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2021 Year-End Compliance Issues and Amendments for Retirement Plans

Vandeventer Black
As the end of 2021 approaches, despite the current focus on proposed legislative infrastructure, spending, and tax packages, retirement plan sponsors should take time before year-end to review deadlines for required 2021 plan amendments and related compliance obligations. 401(k) plan hardship withdrawals – required amendment. The IRS issued regulations in 2019 liberalizing the hardship withdrawal ...
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SECURE Act 2.0 – Look Out for New Retirement Plan Incentives

Vandeventer Black
On the heels of 2019’s SECURE Act (Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act), there currently is broad bipartisan congressional support for additional retirement plan legislation providing incentives to increase employees’ retirement savings.  The House and Senate have drafted substantially similar bills which are working their way through the legislative process.  Nicknamed “SECURE Act ...
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Cybersecurity Certification

New ERISA Guidance on Retirement Plan Cybersecurity

Vandeventer Black
The Department of Labor (DOL) has just issued first-time retirement plan guidance to address cybersecurity risks for employers, plan fiduciaries, recordkeepers and plan participants.  The guidance is in the form of recommended best practices to protect retirement benefits by providing strong cybersecurity practices for employers and plan service providers and online security tips for participants ...
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New Guidance Clarifies COVID-19 Employee Benefit Deadline Extensions

Vandeventer Black
Last year the IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) extended various ERISA and COBRA deadlines for employee benefit plan participants affected by COVID-19.  The extended deadlines included: The timeframe to elect COBRA continued health coverage; The deadline for making COBRA premium payments; Requests for special enrollment in a group health plan under HIPAA; The deadline ...
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COVID-19 and the CARES Act – New IRS Guidance and Relief for Retirement Plan Distributions and Loans

Vandeventer Black
On June 19 and 23, 2020, the IRS issued additional guidance (IRS Notices 2020-50 and 2020-51) clarifying and expanding relief for retirement plan participants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  A previous article summarizing the CARES Act retirement plan provisions can be found here. The new guidance makes the following ...
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COVID-19: New IRS Relief Allows Health Plan and Flexible Spending Account Election Changes

Vandeventer Black
On May 12, 2020, the IRS issued guidance (IRS Notice 2020-19) to allow temporary changes to section 125 cafeteria plans.  These plans allow participants to pay their portion of health insurance premiums and contribute to health care flexible spending accounts and dependent care assistance spending accounts (FSAs) on a pre-tax basis.  In return for the ...
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COVID-19 and Retirement Plans – Partial Plan Termination Issues and New Fiduciary Relief

Vandeventer Black
Potential Partial Termination of Retirement Plan.  A partial retirement plan termination may occur when there is a significant reduction (generally more than 20%) in plan participation due to employer-initiated terminations or layoffs during the plan year.  If a partial termination occurs, affected participants (those who are terminated) become 100% vested in their plan benefit, even ...
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New Guidance From OSHA About COVID-19 In The Workplace

Vandeventer Black
The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is continuing to address safety concerns in the workplace due to the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 by providing enforcement guidance to Compliance Safety and Health Officers (CSHOs) and Employers. So far in April 2020, OSHA released several enforcement memoranda concerning COVID-19.  They can be accessed on ...
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default featured

The Virginia Values Act: Details of the Comprehensive LGBT Anti-Discrimination Law Recently Passed in Virginia

Labor & Employment
Vandeventer Black
On April 11, 2020, Governor Northam signed into law the Virginia Values Act, which goes into effect on July 1, 2020. The Virginia Values Act provides comprehensive protection against discrimination for LGBTQ+ persons and other designated persons. The Virginia Values Act amends both the Virginia Human Rights Act and the Virginia Fair Housing Act by ...
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Coins and Pens on Top of Document

COVID-19, the CARES Act and Retirement Plan Issues

Vandeventer Black
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has a significant impact on employee benefit and retirement plans.  The following summary highlights the changes. Suspension of required minimum distribution rules The required minimum distribution (RMD) rules for retirement plans, including 401(k) plans and IRAs, are waived for 2020. Therefore, plan participants who are ...
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Home Office

The CARES Act – What the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) Means for Businesses 

Ray W. King
After a week of negotiations, Congress has come to an agreement on the text of a $2 Trillion dollar relief law. The CARES Act (the “Act”) promises aid to individual Americans, small businesses, hospitals, and large corporations. The President signed the bill into law on March 27, 2020.   The major provisions of the law ...
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Virginia Will Focus On Misclassification Of Workers As Independent Contractors

Labor & Employment
Vandeventer Black
In August 2018, Governor Northam signed Executive Order 16, which established the Inter-Agency Taskforce on Misclassification and Payroll Fraud. The Taskforce’s purpose was to make recommendations on how to measure and combat “misclassification” of workers as independent contractors in the view of the Commonwealth. The Taskforce included representatives from a variety of state agencies, such ...
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U.S. Department of Labor Increases FLSA Salary Threshold

Labor & Employment
Vandeventer Black
On September 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued the final rule on the salary threshold, making 1.3 million American workers newly eligible for overtime pay.  The final rule raises the standard salary level up from its current level of $455 per week to $684 per week ($35,568 per year for a full-year ...
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House Moves to Ban Employment Arbitration Agreements

Labor & Employment
Vandeventer Black
On September 20, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill to ban mandatory arbitration of employment or consumer claims. The House voted 225 to 186 in favor of the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act, which would make unenforceable any pre-dispute arbitration agreement that requires arbitration of an employment, consumer, antitrust, or civil ...
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DoD publishes final rule limiting the use of LPTA procurements effective October 1, 2019

Vandeventer Black
Contractors have frequently been heard to complain about the government’s persistent use of “Lowest Price Technically Acceptable Procurements,” or “LPTA” as a race to the bottom in both price and quality.  While the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) has provided that price may play a dominant role in source selection where “the requirement is clearly definable ...
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Statue of Justice

Qualified Opportunity Zones: A Reciprocal Vehicle to Minimize Capital Gains

Vandeventer Black
The recently adopted Qualified Opportunity Zone Program (QOZ), introduced in 2017’s Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, is emerging as a potentially significant federal economic development tool that could improve the outcomes of distressed communities throughout the United States. Through the QOZ program, investors can inject capital into government-designated, economically-depressed communities and promote long-term economic growth ...
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Court Room

HIRING EMPLOYEES UNDER THE AGE OF 18

Labor & Employment
Vandeventer Black
A REFRESHER ON FEDERAL AND STATE CHILD LABOR LAWS Recently, an accident in the trenches of a Northern Virginia construction site resulted in the injuring of one employee and the death of another. News reports allege that the deceased employee was only 16 years old. Under both Federal and Virginia child labor laws, the 16-year ...
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SBA Raises Size Limit For Firms To Qualify As Small Businesses

Vandeventer Black
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is raising the size limit for engineering, construction, and other companies to be classified as “small.” The interim final will increase thresholds by about 8% from the current levels. The new standards will take effect on August 19, 2019. For construction firms in the various buildings construction and heavy ...
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Compensation & Personal Injury Lawsuits Against Subcontractors in Virginia 3

Virginia Workers Compensation & Personal Injury Lawsuits Against Subcontractors

Vandeventer Black
The Virginia Workers Compensation Act prohibits employees from suing their employers for injuries incurred in the ordinary scope of employment. The Act provides an exclusive avenue of recourse for injured employees to recover against their employers. Section 65.2-307 of the Act provides that: The rights and remedies herein granted to an employee when his employer ...
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Cybersecurity Certification

DoD Introduces New Cybersecurity Certification for Defense Contractors

Vandeventer Black
With the federal government’s first False Claims Act case based on cybersecurity regulations from the Department of Defense (DoD) and NASA making its way through the courts, (United States ex rel. Markus v. Aerojet Rocketdyne Holdings, Inc.) and the continuing issues surrounding the implementation of the 2016 amendments to the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement ...
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