The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months.

  • On August 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released their 2016-2017 Priority Guidance Plan, often informally referred to as the IRS Business Plan, which lists those issues that will be the subject of formal guidance from July 2016 through June 2017. The IRS Business Plan includes 35 pending items addressing retirement benefits and 20 pending items addressing executive compensation, health care and other benefits. The items are listed in the chart below in the reverse order of when they first appeared on the agenda.
  • On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda. This publication takes the form of a Federal Register notice to comply with certain administrative requirements. The DOL’s agenda and related materials include 13 pending projects related to employee benefits, which are listed in the chart below in order of the projected timetable for next steps. (In the ordinary course, the projected dates shown on the agenda may prove to be ambitious.)

Projects added to the agendas since they were last published are shown in bold. There are 14 new IRS initiatives, and no new DOL initiatives. We also note that the section 280G guidance project is no longer on the IRS Business Plan.

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