By Mary Jo Flory-Steury
The roller coaster ride of receiving and responding to updates regarding implications of the Affordable Care Act for support of our pastors’ medical insurance premiums continues. Thank you for your continuing care and concern as we seek to understand the situation and care for our pastors’ well-being.
The Office of Ministry has prepared additional start-up and renewal agreements that we believe meet the IRS standards related to the Affordable Care Act. They have been posted at www.brethren.org/ministryforms along with the previous set of agreements. We now have a set of four start-up agreements and four renewal agreements. All eight forms are downloadable in fillable format for your convenience. Please remember that in all situations the Guidelines for Pastor’s Salaries and Benefits (also available at the above link) continues the standard of financial support for the care of our pastors.
You may recall that Brethren Benefit Trust shared a very important and helpful “alert” regarding a new ruling in February. Here it is again for your information and convenience:
IRS issues new ruling regarding the Affordable Care Act
The IRS on Wednesday, Feb. 18, issued a new ruling regarding the Affordable Care Act. Here are the highlights of that ruling, which were approved by BBT’s legal counsel–
— Employers can reimburse health insurance premiums pre-tax through June 30, 2015.
— Employers don’t have to file IRS Form 8928, even if they did have violations in 2014.
— By June 30, 2015, employers must stop paying for or reimbursing individual health insurance unless they have just one employee. After that date, ACA penalties will be incurred.
— If employers have only one employee, they can continue reimbursing healthcare premiums on a pre-tax basis.
— Employers who have more than one employee and are not in a bona fide group plan, but want to continue to help pay insurance costs, need to change the way this is done after June 30, 2015, to avoid penalties. The way to do this is to increase salaries to cover the health care premiums without stipulating the salary increase for that use.
— Employers should consider amending their 2014 payroll reports and W-2s to treat the premiums as non-taxable.
— Mary Jo Flory-Steury is associate general secretary of the Church of the Brethren and executive director of the Office of Ministry.