The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: New Employer Opportunities and Obligations

60 min. Aired Wednesday March 31 | 10am PT / 12pm CT

Approved for 1.0 certification hour to HRCI/SHRM through 04/30/2021

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The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: New Employer Opportunities and Obligations

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law H.R. 1319, the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021” (APRA). The latest in an extended series of COVID-19 economic relief bills, with a price tag of $1.9 trillion and weighing in at an impressive 628 pages, ARPA will bring cumulative US federal pandemic relief spending to approximately $5.7 trillion. While the new law’s consumer provisions – like direct stimulus payments to about 89% of US taxpayers, extended unemployment benefits, and increased child tax credits – have gotten almost all the press coverage related to this law, as with prior laws (FFCRA, CARES Act, CAA) there are many employer-impacting provisions that have so far “flown under the radar.”

At Ascentis, we’ve hauled out our trusty “HCM radar detector” to hone in on just those provisions which may impact and delight (or maybe not?) employers, and the HR community, around the country.

What you will learn

  • Extensions and “sweeteners:” the provisions of prior pandemic relief programs that have been extended or enhanced by ARPA
  • The “big sale on COBRA:” when it comes to premiums, “everything must go!” and how the unprecedented new zero-premium COBRA coverage could impact your plan qualifiers
  • Notifications: Big changes in COBRA mean big changes in required employee notifications
  • The compromise change in tax law around student loan debt that may totally re-shape tuition reimbursement plans for years to come
  • Another expansion of PPP funding; the Paycheck Protection Program will cover more employers than ever before
  • How HCM and HR technology will be affected by these provisions.

About the Speaker - Bob Greene


Bob Greene currently serves as Senior HR Industry Analyst at Ascentis. Bob’s 40 years in the human capital management industry have been spent in practitioner, consultant and vendor/partner roles. As practitioner, he managed payroll for a 5,000-person bank in New Jersey. As consultant, he spent 8 years advising customers in HRMS, and payroll and benefits system design as well as acquisition strategies. Bob also built a strategic HCM advisory practice for Xcelicor (later acquired by Deloitte Consulting.)

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