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Reflections on the 10-Year Anniversary of the Current Bull Market

Last month, the bull market that began in 2009 turned 10 years old and the current economic expansion is about to become the longest in our country’s history. Just last week, the NASDAQ and S&P 500 indices fully recovered from their December lows to hit new all-time highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average close behind. Rather than high-fiving each other in the streets, investors are mostly wringing their hands with worry about an impending recession and ensuing bear market. Fears of a market crash have been endemic throughout this bull market, which has caused investors, individual and institutional alike, to...

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Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit

A tax credit for wages paid to employees taking FMLA leave may generally be taken by employers who have a written paid family and medical leave policy that: Provides all qualifying full-time employees—employees who have been employed for a year or more and who had compensation of not more than $72,000 in the preceding year—at least 2 weeks of annual paid family and medical leave; Allows all less-than-full-time qualifying employees a commensurate amount of leave on a pro rata basis; Pays at least 50% of the wages normally paid to an employee; and Includes the following language: "[Employer] will not...

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Court Revives Obama Administration Pay Data Reporting Rule

May 6, 2019 - Original Content from McGuire Woods On April 25, a federal court revived a 2016 Obama administration requirement that certain employers must report pay data to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The Trump administration shelved this requirement in 2017, prompting litigation, which resulted in the April 25 court order reinstating the requirement. Certain employers now have until Sept. 30, 2019, to report this data. The Obama Administration’s Pay Data Collection Rule Prior to 2016, certain employers were required to report sex, race and ethnicity statistics for their workforce. The EEOC collected this data on EEO-1 forms. This “Component-1”...

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Is Cybersecurity an ERISA Fiduciary Responsibility?

Practice Management Plan sponsors and service providers already take seriously their responsibilities to protect participant data, but where are the lines of responsibilities and accountability in the event of a breach? That was the focus of a workshop at the Plan Sponsor Council of America’s 2019 National Conference in Tampa, FL. The panel – Amy Gordon and Joe Adams, both partners at Winston & Strawn, and Wendy Carter, Vice President and Defined Contribution Director at The Segal Company – acknowledged that: there is no comprehensive federal regulatory scheme governing cybersecurity for retirement plans in the United States; ERISA is silent on data...

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Employers Must Report 2017 and 2018 EEO-1 Pay Data

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced that employers must report pay data, broken down by race, sex and ethnicity, from 2017 and 2018 payrolls. The pay data reports are due Sept. 30. Employers had been waiting to learn what pay data they would need to file—if any at all—as litigation on the matter ensued. A federal judge initially ordered the EEOC to collect employee pay data for 2018. The National Women's Law Center (NWLC) and other plaintiffs wanted the EEOC to collect two years of data, as the agency was supposed to under a new regulation before the government halted the collection in 2017. Judge...

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State Continuation of Coverage

Our team has updated the Virginia State Continuation Form. As a reminder, employers with under 20 employees are required to provide written notice within 14 days of learning of a covered person’s loss of eligibility under the plan. The covered individual must notify the employer within 60 days of their termination of eligibility if they intend to continue coverage. It is very important that the written notification is provided in a timely manner so the individual can choose to elect within that 60 day window. We have updated the form to clarify the 60 day election period. Continuation shall only be available to an...

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Choosing Investments for Your Retirement Savings Plan

Your employer-sponsored retirement plan offers a variety of investments to choose from. How do you know which ones may be right for your needs? And how much should you direct to each one? The keys to answering these questions are to understand your options and consider how they relate to your own personal circumstances. Asset classes: the building blocks When choosing investments to pursue your retirement accumulation goals, you'll need to balance the amount of risk you take in your investment mix (or "portfolio") with the potential for returns. Generally speaking, the riskier the investment, the higher the return potential. But with...

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How a Retirement Savings Plan Works

Employer-sponsored retirement savings plans, such as 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans, present an ideal opportunity to build a nest egg for retirement. You contribute to the plan via payroll deduction, which can make it easier for you to save for retirement. In addition, you may receive significant tax benefits along the way. Following is a brief overview of how your plan works. Tax advantages "Pre-tax" means that your contributions are deducted from your pay and contributed into your plan account before federal (and most state) income taxes are calculated. This reduces the amount of income tax you pay now. Moreover, you don't...

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Why Save for Retirement?

When you envision retirement, you probably see yourself living comfortably, doing what makes you happy. Your dreams could be as lofty as traveling the world or as simple as spending more time with your friends and family. Everyone's vision is unique. Fortunately, whatever your dream, your employer wants to help you make it reality — by offering a retirement savings plan. Here's why you should consider taking full advantage of your plan. Enhance your income strategy Like so many other major life events, a successful retirement depends on advance planning. No matter what your age, now is the time to start thinking about...

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Personal Information Protection in Virginia (VA)

Virginia law imposes duties on employers and others who collect and store personal information. The chart below gives a general overview of these requirements; additional requirements and exceptions may apply. Types of Protected Information Personal information means: The first name (or first initial) and last name in combination with and linked to any unencrypted or unredacted data elements listed below that relate to a Virginia resident: Social Security number; Driver's license number or state i.d. card number; or Financial account number, or credit or debit card number, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password that would permit access to...

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