Angela Bohmann

Angela Bohmann

Stinson Leonard Street

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What Does the Trust Requirement of ERISA Mean?

ERISA requires that plan assets be held in trust so that they are protected from claims of the employer. With pension plans, it is generally easy to determine when assets become plan assets and when they should be held in...more

10/29/2015 - Beneficiary Designations DOL Employee Benefits ERISA Firemen Pensions Retirement Retirement Plan Third-Party Agents Trusts Wells Fargo

Claims Administrators can be Liable for Violations of the Mental Health Parity Act

The Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPA) requires health plans to treat mental health and physical health benefits in much the same manner and precludes restrictions on mental health benefits that are not also...more

10/13/2015 - Breach of Duty Employee Benefits Fiduciary Duty Health Insurance Healthcare Mental Health Mental Health Parity Rule

Not all Plans can Establish a Shortened Limitations Period for Filing Lawsuit

I recently blogged about a case in which a plan had established a shorter period of time (one year deadline) for filing a lawsuit, rather than relying on the state statute of limitation (six years) which would otherwise have...more

10/5/2015 - Claim Denial Letters Employee Benefits ERISA Filing Deadlines Preemption Retirement Retirement Plan Statute of Limitations

Is Your Severance Policy an ERISA Plan?

Severance plans are generally covered under ERISA, but it is not always easy to distinguish an ERISA-covered severance plan from a non-ERISA severance policy. There are advantages and disadvantages to being an ERISA-covered...more

10/2/2015 - Appeals Employee Benefits ERISA Retirement Retirement Plan Severance Agreements

More Withdrawal Liability for Unsuspecting Business Owners

I recently blogged about a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that tagged a buyer of the assets of a company contributing to a multiemployer plan with withdrawal liability that the seller had not paid. A recent Ninth...more

9/29/2015 - Appeals Business Assets Business Development Construction Industry Employee Benefits Indemnification Multiemployer Plan Purchase Agreement Sale of Assets Successor Liability Withdrawal Liability

Participants in Top Hat Plans Must Exhaust Administrative Remedies

So-called “Top Hat” plans are nonqualified deferred compensation plans for a select group of management or highly compensated employees. These executive compensation arrangements are exempt from many ERISA provisions, but are...more

9/29/2015 - Administrative Remedies Deferred Compensation Employee Benefits ERISA Plan Administrators Retirement Plan

Don’t Play Hide the Ball with Your Claims Procedure

ERISA does not have a statute of limitations for lawsuits brought by participants to check claim benefits under the plan. Instead, courts borrow from similar state statutes of limitations. In a decision two years ago, the US...more

9/22/2015 - Claim Denial Letters Employee Benefits ERISA Plan Documents Retirement Retirement Plan SCOTUS Statute of Limitations Summary Plan Description

A Summary Plan Description Can be a Plan Document

In a decision issued a couple of years ago, the United States Supreme Court held that a summary plan description that differed from the plan document could not be enforced as the plan document. The Court said that the summary...more

9/22/2015 - 401k Breach of Duty Employee Benefits Fiduciary Duty Plan Administrators Plan Documents Retirement Plan SCOTUS Summary Plan Description

More Ways to be Hit With Withdrawal Liability

I have blogged in the past about situations where employers unexpectedly found themselves liable for withdrawal liability imposed by a multiemployer plan. We can add a recent case from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to...more

9/9/2015 - Appeals Employee Benefits Employer Liability Issues Multiemployer Plan Pensions Withdrawal Liability

Same Sex Marriage: Effect on Benefits

The United States Supreme Court recently held in Obergefell v. Hodges that all states must recognize and allow marriages between same sex partners. Depending on an...more

7/3/2015 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Equal Protection ERISA Fourteenth Amendment Marriage Marriage Equality Obergefell v. Hodges Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS Spouses

Using Your IRA to Buy a Business: Still a Risky Strategy

I blogged in the past about decisions in which taxpayers have used assets in their IRA to finance a new business. This structure is sometimes known as a ROBS or rollover for business startups. In 2013, the tax court held that...more

6/16/2015 - 401k Business Development Employee Benefits IRA IRA Rollovers IRS Retirement Plan ROBS Startups Tax Court

Retiree Medical Plans can Impose Lifetime Limits

Employers who sponsor medical plans know that those plans can no longer impose lifetime limits on essential health benefits. One exception is for medical plans that cover fewer than two active employees. Retiree medical plans...more

6/10/2015 - Affordable Care Act Employee Benefits Healthcare Lifetime Limits Retiree Drug Expenses

Standard of Review is Important – Again

I recently blogged about the importance the standard of review can make when a court decides whether a claims decision made under an employer plan will be upheld. My recent blog post dealt with the standard of review under a...more

6/5/2015 - Benefit Plan Sponsors C-Suite Executives Disability Benefits Disability Insurance Standard of Review

Are Top Hat Plans Entitled to a Discretionary Standard of Review?

Many years ago the Supreme Court decided that qualified retirement plans that gave their fiduciaries discretion to determine plan benefits were entitled to have their decisions, reviewed by a court under a generous “abuse of...more

5/26/2015 - Employee Benefits ERISA Fiduciary Duty Plan Administrators Retirement Plan SCOTUS Severance Agreements Standard of Review

Internet Posting of SPD is Insufficient

Employers know that they must prepare and distribute a summary plan description (SPD) for their ERISA benefit plans, including retirement benefits, health insurance, life insurance and disability insurance. Because of the...more

5/26/2015 - 401k Employee Benefits ERISA Health Insurance Life Insurance Popular Posting Requirements Retirement Plan Summary Plan Description

Some Wellness Benefits are Taxable

My colleagues blogged on recent wellness guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the three agencies charged with enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Department of Treasury, the Department...more

5/15/2015 - ADA Affordable Care Act DOL EEOC Employee Benefits Genetic Discrimination HIPAA Income Taxes Privacy Laws W-2 Wellness Programs

A Bad Deed is Not Entirely Unpunished

Richard Thomas embezzled nearly $20,000,000 from his employer. The employer then kept Thomas’s profit sharing account of about $21,000 as an offset against the embezzled amount. Of course, this violated ERISA’s...more

5/14/2015 - Anti-Alienation Provisions Attorney's Fees Embezzlement Employee Benefits ERISA Profit Sharing Wage and Hour

Be Careful What You Promise Employees Who Leave Your Employment

Clients sometimes like to ease the transition for employees who are retiring or whom the client would like to encourage to leave. One strategy is to continue the employee “on payroll” for a period of time with the expectation...more

3/6/2015 - Employee Benefits Employer Liability Issues Former Employee Retirement

Make Sure Participants Know When Their Plan Benefits Have Been Transferred

Employers need to make sure that their employees know when benefits shift from one plan to another as illustrated by this case from Utah: Martin Marietta Corporation (Martin) operated a cement plant that it later...more

2/26/2015 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Employer Liability Issues Notice Requirements

Employers Can Be Responsible for FICA Withholding Errors

Back in 2013 I blogged about a class action lawsuit brought against Henkel Corporation for improper Social Security (FICA) tax withholding from nonqualified deferred compensation benefits. I am blogging now on an update to...more

1/14/2015 - Class Action Deferred Compensation Employer Liability Issues FICA Taxes

Plan Administrators Have Discretion to Round

Cash balance plans often provide a pay credit and an interest credit in determining a participant’s accrued benefit. The pay credit is often a percentage of compensation. The interest credit is established in the plan and can...more

12/18/2014 - Benefit Plan Sponsors ERISA Rounding

Undocumented Worker Can Cause Health Plan Problems

Employers know that since the 1980s they have been required to check the lawful work status of employees that they hire through the I-9 process. Employers also know that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can audit...more

12/9/2014 - Audits DOL Employer Liability Issues I-9 ICE Popular Undocumented Immigrants

EEOC Challenges Honeywell’s Wellness Program

The EEOC recently sued Honeywell International, Inc., claiming that Honeywell’s wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA). Although the EEOC...more

12/4/2014 - ADA EEOC Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Actions GINA Honeywell International Wellness Programs

Attention All You Procrastinators!

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has postponed to 11:59 pm on December 5, 2014, the deadline for health insurance issuers and self funded plans to submit their annual enrollment count for the transitional...more

11/18/2014 - CMS Deadlines Enrollment Health Insurance Reporting Requirements

Penalty for Employer Missed COBRA Notice Affirmed

Almost two years ago I blogged about a federal district court decision from Alabama that imposed a penalty of $37,950 ($75 a day) on an employer that failed to provide a COBRA notice for a dental plan to a former employee....more

9/18/2014 - COBRA Employee Benefits Employer Liability Issues

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