Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Passes House

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) passed the House today by a vote of 227 to 205. The bill now heads to the Senate, which has already released details on its version of the bill, and subsequent revisions, with many significant differences. Procedural Process Step 1: Pass the House: This was completed today. Step 2: Pass the Senate: Republicans need at […]

New SF HCSO Waiver Form Updated November 1

The San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement (OLSE) has posted a new Employee Voluntary Waiver Form for use on or after November 1, 2017.  The form permits employees to voluntarily waive their right to employer health care expenditures under the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance (HSCO). HCSO Basics Under the HCSO, employers with […]

Bicycle Commuting Expense Reimbursement

Question:  What are the rules surrounding tax-free bicycle commuting expense reimbursement?   Compliance Team Response:    Overview The ability for employers to reimburse employees tax-free for bicycle expenses related to commuting was added to the Internal Revenue Code in 2009. The key limitations are: Employee contributions are not permitted (must be exclusively an employer giveaway […]

P&C carriers forecast rate increases

Brace yourself. For the first time in recent memory, P&C carriers are forecasting some moderate to major rate increases, and it looks like it is more than just trying to “get rate.” Consider these recent headlines: The market – largely due to the back-to-back catastrophes of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria – and the Sonoma/Napa […]

ERISA Record Retention

Question: How long should an employer keep employee benefits records? Compliance Team Response:   For employee benefit plan purposes, the general records retention rule of thumb is to keep ERISA-related records for eight years to comply with ERISA §107.  There’s a nice chart of this rule below. In short, ERISA requires that employers keep EB […]

Conditional Offer of Coverage for Spouses

Question: My client would like to only allow only spouses who do not have other coverage to enroll on their benefit plan. Is this permissible? Compliance Team Response:   Conditional spousal offers of coverage are permitted.  There is no requirement under the ACA pay or play rules to offer coverage to a spouse (the offer […]

ACA Pay or Play Applicability to Independent Contractors

Question:  How are independent contractors handled for reporting under ACA?  They are not offered benefits.  Compliance Team Response:    The ACA pay or play rules apply only to an employer’s common-law employees.  There is no obligation (or even ability to) offer coverage to properly classified independent contractors who are paid by Form 1099 (because these […]

ERISA Electronic Disclosure Rules

Question:  When does ERISA require that employees provide an electronic disclosure authorization?  How about an acknowledgement of receipt? Compliance Team Response: ERISA Electronic Disclosure Rules (SPDs, SMMs, etc.) The standard ERISA disclosure rules provide that ERISA-required documents must be provided to participants in a manner that’s “reasonably calculated to ensure actual receipt” by the intended […]