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A former podcast from Lockton’s ERISA Compliance Consulting team 

You’ve reached the home of ERISA is a Friend of Mine, an informal and informational podcast series that Lockton’s ERISA Compliance Consulting team produced from 2019 to 2022. Scroll down to view and listen to any of the podcast episodes. NOTE: These podcasts have not been updated since their publication dates.

For the latest information and content on ERISA and other employee benefits issues, click below to visit Lockton’s Compliance Consulting webpage, and to learn more about our services and Lockton People Solutions.


Jun 1, 2020

It’s not often the government more or less invites employers to break the rules, and simultaneously grants amnesty for past violations, but that’s just what the IRS is doing in 2020 for cafeteria plan coverage changes. Well, sort of.

In this special bonus episode, Ed and Scott explore how the IRS is changing the rules in ways it would never have done but for the pandemic. They also shed a few tears over something not so helpful to employers: a tolling of the clock for several key health plan deadlines that plan enrollees would otherwise have to meet. The result creates administrative hassles and adverse selection risks.

  • What is an outbreak period? (Surely, it’s different from what Scott had since high school.)
  • What deadlines are the feds suspending, and for how long?
  • Is adverse selection something Ed’s wife experienced when she said “I do,” or is it a health plan financial risk to employers?
  • Are the IRS’s new cafeteria plan accommodations required?
  • Can an employer, if it decides to play along, limit the cafeteria plan changes it’s willing to allow?
  • How does a flexible spending account grace period grow from 2.5 months to 12 months?