Vol. XX, Issue 11
The recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) expands several COVID-19 relief measures that were created in March 2020 (i.e., the initial phase of the pandemic), including the Employee Retention Credit (for employers) and employer tax credits related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.Employee Retention Credit (CARES Act)
The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) was created through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This credit provides an incentive to encourage employers to retain employees despite economic constraints due to COVID-19 impact, rather than terminating their employees.
The CAA extends the ERC into the first two calendar quarters of tax year 2021 and made significant changes, including increasing the credit amount and expanding eligibility to more employers.
A detailed summary of ERC updates is here.Family and Medical Leave (FFCRA)
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) passed in 2020 required most employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave related to COVID-19. The FFCRA also provided such employers with tax credits to support the new leave.
The FFCRA’s leave mandates expired on December 31, 2020. This means employers are no longer required to provide the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave related to COVID-19. However, the CAA extends the FFCRA’s tax credits through March 31, 2021, as an incentive for employers to voluntarily continue to provide such paid leave.
A detailed summary of FFCRA updates is here.
Starting the week of February 14, we will move our planned On Board Express (OBX) e-mails to a once a week cadence on Thursdays, rather than the present twice weekly schedule (Tue/Thu). If the news of the week is more urgent or time sensitive you may receive additional OBXs. HealthFlex Express will continue to be a Wednesday publication as needed. At anytime, you can access historical OBXs and HealthFlex Expresses archived on the Extranet.
Our most recent participant e-blast communication was sent yesterday, February 10. In this issue, we highlight Wespath’s efforts to support diversity and inclusion in honor of Black History Month, promote our Investment Insights Blog coverage of GameStop, explain why everyone needs a financial plan, observe America Saves Week, announce the extension of COVID-19 health coverage and provide videos about our Positive Social Purpose (PSP) Lending program, the January financial markets and the Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Well-Being personal financial management program for clergy and their congregations. Click here to view the email sent to participants.
Read our latest Wespath Market Update, a weekly investment summary that succinctly recaps economic and financial market activity for the prior week. If you, or others, wish to receive this email update, please send your contact information (name, email and organization) to InvestmentInfo@wespath.org.
Wespath Benefits and Investments (Wespath) invites conference benefits officers, treasurers, conference board of pension members and health benefits administrators to attend:
Thursdays in March!
Wespath will be hosting four virtual mini-meetings on Thursday afternoons in March. The meetings will be held each Thursday from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Central time. Each week will focus on a different set of topics, with the 4th Thursday (March 25) featuring a HealthFlex Mini-Summit. Recordings of each session will be available if you are unable to attend.
Agendas for the events are available online.
Click here to attend the Conference Forums and the HealthFlex Mini-Summit. Please register to attend these events by Friday, February 19.