This Week in Government Affairs
October 13, 2015
- Secure Choice Savings program
Similar (but not “same as”) bills that were recently introduced (S.6045 Savino and A.8332-A Rodriguez) would establish a private sector retirement savings program in the form of an automatic enrollment payroll deduction IRA. All employers that do not offer a qualified retirement plan, have been in business for more than two years and have 25 or more employees would be required to participate in the program. The employer must provide information materials, enroll the employee (unless they opt out), deduct from an employee’s paycheck and transfer into the fund as arranged by the board. Legislation creating similar retirement programs has been enacted by several states (Illinois, Oregon and Washington) and is under consideration in other states. We welcome members’ input on this new legislation.
- SIM grant program
The Northeast Business Group on Health (NEBGH) is holding a series of stakeholder meetings to discuss implementation of the State Innovation Model (SIM) grant program to fund health care innovation at the state level. New York received a $100 million, four-year grant to support the transformation of primary care across the state through an Advanced Primary Care model. (NEBGH is working with the state Department of Health on this initiative). Since this process will have a direct impact on how health care is delivered and paid for in New York, we encourage as much employer participation as possible. Click here to view, and register for, the events. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
- Health update - This week Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released a five-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the U.S. Department of Labor, which will allow the AG to investigate employee-sponsored health plans under the DOL’s Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) authority. This unprecedented move would give Schneiderman authority to investigate both commercial plans and self-insured employers. The text of the MOU can be found here. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
- STEM incentive program rule - An emergency rule went into effect on September 18 pertaining to the New York State Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Incentive program, a financial aid program that offers the top 10 percent of each high school graduating class full tuition reimbursement at SUNY or CUNY schools if the student goes into a STEM program of study and agrees to work in a relevant field in New York State for five years. The rule implements a student financial aid program for awards to be made to students beginning in the fall 2014 semester. The emergency rule defines what constitutes full-time employment in a STEM field following graduation and minimum GPA requirements, and enables award disbursements. The Higher Education Services Corporation intends to adopt the emergency rule as a permanent rule at a future date.
- ACA’s employer reporting requirements - The IRS issued four new forms for use by employers and insurers for their reporting requirements under the ACA. In addition, penalties for failing to submit correct reports have been finalized. Failure to report covered individuals come with a fine of $250 per employee, per year, up to a $3 million cap. If it is determined that an employer intentionally disregarded these requirements, the penalty is $500 per employee, per year, with no cap. More information about reporting requirements can be found here. Staff contact: Lev Ginsburg
- Securities industry report - New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli last week issued a report on the securities industry in New York City. The report highlights the importance of the industry to the city and state economy in revenue and employment numbers. It also notes that profits have remained strong in spite of weakness in the global economy and concerns over the timing of the Federal Reserve’s plan to raise short-term interest rates. Click here to view the report.
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