Topic: COVID-19

Form 5500 Filing Relief for Certain Employee Benefit Plans

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRS has automatically extended the deadline for ‎certain ‎retirement and welfare plans to file Form 5500. IRS Notice 2020-23 provides that tax ‎returns, including Forms 5500, that are required to be filed on or after April 1, 2020 and before ‎July 14, 2020 are automatically extended to July 15, 2020. ‎

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FAQs Provide Guidance on COVID-19 Testing and Diagnosis Requirements Affecting Employer Health Plans

The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury (collectively, the ‎‎“Departments”) jointly issued FAQ guidance regarding implementation of the health coverage ‎provisions under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) and the Coronavirus ‎Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”).‎

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ISS and Glass Lewis Present Guidance for Corporate Governance During COVID-19

Public companies and their boards can look to the recently released guidance of ISS and Glass ‎Lewis when considering best therapies to address corporate governance and broader ‎environmental, social and governance issues. The prominent proxy advisors address, among ‎other things, issues affecting annual general meetings, board composition, and executive ‎compensation. This post highlights the executive compensation considerations.‎

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Governance Issues for Retirement Plan Sponsors Due to “Opt-Out” Amendments

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or the “CARES Act”, into law.  We discussed the employee benefit plan provisions included in the CARES Act in our Quick Study published last week, which can be found here.  For sponsors of defined contribution plans, these provisions include: coronavirus-related distributions, which are a new form of distribution, relaxed loan provisions, and suspension of 2020 required minimum distributions (a brief summary of these provisions is provided in the second part of this blog post).

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Employers May Offer Tax-Free Financial Assistance to Employees Affected By Coronavirus under Internal Revenue Code Section 139

On March 13, 2020, President Trump declared a national emergency under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the “Stafford Act”) in response to the Coronavirus Disease 19, or COVID-19.  This declaration allows employers to make qualified disaster relief payments to employees affected by COVID-19 on a tax-free basis pursuant to Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”).

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High-deductible Health Plans May Cover COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Costs

To facilitate the nation’s response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), also known as the Coronavirus, the Internal Revenue Service advised in IRS Notice 2020-15 that a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), until further notice, is permitted to pay for COVID-19-related testing and treatment, without jeopardizing its status as an HDHP.  Additionally, contributions to an HDHP participant’s health savings account (HSA) will not be adversely affected if the HDHP covering the participant provides for coverage of costs for COVID-19-related testing or treatment‎.

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