5500 Preparer's Manual for 2012 Plan Years
The premier resource in the field of Form 5500 preparation, 5500 Preparer's Manual will help you handle the required annual Form 5500 filings for both pension benefits and welfare benefit plans.
from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has published a notice of the availability of updated model notices for the COBRA premium reduction (otherwise referred to as the subsidy). EBSA has posted these notices on its Web site to reflect the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (TEA, P.L. 111-144). The model notices and information about the subsidy are available at http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/COBRA/main.html. The notice of availability appeared in the March 22 Federal Register.
On March 2, President Barack Obama signed the TEA, which extended, for a second time, through March 31, 2010, the availability of the COBRA premium reduction. The legislation also clarifies that a reduction of hours that results in the inability to elect or pay for COBRA can be a qualifying event for the purposes of the subsidy.
The EBSA Web site includes the following information:
These model notices must include the following information:
Individuals who experience an involuntary termination of employment after experiencing a qualifying event that consists of a reduction of hours must be provided the model notice of New Election Period model notice within 60 days of the termination of employment.
The Supplemental Information Notice must be sent by plans that are subject to COBRA continuation provisions under federal or state law. It must include the information required for the model notices, as spelled out above, and should be provided to all individuals who elected and maintained COBRA continuation coverage based on the following qualifying events:
Individuals with qualifying events that occurred at some time on or after March 1, 2010 for which notice of the availability of the premium reduction available under ARRA was not given MUST be provided this notice before the end of the required time period for providing a COBRA election notice.
COBRA election notices provided for qualifying events occurring during the effective dates of the premium reduction program are not complete if they fail to include information on the availability of the premium reduction.
The Notice of Extended Election Period must be sent by plans that are subject to COBRA continuation provisions under federal or state law. It must include the information described above and be provided to all individuals who experienced a qualifying event that was a termination of employment at some time on or after March 1, 2010, were provided notice that did not inform them of their rights under ARRA, as amended by TEA, and either chose not to elect COBRA continuation coverage at that time or elected COBRA but subsequently discontinued that coverage. This notice must be provided before the end of the required time period for providing a COBRA election notice.
Other updated notices, and the link to those notices, include the following:
For additional information, contact EBSA’s Benefits Advisors at 1-866-444-3272 or visit agency’s dedicated COBRA Web page at http://www.dol.gov/COBRA. The EBSA-developed model notices are available in modifiable, electronic form on this Web site.
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