Joseph Urwitz

Joseph Urwitz

McDermott Will & Emery

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Latest Publications


DOL Clarifies Fiduciary Duties for Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors Offering Annuity Contracts

The availability of annuity options under defined contribution plans has increased in recent years due to the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans. Fiduciaries, however, are often concerned with potential...more

9/2/2015 - Benefit Plan Sponsors Breach of Duty Defined Contribution Plans DOL Duty of Prudence Duty to Monitor ERISA Fiduciary Duty Guidance Update IRS Safe Harbors Statute of Limitations

Focus on Private Equity - July 2015

What Private Equity Funds Should Know About ERISA: Basics of ERISA Coverage - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) imposes numerous duties on fiduciaries holding employee benefit...more

7/22/2015 - 401k Asset Diversification Breach of Duty DOL Duty of Care Duty of Loyalty Employee Benefits ERISA Exceptions Fee Disclosure Fiduciary Duty Former Employer Hedge Funds IRS Personal Liability Plan Documents Private Equity Funds Prohibited Transactions Stock Drop Litigation Stocks Transfer of Assets

The Directed Trustee in the Post-Dudenhoeffer World

Overview - Court cases challenging the actions of Employee Retirement Income Security Act fiduciaries have continued unabated since the scandal of Enron in 2002. Since then, a large number of cases are in the ‘‘stock...more

1/23/2015 - 401k Duty of Prudence ERISA ESOP Fiduciary Duty FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer Retirement Plan Securities Stock Drop Litigation Trustees

Seventh Circuit: Plaintiffs Lacked Standing to Challenge Tax Exemption for Ministerial Rental Allowances

In November 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin declared unconstitutional Section 107(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, which excludes from gross income rental allowances paid to ministers as...more

11/21/2014 - Churches Establishment Clause Federal Jurisdiction Freedom From Religion Foundation Internal Revenue Code (IRC) IRS Standing Tax Exemptions

New IRS Rules on Direct Rollovers of Taxable and Non-Taxable Amounts Require Changes to Defined Contribution Plan Administration...

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released guidance allowing participants to allocate the taxable and non-taxable portions of a single distribution from a defined contribution retirement plan into separate accounts....more

11/13/2014 - Defined Contribution Plans Distribution Rules IRS Retirement Plan

View From McDermott: What Private Equity and Hedge Funds (and Their Benefit Plan Investors) Should Know About ERISA

ERISA imposes numerous obligations on fiduciaries holding assets of employee benefit plans. In addition to discharging its duties prudently and for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to benefit plan participants and...more

5/29/2014 - Compliance DOL Employee Benefits ERISA Fiduciary Duty Hedge Funds Private Equity

View From McDermott: Expanded In-Plan Conversion Opportunities Will Boost Roth 401(k) Balances

The number of defined contribution plans (including 401(k), 403(b) or 457(b) plans) with a Roth feature has grown significantly in recent years. Roth 401(k) is gaining popularity due in part to tax hedging or tax...more

4/10/2014 - 401k Income Taxes IRA Roth Conversions

IRS Expands Guidance on In-Plan Roth Conversions

Recent IRS guidance clarifies a number of outstanding questions regarding “in-plan conversions” of non-Roth balances to Roth balances in 401(k), 403(b) and governmental 457(b) plans. In particular, the guidance confirms that...more

2/4/2014 - 401k 403(b) Plans 457(b) Plans IRA IRS Roth Conversions

District Court Strikes Down Rental Allowance Tax Exemption for Ministers

A federal court recently declared unconstitutional Internal Revenue Code Section 107(2), which excludes from gross income a rental allowance paid to a “minister of the gospel” as part of his or her compensation, on the...more

1/6/2014 - Clergy Members Exemptions Income Taxes Religious Institutions

IRS to Begin Compliance Checks of Non-Governmental Section 457(b) Plans

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced it was conducting “compliance checks” of Section 457(b) plans. This newsletter discusses what those compliance checks involve as well as the steps Section 457(b) plan sponsors...more

7/8/2013 - 457(b) Plans Compliance IRS Voluntary Correction Program

Multiple Class Action Complaints Challenge Church Plan Status of Hospital Pension Plans

Recent complaints challenging the “church plan” status of certain pension plans maintained by church-sponsored hospital systems may signal the beginning of a new wave of lawsuits challenging underfunded church pension plans. ...more

7/1/2013 - Catholic Church Churches Class Action ERISA Hospitals IRS Pensions

IRS Issues Procedures for Securing Favorable Opinions on Pre-Approved 403(b) Programs

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released a revenue procedure establishing a new program for the pre-approval of 403(b) plans. The program opens June 28, 2013, and the IRS will begin accepting applications for...more

4/17/2013 - 403(b) Plans Advisory Opinions IRS Non-Profits Pre-approval

IRS Issues 403(b) Plan Fix-It Guide

On February 21, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) added to its “self-help” resources a new “403(b) Plan Fix-It Guide” to provide guidance more specifically directed at 403(b) plan sponsors that identify qualification...more

3/12/2013 - 403(b) Plans IRS Voluntary Correction Program

New Law Expands “In-Plan” Roth 401(k) Conversions

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the "fiscal cliff" bill) allows employers to amend 401(k), 403(b) and governmental 457(b) plans to permit participants to convert pre-tax account balances to Roth account balances. ...more

1/10/2013 - 401k American Taxpayer Relief Act Fiscal Cliff Income Taxes IRS Roth Conversions

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