The Washington Report
January 27, 2021
Note to subscribers: Due to the current environment, information is changing at a rapid rate. While we do our best to provide timely updates, it is possible that the information shared in the newsletter may change or be revised after our publication deadline. Stay healthy and safe! ~The Washington Report team
IRS Releases 2021 Covered Compensation Tables
On January 15, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Ruling 2021-03, which provides the compensation tables for calculating certain benefits under qualified pension, profit-sharing, and stock bonus plans for plan year 2021. For purposes of determining covered compensation for 2021, the taxable wage base is $142,800.
IRS Revenue Ruling 2021-03 is available here.
EEOC Issues 2020 Annual Performance Report
On January 19, 2021, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Performance Report. As part of the report, the EEOC announced that it secured a record amount of recovery for victims of discrimination while continuing to provide vital services to the public through the COVID-19 pandemic during fiscal year 2020, which ended September 30, 2020. In the Annual Performance Report, the EEOC reports on its progress in achieving the goals and objectives outlined in the agency’s strategic plan along with performance and program results achieved for the previous fiscal year.
The news release is available here.
The Fiscal Year 2020 Annual Performance Report is available here.
EEOC Approves Revised Enforcement Guidance on Religious Discrimination
On January 15, 2021, the EEOC approved revisions to the EEOC’s Compliance Manual Section on Religious Discrimination (Manual). The updated guidance describes in what ways Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals from religious discrimination in the workplace and sets forth the legal protections available to religious employers. On November 9, 2020, the EEOC voted to publish its proposed changes to the Manual for public review and input. After reviewing the public input received, the EEOC made revisions to the Manual before finalizing it.
According to the EEOC, the current version of the Manual, last updated in 2008, does not reflect recent legal developments and emerging issues. Since 2008, several Supreme Court decisions, as well as the lower courts, have altered the legal landscape. The revisions to the guidance include important updates to the discussion of protections for employees from religious discrimination in the context of reasonable accommodations and harassment. It also expands the discussion of defenses that may be available to religious employers.
The news release is available here.
The EEOC’s Manual is available here.
2021 Medicare Part D Disclosure Reminder
This Aon bulletin is a reminder of an annual disclosure requirement applicable to most employers that provide prescription drug coverage to individuals who are Medicare Part D-eligible. This disclosure is not new and should have occurred each year since 2006. The disclosure applies regardless of whether an employer provides retiree prescription drug benefits.
For 2021 calendar year plans, the disclosure must occur no later than March 1, 2021. The annual disclosure must occur for any employer that provides prescription drug coverage to anyone who is Medicare Part D-eligible.
The Aon bulletin is available here.
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