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DOL Proposal Encourages Creation of Association Health Plans

Rule Would Permit Associations Based on Industry or Geography The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a proposed rule which would allow employers to join together as a single group to offer group health insurance coverage to current employees, former employees, working owners, and their family members as part of an "association health plan." If finalized, the rule would allow association health plans to be formed on the basis of industry or geography, such as by state, city, county, or metropolitan area. Notably, the proposed rule would subject association health plans to the nondiscrimination rules currently applicable to large group coverage...

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Reminder: Individual Mandate Remains in Effect for 2018

Requirement is Effectively Repealed Beginning in 2019 Individuals are reminded that the section of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which effectively repealed the individual shared responsibility provision ("individual mandate") of the Affordable Care Act does not become effective until 2019. As a result, individuals are required to have minimum essential health coverage, qualify for an exemption from the requirement, or pay a penalty tax for 2018. You can learn more about the Individual Mandate (Individual Shared Responsibility) through SIMA's partner, HR360. ...

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Reminder: ‘Pay or Play’ Affordability Percentage is 9.56%

Percentage Down from 2017 Under the employer shared responsibility ("pay or play") provisions of the Affordable Care Act, applicable large employers—generally those who had 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) in 2017—may be subject to a penalty if they do not offer affordable coverage that provides minimum value to their full-time employees (and their dependents) in 2018. As a reminder, for plan years beginning in 2018, coverage will generally be considered affordable if the employee's required contribution for the lowest cost self-only health plan is 9.56% or less of his or her household income for the taxable year....

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‘Cadillac Tax’ Delayed Until 2022

Tax Previously Set to Become Effective in 2020 President Trump has signed the Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, which (among other things) delays implementation of the "Cadillac Tax," the Affordable Care Act's excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage, until 2022. Previously, this tax—which would impose a 40% tax on plans that cost more than $10,200 (for self-only coverage) and $27,500 (for family coverage)—was set to become effective in 2020. You can find more information about Cadillac Tax here. ...

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3 Key ACA Terms Employers Need to Know

Definitions Essential to Understanding 'Pay or Play' Compliance In general, under the employer shared responsibility ("pay or play") provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), applicable large employers—generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees—may be subject to a penalty if they do not offer minimum essential coverage that is affordable and provides minimum value to their full-time employees (and their dependents). Here are definitions to help employers understand these key terms: Minimum Essential Coverage: Minimum essential coverage includes, among other things, coverage under an employer-based plan (including self-insured plans, retiree plans, and COBRA coverage). It does not include...

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Highlights of Maryland Sick & Safe Leave Law

Maryland has passed a sick and safe leave law. Highlights of the law are presented below. Coverage An employer with 15 or more employees generally must provide an employee with paid earned sick and safe leave at the same wage rate as the employee normally earns. An employer with 14 or fewer employees must (at least) provide an employee with unpaid earned sick and safe leave. The law does not apply to an employee who (among other things) regularly works less than 12 hours a week for an employer. Click here for more details on coverage and exceptions. Accrual and Use Earned sick and safe leave...

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Maryland Adopts Paid Sick and Safe Leave Law

On Jan. 12, 2018, the Maryland General Assembly overrode Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2017 veto of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, which requires employers in the state to permit employees to earn and use sick and safe leave. Absent further legislative action, the measure will become effective Feb. 11, 2018. Accordingly, Maryland should prepare to comply with its requirements immediately.The Healthy Working Families Act applies to all employers in Maryland, including state and local governments; however, it makes a distinction between large and small employers. For employers with 15 or more employees, sick and safe leave is paid leave and must...

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IRS Releases New Income Tax Withholding Tables

Tables to be Used No Later Than Feb. 15 The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Notice 1036, Early Release Copies of the 2018 Percentage Method Tables for Income Tax Withholding. The notice updates the income-tax withholding tables for 2018, reflecting changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Highlights of the notice include the following: Early release copies of the percentage method tables for income-tax withholding that will appear in Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide Social Security and Medicare tax rates for 2018 Additional Medicare Tax withholding rates Employers should begin using the 2018 withholding tables as soon as possible, but...

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3 New Year’s Resolutions for Plan Fiduciaries

Note: Written by Nevin E. Adams.  Nevin is the American Retirement Association’s Chief of Communications and serves as Editor in Chief of NAPA Net and NAPA Net the Magazine. This is the time of year when resolutions for the cessation of bad behaviors and the beginning of better ones are in vogue. Here are three for plan fiduciaries for 2018. Start a diet – for your fund menu. Though it is a point often made with studies (well, one study, actually) dealing with jellies and ice cream, a long-standing behavioral finance tenet is that more choice doesn’t lead to better decisions. So what’s...

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