IRS rules retroactivity for same-sex spouse benefits to June 2013
In 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional. Now, a new IRS ruling states that benefits administrators will be able to file past claims and move on activity that has been delayed for months as sponsors waited for regulatory action.
The rules are retroactive to June 26, 2013, the date of the Supreme Court decision. Retirement plans must reflect these changes by December 31, 2014.
Plan sponsors may potentially be affected by “qualified joint and survivor annuities; assignment of funds through qualified domestic relations orders to spouses and former spouses as alternate payees; and minimum distribution rules for surviving spouses,” according to a Smart HR Manager blog post.
Classifying student athletes as employees may stir up problems with ACA
A recent National Labor Relations Board decision requires large employers to offer coverage to “all full-time workers,” meaning 95% of employees working 30+ hours per week. In addition, NLRB ruled just weeks ago that college football players with athletic scholarships have the right to organize their own union.
What do the collective rulings mean for employers and health care reform?
In a report for Employee Benefit News, benefits attorney Ann Caresani writes, “Given the high stakes involved with a failure to satisfy the 95% test, employers need to consider their margin for error, and give serious consideration to the circumstances involving anyone who is performing services but is not being treated as an employee.”
This week’s hidden gem: Workplace flexibility remains a pipe dream for most
A study from the Sloan Center on Aging & Work at Boston College shows that many rank-and-file employees don’t have wide access to workplace flexibility.
While flexibility is generally offered to more senior employees, these types of programs haven’t evolved much over recent years, concludes a report for Human Resource Executive Online.
Families and Work Institute President and Co-Founder Ellen Galinsky agrees that “we have to change from thinking about this as a perk to advantaged employees to seeing is as a tool you use to create and maintain that very productive and engaged workforce,” noting that flexible work “should not be an entitlement, but a responsibility.”