NRF, NLBMDA weigh in on ACA Employer Mandate delay

The Affordable Care Act.

The Department of Treasury has decided to delay much-contested employer provisions of the Affordable Care Act until Jan. 1, 2015, giving businesses more time to adjust to the requirements without incurring penalties. As a result of the delay, businesses with greater than 50 employees will have one more year before the coverage mandate kicks in, by which time the administration intends to streamline reporting requirements. Reactions, which were plentiful, ranged from gratitude to criticism.

The National Retail Federation issued a statement from VP and employee benefits policy counsel Neil Trautwein applauding the administration's decision.

"We commend the Administration's wise move to delay the employer reporting and penalty obligations under the Affordable Care Act," said Trautwein. "This one year delay will provide employers and businesses more time to update their health care coverage without arbitrary punishment."

Meanwhile, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association expressed concern that the delay would foster greater confusion regarding individual penalties taking effect next year.

"If an employer is not required to provide coverage until 2015, how can you assess penalties on individuals if they do not have coverage?" said a statement issued by NLBMDA. "And in that case, you are asking for complications if you "waive" the penalty for individuals who work for a large employer but not for other individuals."

The NRF had previously advocated for this delay in the interest of protecting small business owners and creating greater flexibility in the community.

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