New IRS Rules Allow Greater Flexibility in Health Plan Choices

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The IRS  has issued cafeteria plan rule changes that allow for greater flexibility regarding participants' health plan choices.

Effective immediately, cafeteria plans connected to group health plans may be amended to allow participants to change their coverage under two new scenarios.

Scenario One:

Should an employee experience a reduction in hours to less than 30 hours per week, but still qualify for coverage under the group health plan, the employee could be permitted to drop their cafeteria plan election.

Should you consider this change?

This change is most applicable to large employers who rely on measurement and stability periods for determining health plan eligibility. You may also consider the change if you offer group health coverage to eligible employees who work below 30 hours per week.

Scenario Two:

Under the new guidance, employees who drop their group health coverage in order to purchase coverage through a Marketplace may be permitted to drop their cafeteria plan election that is attached to the group health plan.

Should you consider this change?

Implementing this new rule is attractive to employers who want to add increased flexibility to their employee's health coverage choices. It's particularly favorable to employers operating with a non-calender cafeteria plan year.

Key Points and Action Items:

These changes are available immediately. These new rules only apply to changes in group health plan coverage under that cafeteria plan. The event described will not permit an employee to alter their FSA election. To activate them you must contact the BPC team to amend your cafeteria plan by the end of the plan year.

To update your plan to reflect these new changes, please contact us at 800-355-2350 or benefitssetup@bpcinc.com.

Posted on September 23, 2014 .

Increase Employee Retirement Readiness with Automatic Contributions Arrangements

Pre-Retirement Worker

Are your employees on track to be retirement ready? BPC has a solution to increase retirement plan participation and help employees reach their retirement goals. By setting up an Automatic Contribution Arrangement, employers can enroll eligible employees into a plan at a specific salary deferral rate. 

 
This plan provision increases retirement plan participation, while giving employees the flexibility to opt-out should they choose to do so. Automatic Contribution Arrangements can be set up with a default deferral percentage rate by making a simple amendment to the sponsor's retirement plan document. For plans that charge account fees to participants' accounts, adding the automatic enrollment feature does not increase costs for the employer.

With the IRS-mandated Plan Document Restatement period underway, now is the perfect time to discuss setting up an Automatic Contribution Arrangement for employer-sponsored retirement plans. Please contact the BPC Retirement Team at 800-355-2350 or retirementsales@bpcinc.com.

Posted on July 21, 2014 .

Important Facts About Restating Your Retirement Plan Document

Important Facts About Restating Your Retirement Plan Document

The Pension Protection Act (PPA) Plan Document Restatement window is now open. The IRS requires that plan sponsors restate their qualified retirement Plan Document approximately every six years. Restating a Plan Document is the process of updating the Document to include all Plan amendments and legislative changes that have occurred since your Plan Document was last prepared. This restatement will be required even if the current document has recently been drafted. The IRS-defined PPA Restatement cycle will run from now through April 30, 2016.

As your Plan Document provider, BPC will restate your Plan Document during this restatement cycle. This is an ideal time to review your Plan to make sure it is helping you and your staff meet your retirement needs. Below is a brief summary of what you can expect.

Plan Document Restatement FAQs

Is there a fee for this service? The good news is there are no additional charges for most of our clients. Restatements are completed at no additional cost for clients who are enrolled in BPC's document warranty service.

Is the process simple? Yes! BPC will restate your plan. If you wish to consider additional options, let us know. 

What actions will I need to take? After we restate your Plan Document you will sign and date the restated Plan Document and retain a copy for your permanent records. We will also provide you with a newly updated Summary Plan Description booklet (SPD) for you to distribute to your staff.

When will this happen? We will update your plan during the IRS-defined restatement window that runs from now through April 30, 2016. 

Contact us if you have any questions regarding this process. We look forward to working with you on this required update.

 

Posted on June 21, 2014 .

Information Regarding the Heartbleed Bug

The news have extensively reported the OpenSSL security flaw CVE-2014-0160, otherwise known as Heartbleed which affects a large number of web servers worldwide. Rest assured that BPC and our technology partners’ servers and websites have been patched and thus secure and protected against Heartbleed. 

Experts are strongly encouraging all internet users to change their login passwords. 

For more information about the Heartbleed Bug, please visit www.heartbleed.com

 

Posted on April 11, 2014 .