Businessolver Blog

Top Employee Benefits Compliance Issues for 2020

Top Employee Benefits Compliance Issues for 2020
Posted on Thursday, December 19, 2019 by Rae Shanahan

If you missed last week’s 2020 employee benefits compliance preview webinar, don’t worry, we’ve got your back.


Each year, the federal and state governments seem to do their best to keep HR professionals on their toes. It’s almost like a game of “Simon Says.” The instructions are so fast-paced and complex, the only way to “win” is to listen to every word. From minor—yet consequential—changes on tax forms, to grand—yet unenforceable—initiatives, HR pros are left asking, “Which issues should I really pay attention to?”

Unfortunately, it’s not a game.

Each December, we hold a webinar where we discuss the most important employee compliance issues employers need to pay attention to in the coming year—and for 3 very good reasons:

  1. Most importantly, benefits compliance presents HR professionals with an opportunity to protect those we serve—our employees—people who depend on their benefits to make their lives, and the lives of their dependents, better. They have families. Some may be our neighbors, our friends or even relatives. So, first and foremost, benefits compliance is about protecting our employees.
  2. Remaining compliant makes good business sense. Failure to do so can result in costly rework and expensive fines. So, each year we hold this webinar to help HR professionals avoid fines and other penalties so they can concentrate on providing real, strategic value to their organization.
  3. But why hold this in December? Because HR teams need to plan for the coming year. With annual enrollment drawing to an end for most employers, now is the perfect time to prepare for all the compliance issues that are likely to be relevant in the months to come.

And 2020 is gearing up to be a very busy year indeed, with lots of activity at both the state and federal level. If you missed our webinar, here are the top 5 reasons to listen to the audio-file on the way home from work, download the slides, or watch the entire presentation over your next lunch break:

  1. Looking ahead, 42% of webinar attendees said “state individual mandates and ACA compliance reporting” was their biggest concern for 2020. Meanwhile, 37% of webinar participants ranked “state leave laws” as their biggest compliance challenge in 2019. Download the slides to find out what your peers ranked as their other top concerns for 2020 and their biggest challenges in 2019.
  2. Some LATE BREAKING NEWS interrupted the planned cadence of our webinar, but also proved our point that the government is just about as predictable as a game of Simon Says. The recording has all the details, but in short, here’s what you need to know:
    1. The IRS announced an extended due date for furnishing IRS Form 1095-B and 1095-C for Tax Year 2019; and
    2. The IRS also provided furnishing relief for issuers of 1095-B forms allowing the reporting entities relief from penalties related to not filing.
  3. Two new types of health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) were introduced with Jan. 1, 2020 effective dates. Seyfarth Shaw Partner Ben Conley and Businessolver Compliance Lead Bruce Gillis covered both new arrangements using a helpful table that described how each type of HRA can be used, use limitations and employer funding limits.
  4. Among the seven compliance topics covered during the webinar, your peers were most engaged with the section on the new individual contribution HRAs. In fact, they submitted so many questions on this topic, we had to reach out to more than a dozen attendees after the webinar to provide answers.
  5. Bruce and Ben flipped a coin before the webinar to see who would cover the section on the political activity we can expect in 2020 and the possible repercussions. But true-to-form, our dynamic duo decided to share the burden of prognosticating the possible impacts of next year’s headlines, including:
    1. Where policymakers are finding common ground in the midst of an impeachment;
    2. How a Medicare-for-All construct might impact employers; and
    3. A status update on the June 24 executive order, the final expectations of which are due this coming Saturday.

To learn more about these compliance topics and many more, check out our on-demand webinar, slides and audio-only file for your next commute home.