Aon Hewitt Washington Report
May 8, 2017
Houses Passes American Health Care Act
On May 4, 2017, the House passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, by a vote of 217–213. The bill would substantially amend portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and includes the repeal of the individual and employer mandate penalties and the essential health benefits requirement. It would also impose a penalty for the failure to maintain continuous health care coverage in the individual market and make numerous other changes to the ACA. The bill now goes to the Senate, which is expected to modify the bill, probably significantly, before passage.
For more details on the health care bill passed by the House, see "U.S. House of Representatives Passes the American Health Care Act" in the Aon Hewitt Publications section of this newsletter.
H.R. 1628 is available here.
Spending Bill That Will Fund Government Through September Enacted
On May 5, 2017, President Trump signed into law a $1.1 trillion spending bill (H.R. 244) that funds the government through September 30, 2017, the end of the fiscal year. The measure passed the Senate on May 4 by a vote of 79–18 and the House on May 3 by a vote of 309–118.
H.R. 244 is available here.
Senate Passes Resolution to Halt State-Run Retirement Plans for Private-Sector Employees
On May 3, 2017, the Senate approved with a 50–49 vote H.J. Res. 66, which prevents a Department of Labor (DOL) regulation regarding state-run retirement plans for private sector workers from going into effect. The House approved the measure February 15. President Trump is expected to sign the legislation into law.
In August 2016, the DOL issued a final safe harbor regulation that describes how states may design and operate payroll deduction savings programs using automatic enrollment for private-sector employees, without causing the states or the private-sector employers to establish employee pension benefit plans under ERISA. According to the DOL, eight states have enacted legislation to create retirement savings programs for private-sector workers.
H.J. Res. 66 is available here.
The DOL news release from August 2016 on the final regulation for state plans (including a link to the regulation) is available here.
House Approves Working Families Flexibility Act; Senate Passage Uncertain
On May 2, 2017, the House approved the Working Families Flexibility Act (H.R. 1180) with a 229–197 vote. The bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by allowing private employers and employees to voluntarily agree to accrue compensatory time off at the rate of one and one-half hours of every hour of overtime worked, in lieu of receiving overtime pay. An employee could accrue up to 160 hours, but an employer could determine to provide monetary compensation for up to 80 of those hours. The bill would apply only to workers who are eligible for overtime pay and have worked at least 1,000 hours for their employer during the previous 12 months of continuous employment. The bill would not affect workers who are exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA, including those subject to the exemptions for executive, administrative, and professional employees. The measure moves to the Senate, where passage is uncertain.
H.R. 1180 is available here.
"H.R. 1180, Working Families 'Flexibility' Act—Frequently Asked Questions," is available here.
President Signs Executive Order Prompting HHS to Reconsider Contraceptive Coverage Under ACA
On May 4, 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order (Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty) instructing federal agencies to comply with federal law on the protection of religious liberty. The order specifically instructs the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (HHS) to consider amending Affordable Care Act (ACA) regulations to address conscience-based objections with respect to the requirement that employers cover contraception.
The Executive Order is available here.
The HHS news release is available here.
IRS Issues HSA Contribution Limits for 2018
On May 4, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the 2018 inflation-adjusted amounts for health savings accounts (HSAs). The annual limit on deductions for an individual with self-only coverage under a high deductible health plan is $3,450; and for an individual with family coverage under a high deductible health plan is $6,900. A high-deductible health plan is defined for 2018 as a health plan with an annual deductible of at least $1,350 for self-only coverage or $2,700 for family coverage. Annual out-of-pocket expenses must not exceed $6,650 for self-only coverage or $13,300 for family coverage.
An Aon Hewitt bulletin on the 2018 HSA limits will be available soon.
Revenue Procedure 2017-37 is available here.
Aon Hewitt Publications
U.S. House of Representatives Passes the American Health Care Act
On May 4, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the GOP's long-awaited “repeal and replace” health care bill, entitled the American Health Care Act (AHCA) (H.R. 1628). The AHCA, which passed by a vote of 217–213, now moves to the U.S. Senate for consideration. The AHCA would, if enacted into law in its present form, amend substantial portions of the Affordable Care Act.
The Aon Hewitt bulletin, which provides an overview of the AHCA, is available here.
Now Available: Retirement Legal Consulting and Compliance Quarterly Update
The Aon Hewitt Retirement Legal Consulting & Compliance practice is pleased to present its Quarterly Update of recent legal developments and consulting opportunities for the second quarter of 2017. In this issue you will find the following articles:
- Is Your Pension Plan Ready for Termination?
- Avoid Overpaying User Fees for VCP Submissions
- Fiduciary Investment Advice Rules—Where Are We Now?
- Substantiation of Safe-Harbor Hardship Distributions
- Plan Fiduciaries—How to Mitigate Risk of Conflicts
- Supreme Court Ends Verizon Annuity Lift-Out Litigation
- New Disability Claims Procedure Rules
- Restricted Annuity Can Be DC Plan Default Investment
- IRS Releases Operational Compliance List—Next Steps
- New Puerto Rico Tax Law Changes Impact Retirement Plans
- Quarterly Roundup
- Recent Publications
The second quarter 2017 issue of the Retirement Legal Consulting & Compliance Quarterly Update is available here.
Aon Hewitt Webinar Events
A Closer Look: Health Care Reform in the First 100 Days of the Trump Administration
When: Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Time: 2:00 p.m. ET
Join us on May 10 as our experts explore:
- The latest legislative developments;
- Potential implications for employer-sponsored health care; and
- How to stay compliant with new laws and regulations, as well as ways to ensure your health care strategies are adaptive and supportive of business objectives and the needs of your people.
Click on the link below to reserve your spot.
Register for "A Closer Look: Health Care Reform in the First 100 Days of the Trump Administration" here.