Archives: Benefits

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How2 Do Pensions

To mark Pensions Awareness Day 2017, Squire Patton Boggs launches a series of free “How2 Do Pensions” guides! Each issue will provide a valuable speed brief on a key aspect of UK occupational pensions. The first two instalments summarise employer automatic enrolment duties and how to move to electronic member communications. Further instalments will follow each … Continue Reading

Age ain’t nothing but a number

With a whirlwind of changes enforced in the last seven years the state pension age, which remained unchanged from the 1940s until 2010, is yet again in for a shake-up. On 18 July, David Gauke, Work and Pensions secretary announced plans to bring forward the increase in state pension age to 68 – this will … Continue Reading

The IBM appeal – when is a pensions promise not a promise?

Employers can pursue pension plan change with renewed vigour following the publication of the judgment in the IBM appeal. They can now be less concerned about whether promises they have made in the past may bind them into the future, as the weight of an employee’s “reasonable expectations” argument has been significantly downgraded making it … Continue Reading

“Show Time!” for the US Labor Department’s Fiduciary Rule

It may be show time for the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) Fiduciary Rule (the “Rule”), but don’t expect an elaborate production.  Think frustrated, reluctant actors on a bare stage with no lights or scenery implementing the previous Administration’s regulatory approach to protecting retirees and retirement savings from conflicted investment advice. After a long and … Continue Reading

IRS complicates health plan waivers of coverage

Many employers provide a cash payment to an employee who waives employee medical plan coverage.  Contrary to popular belief, this practice is not “illegal” under U.S. law.  However, because of new guidance contained in IRS Notice, 2015-87 (December 16, 2015), employers may want to provide “waiver payments” to U.S. employees, only if they can show … Continue Reading

Plus ça change: amendment to principles of UK executive remuneration

As we previously reported, the guidelines on executive remuneration (formerly known as the ABI guidelines) have now come under the auspices of the Investment Association (“IA”).  As usual at this time of year, the guidelines (or principles, as we should now call them) have been dusted down. The only substantive change to the principles is that long-term incentives … Continue Reading

EEOC issues new Regulations on Wellness Plans

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission just released proposed regulations related to wellness plans, finally lifting the veil of secrecy surrounding its actions.  The EEOC regulations apply to wellness plans that include disability related inquiries or “medical exams” The EEOC’s regulations are designed to allow employers to continue to provide financial incentives to employees, up to … Continue Reading

Additional Thoughts About the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby Decision

For employers, the Hobby Lobby decision of the U.S. Supreme Court makes no attempt to define the scope and meaning of the term “closely held” corporation.  The majority opinion stated that “the cases before us are closely held corporations, owned and controlled by members of a single family”.  Is this ruling supposed to be limited … Continue Reading

A Take-Away from the Quality Stores Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., No. 12-1408.,188 L. Ed. 2d 413, has broader implications for employers than its legal holding. On its face, the holding is that supplemental unemployment compensation benefits paid to terminated employees after a reduction in force or closing of an operation are subject … Continue Reading

Don’t forget to claim your employment allowance

As from 6 April 2014 UK employers can reduce their NICs bill by £2,000 – the so-called “employment allowance”. It is estimated that up to 1.25 million businesses and charities will benefit from employment allowance. Around 450,000 businesses and charities won’t have to pay any employer NICs at all – but only if they remember to … Continue Reading

Tax, media frenzy and legitimate tax planning (and the Bump Plan)

Readers may have been captivated by BBC1s recent Panorama programme which touched upon, amongst other things, the so-called “bump plan.” Details of this entirely legal tax strategy came to be heard in most unfortunate circumstances for a very highly regarded member of the tax profession, who has subsequently resigned his position on the GAAR panel- … Continue Reading
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