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Regulatory roundup

April 24th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

By Employee Benefit Research Group

We’ve seen a string of regulatory issues come up recently that employee benefits practitioners should know about. The following succinctly explains the new changes and  includes links for you to learn more about each topic.

Governmentals guided
The IRS and the Treasury Department will issue guidance relating to the applicability of the normal retirement age rules to governmental plans (as defined in § 414(d)). In Notice 2012-29, the agencies describe and invite public comment on the guidance under consideration, which

  1. would clarify that governmental plans that do not provide for inservice distributions before age 62 do not need to have a definition of normal retirement age, and
  2. would modify the age-50 safe harbor rule for qualified public safety employees.

See this IRS Notice for more.

ERISA explained
The Department of Labor (DOL) release an update Health Benefits Advisor for Employers that explains the legislation, statutes and regulations in Parts 6 and 7 of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). These laws include:

  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • Mental Health Parity Act (MHPA) and Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA)
  • Newborns’ and Mothers’ Health Protection Act (Newborns’ Act)
  • Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA)
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)
  • Michelle’s Law

Derivatives defined
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted a new rule to define a series of terms related to the over-the-counter swaps market. The new rule is intended to “clarify for market participants whether their current activities will subject them to comprehensive oversight in the coming months,” says SEC Chairman Mary L. Schapiro. A fact sheet on the new rule is available from the SEC website.

Check back here for more on new and updated regulations and how they affect you.

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