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Post-Doma: Now is the time to review your plan documents

On June 26, 2013, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) – the law barring the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages legalized by the states – was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. It is now time for employers to review their retirement and welfare plan documents to determine whether plan amendments are needed to clarify benefit eligibility for same-sex spouses. As of August 2013, same-sex marriage will be legal in 13 states and the District of Columbia, including New York ... Read more

Guidance on the Notice to Employees of Coverage Options under Fair Labor Standards Act

United States Department of Labor - Employee Benefits Security Administration I. Introduction Many provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Affordable Care Act) that become effective beginning in 2014 are designed to expand access to affordable health coverage. These include provisions for coverage to be offered through a Health Insurance Marketplace (Marketplace), premium tax credits to assist individuals in purchasing such coverage, employer notice to employees of coverage options available through the Marketplace, and other related provisions. The Departments ... Read more

The postponement of Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate penalties until 2015

July 22, 2013 - By Salvatore J. Armao, CPA/PFS, CFP, CFE   REPRINTED FROM LABOR PRESS Copyright © 2013 Labor Press. All Rights Reserved. In response to concerns expressed by businesses regarding the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively, the Department of Treasury announced on July 2, 2013 the postponement of Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer mandate penalties until 2015. The one year delay comes with a similar deferment of information reporting by employers, ... Read more

Read The July 2013 issue of The Wealth Architect

Read The July 2013 issue of The Wealth Architect  In this month's issue: Mid-Year Planning: Accounting for New Tax Rules Choosing a Retirement Community Portability of Applicable Exclusion Amount between Spouses Will my homeowners insurance policy cover hurricane damage?   Read more

Make Sure Your Real Estate is in Good “Form”

Lately, we have come across several situations involving improper formation of real estate holding companies that hold real property occupied by a union local and/or its related benefit funds. Real estate holding companies (REHC) are specifically formed to hold title for and control real property. Union locals generally own 100 percent of an REHC as a wholly-owned subsidiary. However, if a C corporation is formed to hold the real property, there are certain application forms that must be filed with ... Read more

Health Care Reform – What Will It Mean

In March 2010, the U.S. Congress passed H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and its “sister,” H.R. 4872, the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act (“the acts”), causing a firestorm of controversy resulting in a challenge to their legality brought by 20 states. The United States Supreme Court has upheld the acts’ constitutionality, allowing them to move forward without question. The main provisions of H.R. 3590 and H.R. 4872 won’t take effect until 2014, when health ... Read more

Remembering the Past… Maintaining A Critical Voice Today

There is no better time than Labor Day to reflect on the words of American philosopher George Santayana (1863-­‐1952) who said: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. "Did you know that American trade unions are firmly rooted in the Pilgrims arriving at Plymouth Rock in 1620? Colonial America saw the arrival of early unions (also known as guilds) comprised of carpenters, cabinet makers, cordwainers (luxury shoe and boot makers) and cobblers. These very workers played ... Read more
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