HHS Delays Federal SHOP Online Enrollment; Direct Enrollment Still Available
On Nov. 27, HHS announced that online enrollment in the federal SHOP Exchange would not be available until November 2014. Small employers who wish to enroll their employees now in federal SHOP coverage for 2014 may still do so through "direct enrollment" on their own or through an agent, broker or insurer offering a certified SHOP plan.
This is not a delay of the federal SHOP exchange itself, but rather a delay of one SHOP exchange functionality. For more information, see the four-page FAQ issued by CMS about the delay.
DOL Releases Advance Copies of
Form 5500 for 2013
DOL, the IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) have released advance informational copies of the 2013 Form 5500 annual return/report and related instructions. Modifications to the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF and their schedules and instructions for plan year 2013 are described in the instructions.
These advance copies of the 2013 Form 5500 are for informational purposes only and cannot be used to file a 2013 Form 5500 annual return/report. Pension and welfare benefit plans that are required to file electronically an annual return/report regarding their financial conditions, investments and operations each year generally satisfy that requirement by filing the Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF and any required attachments.
Standard Mileage Rates for 2014
In Revenue Notice 2013-80, the Internal Revenue Service announced the 2014 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
- 56 cents per mile for business miles driven
- 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The business, medical, and moving expense rates are one-half-cent lower than 2013 rates. The charitable rate is based on statute.
IRS Releases New Guidance on Elections
and Reimbursements Following U.S. v. Windsor
With IRS Notice 2014-01, released on Dec. 16, the IRS has provided further guidance on the application of rules under IRC §125 and §223 as they relate to participation in cafeteria plans, FSAs, and HSAs by same-sex spouses following the Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor. This notice amplifies previous guidance provided in IRS Rev. Rul. 2013-17.