As We Go To E-Press – A Few Items from the Editors of the EBC Newsletter

As is the custom, the editors have identified a few recent items worthy of mention but perhaps not extensive discourse.  That does not mean these developments are unimportant but rather that they are, to a large degree, self-explanatory or both too important and too new to address fully.  It is also the case for those in, “Well, what about . . . .?” mode that our criteria for inclusion are relatively loose and we make no effort to track every development across the spectrum of concerns covered by the JCEB in real time.  We are, however, very interested in what interests you so please let us know what we left out and whether you know someone who might be interested in developing the omitted item for later article treatment.  In that spirit, we offer the following for consideration:

  • What is a difference between a hurricane and the IRS? One respects safe harbors.  I.R.C. Sec. 402(f) requires certain information to be provided to recipients of eligible rollover distributions. IRS has modified the two safe harbor explanations that may be used. The modifications address recent legislation and updated guidance, including changes related to qualified plan loan offsets under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. (Notice 2018-74, 2018-40 IRB).
  • Credit Card Points for your EPCRS submission? Beginning on April 1, 2019, the IRS will no longer accept paper Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) submissions or process user fees paid with a paper check. The IRS has instead set out new procedures for using the www.pay.gov website to file. During the transition period (January 1 through March 31, 2019), plan sponsors may file submissions with the IRS either by using www.pay.gov or by filing paper VCP submissions. (Rev Proc 2018-52, 2018-42 IRB).
  • The wilderness of wilderness residential treatment litigation. In A.Z. by & through E.Z. v. Regence Blue Shield, __F.Supp.3d__, 2018 WL 3769810 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 9, 2018), the real party-in-interest was a minor diagnosed with depression. Her health care provider prescribed participation in a wilderness residential treatment center, which was expensive.  The claim denial was challenged based on ERISA theories and violation of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act. Wilderness residential treatment coverage has become another sub-area of coverage spawning a fair amount of litigation. That itself is interesting and worthy of exploring in some depth. That longer distance offshore sailing does involve being resident in a wilderness environment that often makes one editor happier is purely coincidental.
  • No Bueno.  In Vazquez v. Marriott Int’l, Inc., 2018 WL 1988875 (M.D. Fla. Mar. 27, 2018), the issue was defective COBRA Notice. The key factor was that notices allegedly were not both Spanish and English. It’s not a merits decision but the court did grant certification of a class of 15,000 employees.