Internal Revenue Service

The Internal Revenue Service has for some time made available a comprehensive set of Questions & Answers covering the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) employer shared responsibility rules. (These are the rules that are codified in Section 4980H of the Internal Revenue Code, the compliance with which is reported on IRS Forms 1094-C and 1095-C, etc.) Entitled, “Questions and Answers on Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions Under the Affordable Care Act,” this web-based resource provided generally useful information about how the rules worked. Until recently, however, the IRS’ Questions and Answers merely said that the IRS “expects to publish guidance of general applicability describing the employer shared responsibility payment procedures in the Internal Revenue Bulletin before sending any letters to ALEs [Applicable Large Employers] regarding the 2015 calendar year” (Q&A 57). On November 2, that changed. This post explains what happened, and what it means for employers.

Continue Reading IRS (Quietly) Announces Procedures for the Assessment and Payment of Excise Taxes under the Affordable Care Act’s Employer Shared Responsibility Rules

This post highlights the significant impact the proposed regulations may have on advisers to mid-sized and small 401(k) retirement plans if adopted.  Previously, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series described the Department of Labor’s recently proposed regulations governing fiduciary status under ERISA, an important accompanying exemption, and the rule’s impact on large retirement plans (i.e., plans with more than 100 participants or more than $100 million in assets).

Continue Reading U.S. Department of Labor Re-Proposes Rules Governing the Definition of “Fiduciary”—Part 4: The Impact on 401(k) Plan Consultants to Mid-Sized and Small Plans

In Part 1 of this series, we reported on recently proposed regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor amending the definition of the term “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). Part 2 of the series covered a key feature of the Department’s proposed regulatory scheme—the “Best Interest Contract” Exemption—that allows advisers to small retirement plans and IRA investors to receive commission-based compensation without triggering a fiduciary breach or incurring excise tax exposure under rules governing prohibited transactions. This post focuses on the proposal’s impact on large plans, i.e., plans with more than 100 participants or more than $100 million in assets.

Continue Reading U.S. Department of Labor Re-Proposes Rules Governing the Definition of “Fiduciary”—Part 3: The Impact on Large Retirement Plans