Deadline to Pay COBRA Premiums and Certain Other ERISA and Internal Revenue Codes Due to COVID-19 Extended
The impacts of the COVID-19 National Emergency, as declared by President Trump on March 13, 2020, have been vast. As a result, many employers and employees are struggling to meet their various filing, notice, election, or other deadlines. In order to ease this burden on employers, plans and participants, on April 28, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued much needed guidance and relief. Notably, the guidance requires employers and plans to suspend the deadline for qualified beneficiaries to elect COBRA or pay COBRA premiums from March 1, 2020 until 60 days after the National Emergency ends (or such other date as specified by the Agencies)
DOL Relief for Group Health Plans and Disability and Other Welfare Plans
EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01, eases the burden for group health plans, disability plans, and pension plans to provide notices and disclosures required under ERISA and Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the “Code”) by clarifying, among other things, that:
- Neither the plan nor the employer will violate ERISA for failing to timely furnish a notice, disclosure, or document that must be furnished between March 1, 2020, and 60 days after the announced end of the COVID-19 National Emergency, if they act in good faith and make the disclosure as soon as administratively practicable under the circumstances.
- Plans and employers may communicate electronically with plan participants and beneficiaries who they reasonably believe have effective access to electronic means of communication, including email, text messages, and continuous access websites.
- Filing relief for Form 5500 applies per IRS Notice 2020-23, which was issued earlier this month. IRS Notice 2020-23 provides that employers with plan […]