The Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor issued a
, extending the timeframes for certain employee benefit plans, participants, and beneficiaries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
This deadline relief is intended to protect the benefits of participants and beneficiaries in all employee benefit plans during the National Emergency. The relief is tied to the announced end of the National Emergency declared by President Trump, or such other date announced by the IRS and DOL in a future notice.
Subject to limitations in ERISA section 519 and Code section 7508A, all group health plans, disability and other employee welfare benefit plans, and employee pension benefit plans subject to ERISA or the Code must disregard the period from March 1, 2020 until sixty days after the announced end of the National Emergency for all plan participants, beneficiaries, qualified beneficiaries, or claimants in determining the following periods and dates:
- The 30-day period to request special enrollment,
- The 60-day election period for COBRA continuation coverage,
- The date for making COBRA continuation coverage premium payments,
- The date for individuals to notify the plan of a qualifying event or determinations of disability,
- The date within individuals may file a benefit claim under the plan's claims procedure,
- The date within which claimants may file an appeal of an adverse benefit determination under the plan's claims procedure,
- The date within which claimants may file a request for an external review after receipt of an adverse benefit determination or final internal adverse benefit determination,
- The date within which a claimant may file information to perfect a request for external review upon finding that the request was not complete.
The notice does not allow cafeteria plan salary reduction elections to be changed or revoked and does not increase the FSA carryover amount. Based on the information provided, all plans with runout periods ending during the National Emergency have been extended until 60 days following the end of the National Emergency or such other date announced by the IRS and DOL in a future notice (the "Outbreak Period"). The rollover and grace period provisions have not been addressed. Since these reliefs impact our employers and participants, we will be notifying participants on Monday regarding the deadline relief.
Should you have any further questions regarding how these extensions may affect your benefits, please contact us at 859.233.4377. These extensions may impact your Compliance Documents, Retirement Plans, COBRA, Flexible Spending Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements. We cannot provide legal or tax advice regarding the notice or its requirements.