Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Oh What A Relief It Is!

The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021 (the “CAA”) was signed into law on December 27, 2020 and provides, among many other things, a variety of relief measures for employee benefit plans, particularly health and welfare plans. Provisions of the new law that may require immediate action.


Relief for retirement plans was fairly limited under the CAA but will provide some relief for plans that experienced significant turnover due to the pandemic and for participants who experienced non-COVID-19-related disasters. Relief includes:

  • Partial termination relief

  • Disaster relief loans and distributions

  • Money purchase pension plan in-service distributions

Significant changes for health and welfare plans were enacted, both in the form of temporary relief for participants suffering during the pandemic and patient protections for the future. These changes include:

  • Flexible Spending Account (“FSA”) Relief.

  • Health Plan Transparency Regulations.

  • No Surprise Billing

  • ACA Provider Non-Discrimination Regulations.

  • State All Payer Claims Databases.

  • Fee Disclosures.

  • Student Loan Repayment.


For a high-level discussion of these changes, see our article at Plop, Plop, Fizz, Fizz, Oh, what a Relief It Is!