The new year is just around the corner, and that means a slew of new regulations are about to take effect. Here is what’s on tap for 2012.
W-2 reporting requirements
Employers with 250 or more employees in 2012 will be required to report the cost of employee’s healthcare coverage on workers’ 2013 W-2s.
Small employers can wait another year. Those issuing fewer than 250 W-2s aren’t required to obey the reporting requirements until 2013 W-2s are issued (in 2014). But the IRS has said the reporting requirement for small employers could be pushed back even further.
The requirement to report the cost of health coverage on employees’ W-2s has caused a lot of confusion among workers. One thing you’ll want to tell them: The W-2 reporting requirements do not make workers’ healthcare benefits taxable — they’re simply meant to let employees know how much their coverage costs.
401(k) fee disclosure rules
On Jan. 1, 2012, the retirement plan fee disclosure regs go into effect. But Uncle Sam has given employers 120 days after that date to comply — making the actual compliance deadline April 30, 2012.
Essentially, the rules require plan sponsors to disclose all fees and expenses to participants of 401(k)-type plans.
The feds hope that’ll make the plans easier for employees to understand so they can make more informed decisions about where and how to invest their money.
End of rollovers to HSAs
If you currently allow employees to transfer the balance of an FSA or HRA into an HSA, they only have until Dec. 31, 2011 to do so.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2012 that practice is prohibited.
New federal guidance/rules
Be on the lookout for federal guidance and final rules on delayed reform provisions.
Two provisions worth paying particular attention to:
- Summary of Benefits and Coverage. The healthcare reform law requires all health plans — grandfathered or not — to provide plan participants with a summary of their benefits and coverage. Employers have been given a reprieve from having to comply with this requirement. The deadline was March 23, 2012, but it has been pushed back indefinitely. The feds have said a new deadline will be determined in a final rule but gave no indication when the rule would be issued.
- Nondiscrimination rules. These rules will apply to all health plans that are not grandfathered. They prohibit employers from offering current or former execs coverage that isn’t available to rank-and-file employees. The feds delayed the implementation of this provision in late 2010, but guidance is expected to come down soon.