National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors

Tax Issues Are Percolating but None Are Yet Firmed Up

July 15, 2019

The SECURE Act is still pending action in the Senate; extenders (with estate tax and medical expense deduction involved) are just barely beginning to move. The cost of eliminating the expiration of tax reform rules approaches $1 trillion, and tax writers are on the hunt for offsets. The tax world is roiling, but a path forward is not yet clear.     Here’s a rundown of the tax initiatives of interest to NAIFA that are currently in play in Congress as lawmakers sprint to first the August re...

Treasury Proposes Exceptions to MEP One Bad Apple Rule

July 15, 2019

On July 2, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a proposed regulation (REG-121508-18) that provides an exception to the “one bad apple” rule applicable to defined contribution multiple employer plans (MEPs). The proposed regulation calls the “one bad apple” rule the “unified plan rule.”   Generally, the proposed regulation allows for a MEP’s participating employer that is in violation of qualified plan rules to be spun off from the MEP, thereby insulating ...

President Orders Regulations to Expand HSA and FSA Rules

July 15, 2019

On June 24, President Trump issued an Executive Order (EO) directing the Treasury Department to promulgate regulations to ease the rules surrounding health savings accounts (HSAs) and flexible spending arrangements (FSAs). The EO also directs Treasury to broaden the definition of medical expenses that can be paid from HSAs and FSAs.   On HSAs, the EO directs Treasury to address a coverage gap arising from the current “no other plan rule.” Generally, the problem is that a person may not ha...

Senate Poised to Vote on HELP Committee’s Surprise Billing/Agent Comp Disclosure Bill

July 15, 2019

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee approved health reform legislation—by a 20 to 3 vote—that addresses the surprise billing issue and imposes tough new health agent/broker compensation disclosure requirements. The bill now awaits a vote by the full Senate.   The HELP Committee approved S.1895 with only three dissenting votes, but the overwhelming bipartisan support belied underlying and growing controversy.  Some committee members noted that they were saving...

Full-Strength SEC Defends Reg BI

July 15, 2019

Now at full-strength, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is defending its final Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) against consumer groups who complain that it does not provide sufficient protection to investors.   On June 20, the Senate confirmed Allison Lee to a Democratic seat on the SEC. Lee succeeds Kara Stein, who left the SEC in January. Her addition to the SEC brings the agency to its full five-member commissioner strength.   Lee’s presence as an SEC commissioner come...