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New DOL and IRS Regulations for Employee Benefits Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries

Notices, Distributions, Loans, HIPAA, New Model COBRA Forms, Fiduciary Compliance Guidance

Note: CPE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide employee benefits counsel an in-depth analysis of new DOL and IRS regulations for employee benefits plans impacting plan sponsors and administrators, participants, and beneficiaries. The panel will discuss recently issued DOL and IRS relief for retirement, health and welfare plans, and participants impacted by the pandemic, including final rules for plan loans and contributions, HIPAA, new model COBRA forms, claims procedures, and other essential matters.


On Apr. 28, 2020, the DOL and IRS jointly issued final emergency regulations to minimize the loss of employee benefits due to certain ERISA and Internal Revenue Code-related compliance failures stemming from COVID-19. Employers, insurers, and plan sponsors and administrators are all impacted by new regulations, and employee benefits attorneys must identify critical issues to maintain compliance with ERISA and other applicable rules.

The new regulations require immediate attention from plan sponsors of retirement, health and welfare plans, issuers, third-party administrators, and other plan service providers. There is now additional time to elect and pay for COBRA, special enrollment under HIPAA, and filing claims, which causes substantial compliance risks and loss for plan sponsors and administrators.

The CARES Act also provides new rules regarding plan, loans, and distributions, which has resulted in amended tax rules. This requires plans to implement these new rules now and adopt amendments to reflect the operation of the plans, and administrators and fiduciaries must make reasonable accommodations to prevent the loss of benefits or undue delay in benefit payments. In light of the CARES Act, the DOL issued guidance providing relief from the deadlines for providing certain participant disclosures on the implementation of the new rules.

Listen as our panel discusses the impact of the new DOL and IRS regulations on plan administration and offers guidance on mitigating liability risks for fiduciaries.



  1. Overview of recent DOL and IRS guidance in response to COVID-19 pandemic
  2. Impact on retirement plans and administration
    1. Notices to participants and beneficiaries
    2. Plan loans and distributions
    3. Participant contributions and loan repayments
    4. Form 5500 and Form M-1 filing
  3. Health and welfare plans rules
    1. Coverage and claims procedures
    2. HIPAA
    3. COBRA
  4. Fiduciary compliance issues and guidance


The panel will review these and other key issues;

  • What relief has the DOL and IRS provided for employee benefit plans, participants, and beneficiaries impacted by COVID-19?
  • How have recent DOL and IRS regulations impacted retirement plan administration?
  • What are the administrative pitfalls for health and welfare plans and methods to avoid them?
  • What ERISA fiduciary compliance issues arise, and how can plan sponsors and administrators minimize potential liability?


Darrow, Helana
Helana A. Darrow

Keating Muething & Klekamp

Ms. Darrow has extensive experience in all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation including counseling...  |  Read More

Michel, Lisa
Lisa Wintersheimer Michel

Keating Muething & Klekamp

Ms. Michel is the leader of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group. Her practice primarily involves...  |  Read More

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