In an article published Mar. 1, 2024, Constangy partner and employee benefits practice group chair Dana Thrasher shared her insights on the latest moves in compliance in the ALM publication, BenefitsPRO.

The article delves into a slew of benefits changes in 2024 that employers must be aware of to remain compliant. One example presented is that employee benefit plans should be clear on the changes implemented during the pandemic, such as the cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 testing and telemedicine benefits. The article also notes that extended deadlines for specific plan notices, elections, and claim/appeal procedures have expired, requiring a reversion back to the standard deadlines.

The United States Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of the Treasury issued guidance in March 2023 to help plans with compliance in the transition. The article goes on to advise that plan documents, summaries, and processes should be clear on the post-pandemic rules.

Looking ahead to changes in welfare benefit plans effective in 2024, most employers will be required to electronically file Affordable Care Act ("ACA") information returns. The article notes that an employer may also need to amend its cafeteria plan in 2024 if it implements the optional cafeteria plan election change. That change allows an employee to prospectively revoke family coverage if family members elect marketplace coverage during the plan year.

The article also looked at retirement plan changes made by the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022. Dana notes that the changes affect various aspects of plan operation, including requirements concerning participation eligibility, contributions, withdrawals, distributions, and plan administration.

Dana explained that automatic enrollment is expanded for plan years that begin in 2025 or later, and employer incentives to encourage employees to participate provided outside the plan are now allowed.

“Plan sponsors, fiduciaries and service providers should review documents, contracts, administrative processes and employee communications. Although plan amendments and related changes to summary plan descriptions may be delayed, identifying applicable changes and taking necessary steps – including communicating changes to employees/participants – is crucial for compliance,” Dana concluded.

For the full article, please click here.


Practice Areas

Back to Page