Monday Briefing

Right on cue, things seem to be picking up a bit. Lots to think about from last week’s screen time. Here’s a sampler of what has been catching our attention.

  • We are still betting on leave laws as a megatrend in the coming years. Now is the time to start thinking about how they these laws interact with benefits and how to comply.  (SHRM)
  • We’re here to help. The IRS has launched an ACA Information Center for Applicable Large Employers. We are impressed. But don’t forget to call us if you need help. (IRS)
  • Thank you, Kaiser Family Foundation, for the excellent content on your website, including your updated “Preventive Services Tracker.” (Kaiser)
  • And thank you Mercer for this top-10 compliance priorities list for 2016. (Mercer) How about adding something on worker classification and review of fees paid by plans?
  • Ever wonder about those insurance contract phrases that talk about insurance becoming effective when an absent employee returns to work? An appellate court in California recently concluded that “actively at work” refers to an “employment status” not an “employment activity.”  Huh? In this case the worker was not at work the day his policy took effect and he died before returning to work. The Court concluded that his “employment status” was enough to enforce the policy. Aberration?  (
  • No more lump sum windows for defined benefit plan participants in pay status.  (IRS) This impacts (but won’t end) de-risking projects at many companies.
  • Lifetime income options are getting a lot of attention these days. (Already a megatrend?) The SPARK Institute recently issued guidelines on integrating guaranteed lifetime income options into 401(k) plan platforms. Not exactly mystery-thriller reading, but very interesting to those in the business.  See various links on their Comments & Materials tab. (SPARK)
  • Meanwhile, that disrupter, Betterment, got some nice ink in the New York Times: “Simpler, Less Expensive 401(k) Options Emerge for Small Business.”  (NYT)


Bob Seng

With plenty of experience in private practice and as an Assistant General Counsel for Pay & Benefits in a Fortune 50 Company, Bob understands that employee benefits law isn’t for everyone. That’s why he takes pride in listening carefully and responding with clear answers and advice that can be followed by busy clients.

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