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Year-End Legislation Contains Wide Variety of Employee Benefits Provisions



Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, Pub. L. No. 116-94 (Dec. 20, 2019)

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Congress has passed, and the President has signed, appropriations legislation that includes benefits-related provisions of interest for both health and welfare plans and retirement plans. Among other things, the new law repeals the excise tax on high-cost health coverage (often referred to as the “Cadillac tax”) and the health insurance providers fee, extends patient-centered outcomes research (PCOR) fees, and prohibits appropriated funds from being used for risk corridor payments. It increases the age at which retirement plan required minimum distributions must begin, requires 401(k) plans to allow participation by certain part-time employees, expands the availability of multiple employer retirement plans, contains enhancements to the safe harbor rules for 401(k) plans, and adopts special disaster-related rules for the use of retirement plan funds. The legislation also extends the employer tax credit for paid family and medical leave and the health coverage tax credit, and repeals the provision that increased unrelated business taxable income for tax-exempt organizations that provide parking benefits.

We will cover this development in the January 9, 2020, EBIA Weekly. Meanwhile, for more information about the underlying requirements, see EBIA’s Health Care Reform manual at Sections XXX (“Tax on High-Cost Health Coverage”), XXXVI.K (“Annual Fee on Health Insurance Providers”), XXXVI.H (“Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) Fees”), and XX.D (“Risk Corridors”); EBIA’s 401(k) Plans manual at Sections XII.I (“Required Minimum Distributions”), VII (“Core Concepts: Eligibility”), XXII (“Nondiscrimination: ADP and ACP Safe Harbor Plan Designs”), II.F.2 (“Multiple Employer Plan”), and XV.H (“Special Hardship Rules for Disaster Relief”); EBIA’s Group Health Plan Mandates manual at Section XVII.A (“What Is the FMLA and Who Must Comply?”); EBIA’s COBRA manual at Section XXXIV (“Special Issues: The Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC) and the Special Second COBRA Election Period”); EBIA’s Cafeteria Plans manual at Section XVII.F (“Cafeteria Plans and the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC)”); and EBIA’s Fringe Benefits manual at Section XX.T (“What Other Laws Apply to Transportation Fringe Benefit Plans?”) .

Contributing Editors: EBIA Staff.

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