National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors

What to Expect in 2016: Fiduciary Issue Dominates; Congress Returns to Talk of Tax and Health Reform

January 15, 2016

The second session of the 114 th Congress began January 4, with lawmakers continuing to express their concern about the pending Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule, and talking about tax and health reform. It is a presidential election year, so partisan politics will drive much of the year’s agenda. Add to that a spike in the tension between lame duck President Obama and lawmakers from both parties—presidential executive action on immigration and gun control has roiled both Democrats an...

Congress Sent ACA-Gutting Bill to President, who Promptly Vetoed It

January 15, 2016

On January 6, the House approved Senate amendments to the bill (H.R.3762) that would have gutted the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but on January 7 President Obama vetoed the bill within hours of receiving it. The House plans to vote to override the veto the week of January 25, but it is near certain the vote will fall short of the 2/3 majority needed for an override.   The 240 to 181 House vote was almost completely party-line—only one Democrat voted for the measure and only three Republica...

IRS Extends ACA Employer Reporting Requirements Deadlines

January 15, 2016

On December 28, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced an extension of two months of the deadline for the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) requirement to provide employees with details on employer-offered health insurance, and for three months its deadline for reporting to the IRS employee and health coverage data.   In Notice 2016-4, the IRS said employers now have until March 31, 2016 (extended from February 1) to provide their employees with the forms (Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C) o...

IRS Says Cafeteria Plan Health Premium Amounts May Not Count in Calculating ACA Affordability

January 15, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), in Notice 2015-87, has provided guidance on when and if employer flex credits (provided through a cafeteria plan) can count as an amount that would reduce the amount an employee pays for health insurance. This is important in calculating whether an employer offer of health insurance coverage is affordable. If it is not, the employer faces assessments for failure to offer its full-time employees affordable minimum essential benefits coverage.   In order ...

FINRA Releases Its 2016 Priorities Letter

January 15, 2016

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) 2016 Regulatory and Examinations Priority Letter includes management of conflicts of interest and protections for seniors and other vulnerable investors as areas of focus for FINRA in 2016.   During this year FINRA plans to complete the targeted examination it began in 2015 of incentive structures and conflicts of interest in connection with member firms’ retail brokerage business. The priorities letter states that “This review encompa...