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About this Blog

Welcome to the Snell & Wilmer Benefits Blog. We will be posting about current employee benefits and executive compensation topics and issues. We invite you to contact the authors with your thoughts or questions.

Obama Administration Announces Plan for “Starter” Retirement Accounts

In his State of the Union address on January 28, President Obama announced that he will use his executive authority to direct the Treasury Department to create “myRA”, a starter retirement savings account program. According to White House Fact Sheet, a myRA will be available to individuals who do not have access to workplace retirement […]

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AM

Employers Need More Same-Sex Marriage Guidance

Last summer, the Supreme Court determined that the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) was unconstitutional.  The Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Windsor had the effect of extending many employee benefits to same-sex spouses.  Employee benefit plans were significantly impacted by the ruling, and, as a result, the IRS and the Department of Labor […]

KH
Former Associate

Consider Adding Separate Annual Limits on Director Equity Awards

As reported in Part 1 of our End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists, employers that are adopting or amending equity-based compensation plans in 2014 should consider adding a separate annual limit on director equity awards.  Including a separate sublimit for director equity awards appears to be a trend that continues to gain momentum […]

GG

Don’t Lose Your Money – Employers Can Now Allow Their Employees to Carryover up to $500 of their Health FSA

Late last year, the IRS announced that it was modifying the health flexible spending account (“health FSA”) “use-it-or-lose-it” rule.  Prior to the change, employees had to use the full balance of their health FSA by the end of the plan year or the money would be forfeited.  This rule sometimes forced employees to unnecessarily spend […]

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KH
Former Associate

IRS Issues Relief for Certain “Closed” Defined Benefit Plans

In Notice 2014-5, the IRS provided temporary relief from the Code’s nondiscrimination rules for certain defined benefit plans that are closed to new participants.  (This is sometimes referred to as a “soft freeze.”). The temporary relief allows employers who sponsor a closed defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan to comply with Code’s nondiscrimination […]

AM

Public Companies Should Consider Shareholder Reapproval of Section 162(m) Performance Compensation Plans Approved in 2009

As reported in Part 1 of our End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists, Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code limits the deduction a public company may take for compensation payable to “covered employees” to $1,000,000 per year. “Performance-based compensation” that meets the requirements of Section 162(m) is not subject to this limitation. […]

GG

IRS Announces 2014 Retirement Plan Limits

On October 31, 2013, the IRS announced the cost-of-living adjustments that will affect the dollar limitations for pension and other retirement plans for the 2014 tax year.  Notably, the $17,500 annual contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k) plans remains the same for 2014. Maximum   Qualified Retirement Plan Dollar Limits 2013 2014 Limit […]

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GG