New Rules for Relief: Benefit plans impacted further by COVID-19

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration issued important new rule changes under EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01. While the guidance is designed to provide relief to those impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, it also creates significant new administrative challenges for plan sponsors and benefits professionals. The department also issued a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on health benefit and retirement benefit issues to help employee benefit plan participants and beneficiaries, plan sponsors, and employers impacted by the coronavirus outbreak understand their rights and responsibilities under ERISA.

This week, the Internal Revenue Service released its own guidance, Coronavirus-related relief for retirement plans and IRAs questions and answers. Section 2202 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides for special distribution options and rollover rules for retirement plans and IRAs and expands permissible loans from certain retirement plans. This guidance aims to help both plan sponsors and participants better understand these special options and rules.

In this video alert, McAfee & Taft employee benefits lawyers Brandon Long and Melissa Cottle review the latest DOL and IRS guidance impacting employers’ health plans and retirement plans. They also discuss what employers need to consider in maintaining compliance with federal rules regulating employee benefits plans while also following the special provisions under the CARES Act.

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