|Feb. 16, 2019 | www.fisherphillips.com|
In July 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL), the Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation released proposed revisions to the Form 5500 Annual Return required for certain ERISA-covered employee benefit plans. While the proposed regulations garnered attention when they were released, the agencies have been relatively quiet about the changes to come. However, because the regulations target plan year 2019 and could include sweeping compliance changes for health plans in particular, it’s time to start planning.
As you may recall, a previous article recently published in the Benefits Update newsletter reviewed the letters that employers were beginning to receive regarding potential liability for employer shared responsibility payments (ESRPs) pursuant to the Affordable Care Act’s employer “play-or-pay” mandate. The IRS first began sending these letters in late 2017; the letters proposed and assessed Section 4980H(a) penalties for 2015—the first year that “applicable large employers” (ALEs) could be assessed ESRPs. Now, the second shoe has dropped: employers are beginning to be levied penalties for non-compliance of Section 4980H(b), which has the potential to cover a much broader group of employers.