19 and an increasing number of people are tested, there will be more positive diagnoses. Because of COVID-19’s rapid community spread, many employers will soon see positive diagnoses of their own employees. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, an employer may want to limit workplace exposure by notifying its other employees of the positive diagnoses. Generally, an employer may disclose a positive diagnosis of COVID-19 to employees, but must do so... More
- DOL proposes a more practical rule for electronic ERISA disclosures By Victoria Hanohano-Hong and Deb Boiarsky On Oct. 23, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposed rule for electronic delivery of ERISA disclosures. Although the DOL already allows for electronic delivery under the 2002 Electronic Safe Harbor, its availability is limited and technology quickly outpaced its usefulness. The proposed rule creates a new, additional safe harbor the DOL calls the “Notice and Access” safe harbor that will allow for electronic delivery as a default method of delivery for certain... More
- Final IRS hardship regulations – Less of a hardship to take and administer By Greg Daugherty, Deb Boiarsky and Victoria Hanohano-Hong Special thanks to Victoria Hanohano-Hong, Porter Wright law clerk, for her assistance on this article. The IRS recently published final regulations, which amend the hardship withdrawal rules for 401(k) and 403(b) plans. The regulations reflect statutory changes to 401(k) and 403(b) plans, including changes made by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Most of the changes are optional and do not require employer adoption; some are not optional. The following changes are mandatory for plans... More