Compensation and Benefits Alert | March.27.2020
To confront the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed the CORNAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT (CARES ACT) on March 27, 2020. It expands access to retirement funds and suspends required minimum distributions from retirement plans and IRAs in 2020. Further, the CARES Act loosens a few rules applicable to health plans so that employees can access treatment and testing for COVID-19 without worrying about deductibles and cost sharing. There are also provisions that defer employer payroll taxes, provide an employee retention tax credit for employers subject to COVID-19 related hardships, and limit compensation and severance payments to executives of companies that receive emergency loans and loan guarantees under the CARES Act. Finally, the CARES Act includes labor provisions that amend the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The significant benefits provisions included in the CARES ACT are summarized below.