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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.

IRS Extends Amendment Deadline for Certain Qualified Plan Amendments

The IRS recently provided some welcome relief in the form of extended amendment deadlines for sponsors of qualified retirement plans (including collectively bargained plans).  Notice 2022-33 extends the deadline for adopting amendments required by the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (“SECURE Act”) and the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 […]

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Federal Agencies Issue Guidance After Dobbs Ruling

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) Secretary Xavier Becerra directed HHS agencies to act within their power to protect the rights of patients seeking reproductive care and their providers.  Some of the significant guidance HHS agencies issued in […]

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Rethinking Reproductive Healthcare Benefits After Roe: Three Initial Benefits Questions for Employers to Consider

The U.S. Supreme Court released their final opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on June 24, 2022.  Justice Alito’s opinion closely tracked the draft opinion that was leaked on May 2, 2022.  The opinion holds: “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to […]

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A Running Start: IRS Pilots New Pre-Examination Program

The Employee Plans Office of the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) announced a new pre-examination program for retirement plans to begin as of June 2022.  The pilot program is designed to reduce the amount of time and resources the IRS expends on plan audits, while affording plan sponsors the opportunity to identify and correct errors. […]

Group Health Plans Must Provide Free Over-the-Counter COVID-19 Tests Effective January 15, 2022

On January 10, 2022, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury (collectively the “Departments”) issued Affordable Care Act FAQs Part 51 which addresses, in relevant part, payment for over-the-counter (“OTC”) COVID-19 testing. Shortly after, on February 4, 2022, the Departments issued Affordable Care Act FAQs Part 52 which prospectively modifies the Direct Coverage Safe Harbor from […]

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Time to Consider Option Repricings?

Given recent declines in equity value in a variety of segments of the economy (technology in particular), a number of clients have asked us what levers are available for retaining talent.  While they are rare and while we might be too early in the economic cycle for them, stock option repricings remain a possible tool […]

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HDHP Telehealth Relief Extended for Remainder of 2022, but Mind the 3-Month Gap in Relief

On March 15, 2022, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (the “2022 CAA”) was signed into law.  Section 307 of the 2022 CAA extends the relief permitting high deductible health plans (“HDHPs”) to provide telehealth and other remote care services free of charge before a participant meets their required deductible, but there’s a catch. The CARES […]

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To the Moon After All? DOL Targets Cryptocurrency in Retirement Plans

In Compliance Assistance Release No. 2022-01 (the “Release”), the Department of Labor (the “Department”) signaled its intention to scrutinize inclusion of cryptocurrency assets and crypto-derivative products as investments in ERISA-covered retirement plans.  In particular, the Release articulates the Department’s view that offering exposure to this asset class – either in a plan’s investment lineup or […]

An Interesting Intersection: No Surprises Act Claims and the New Fee Disclosure Requirements for Group Health Plans

As reported in our January 7, 2022 SW Benefits Blog “The DOL Asks and Answers Questions About the New Welfare Plan Fee Disclosure Rules,” group health plans must now comply with the ERISA Section 408(b)(2) disclosure requirements.  The CAA amended ERISA Section 408(b)(2) to extend the disclosure requirements, which have long applied to retirement plans, […]

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Short-Term Deferral Day is Right Around the Corner

Section 409A, the provision of the Internal Revenue Code that regulates the time and form of payment of nonqualified deferred compensation, contains a helpful exception for “short-term deferrals.”  Specifically, Section 409A provides that a payment will not be considered nonqualified deferred compensation if the employer makes the payment on or prior to the 15th day […]

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