In this episode, Richard and Sarah are joined by Ian Morrison, a Partner in Seyfarth’s ERISA Litigation group to delve into a new line of cases alleging that forfeitures are plan assets, and must be used to benefit plan participants. The plaintiffs in these cases are claiming that using forfeitures to offset employer contributions

Seyfarth Synopsis: The IRS has announced increases to key limits for certain health and welfare benefit programs, including HSA contributions for 2025.

The IRS recently released 2025 cost-of-living adjustments applicable to dollar limitations for certain employer-sponsored health and welfare plans in Rev. Proc. 2024-25.

The changes in the 2025 cost-of-living adjustments for employer-sponsored health

Seyfarth Synopsis: Following years of back and forth, new final rules were published by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on May 6, 2024 reinstituting the Department’s interpretation that the prohibition on discrimination by health programs and activities “on the basis of sex” includes treatments for gender-affirming care. In this post, we explore

On April 23, 2024, the DOL finalized its 2023 proposed package of amendments to the regulations defining who is a fiduciary under ERISA by virtue of providing investment advice for a fee, and amendments to seven existing prohibited transaction exemptions. This latest iteration of the fiduciary rule, the DOL’s third attempt at revising this rule

This post was originally published to Seyfarth’s Global Privacy Watch blog.

Seyfarth Synopsis: This past Monday, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued its final rule aimed at strengthening the HIPAA Privacy rules as they are applied to reproductive health data.

On the heels of the release of the 2022 US Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Biden Administration directed the Federal agencies to examine what they could do to protect women’s health and privacy. Shortly thereafter, HHS released guidance under HIPAA related to reproductive health care services under a health plan, focusing on information required to be disclosed by law, for law enforcement purposes, and to avert a serious threat to health or safety (see our earlier Alert here). Then, in April 2023, HHS issued proposed modifications to the HIPAA Privacy Rule aimed at these concerns. A year later, the agency finalized those rules on April 22, 2024 – the Final Rule.Continue Reading HHS Strengthens HIPAA Rules to Protect Reproductive Health Privacy

Seyfarth Synopsis: On March 28, 2024, Washington State’s Governor, Jay Inslee, signed into law a bill that creates a new state-run retirement program called “Washington Saves.”  Under the program, “covered employers” must give “covered employees” the opportunity to contribute a portion of their pay to an individual retirement account (“IRA”) on a pre-tax basis in order to save for retirement. 

Which Employers Must Comply With Washington Saves?

Only “covered employers” must comply with Washington Saves.  A “covered employer” is an employer that:

  • has been in business in Washington State for at least two (2) years;
  • has a physical presence in the State as of the immediately preceding calendar year;
  • does not offer a qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(a), 401(k), 403(b) plan, to their “covered employees” (employees who are at least age 18) who have been continuously employed for at least one year; and
  • employs, and at any point during the immediately preceding calendar year employed, employees working a combined minimum of 10,400 hours (which translates to approximately 5 full-time or full-time equivalent employees.)

Continue Reading Washington Saves; Washington State’s New State-Mandated Retirement Program

Seyfarth Synopsis: The agencies have finalized a portion of their proposed rules impacting so-called “junk insurance” regarding short-term limited-duration insurance, but deferred finalizing the more significant changes that would have impacted most fixed indemnity policies. 

In early April 2024, the Treasury Department, Department of Labor, and Health and Human Services (the “agencies”) issued final rules regarding short-term limited-duration insurance (STLDI). Avid readers of this blog may recall our earlier post on the proposed rules, found here, which impacted STLDI as well as other issues surrounding excepted benefits. The new final rules primarily address the STLDI portion of the proposed rules, and generally adopt them as proposed. Aside from a new notice requirement, the agencies delayed finalizing the rules on fixed indemnity insurance, but warned that the delay should not be an endorsement of the abusive practices that have emerged in this space.Continue Reading Agencies Defer Final Action on Junk Insurance, While Suggesting Caution Against One Last “Binge”

In 2024, we commemorate a significant milestone in the landscape of employee benefits law: the 50th Anniversary of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Enacted on Labor Day in 1974 by President Gerald Ford, ERISA has since served as a cornerstone in safeguarding the retirement and welfare benefits of American workers.

Here at Seyfarth

Seyfarth Synopsis:  As foreshadowed in our earlier post, the first complaint was filed in what is expected to be a wave of litigation alleging breach of fiduciary duty in selecting and monitoring welfare plan vendors.  While the facts of this particular case may make it somewhat distinguishable from the circumstances involved in most employer-sponsored

Over the last year, there has been an onslaught of state legislation enacting limits on gender-affirming care for minors. Access to gender-affirming care has become a flashpoint at the forefront of the culture wars, with state legislation largely following party lines. While diagnoses of gender dysphoria for minors aged 6-17 have steady increased, with one