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IRS issues new rules for 'closed' defined benefit plans

At the end of January, the Internal Revenue Service issued new proposed regulations for so-called “closed” or “frozen” defined benefit plans. The purpose of these regulations is to help plan sponsors satisfy the...more

Get the basics on two federal bills affecting employee benefits

Recently, two bills with confusingly similar names were introduced in Congress. They are both worth mentioning regardless of whether or not they are ultimately enacted in their current form. The SAVE Benefits Act...more

Staffing agency workers and ACA offers of coverage

The final regulations on the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) “pay or play” rules were released on Feb. 10, 2014. Under the rules, there are potential penalties imposed on large employers that do not offer substantially all...more

New rules on the block: SEC targets executive compensation

On July 1, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission, by a 3-2 vote, proposed new rules requiring public companies to “claw back” executive compensation mistakenly awarded due to accounting errors. The proposed rules –...more

Nonqualfied deferred compensation plan update

In June 2015, the Internal Revenue Service released updated audit guidelines for nonqualified deferred compensation plans. Basically, audit guidelines are used by the IRS to communicate with the agents in the field who are...more

Agencies issue proposed regulation on summary of benefits and coverage and uniform glossary

In December of 2014, the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor (“DOL”), the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) (collectively, the...more

Department of Labor issues final regulations on annual funding notices

The Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor (hereinafter, the “DOL”) recently released final regulations related to the provision of annual funding notices under Section 101(f) of ERISA. The...more

Two key legislative developments impact wellness plans, non-qualified deferred compensation plans

Employer-sponsored “wellness programs” have been a growing trend for years. Many employers have established having some form of such a program to help employees become more aware of their physical well-being. The idea of an...more

2014 Pension Plan Regulatory Highlights

The start of the new year is as good a time as any to look back at some of the employee benefits regulatory developments of 2014 that were not previously covered in this column. Originally published in Employee Benefit...more

The battle over 4062(e) 'facility closure' liability

Employers who sponsor defined benefit plans, or who are involved in a corporate transaction involving defined benefit plans, should be aware of developments in Washington concerning Section 4062(e) of ERISA. The Pension...more

Excepted Benefits: Final regulations provide guidance on dental, vision and employee assistance plans

The Departments of Labor, the Treasury, and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) have recently published final regulations related to when limited scope dental and vision benefits and employee assistance programs...more

GAO report shines spotlight on key issues for managed accounts in 401(k) plans

Most professionals who work in the 401(k) arena would agree that managed accounts are, on balance, a favorable development for 401(k) plan participants. However, such accounts are, in many ways, still in their infancy,...more

Final regulations on qualified longevity annuity contracts

An ongoing focus for the IRS and the DOL has been trying to ensure that individuals have a regular stream of income for the duration of their lives. In connection with this goal, in July of this year, the IRS released final...more

Proposed Bankruptcy Fairness and Employee Benefits Protection Act of 2014 would place significant restrictions on employers in...

Legislation recently introduced in the Senate would place many restrictions on the ability of a corporation navigating bankruptcy to change the compensation and benefits of employees and retirees. The bill would also create a...more

IRS Guidance on the Application of the Affordable Care Act’s Market Reform Provisions to HRAs and FSAs

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently published guidance in Notice 2013-54 (the “Notice”) on the application of certain market reform provisions of the Affordable Care Act to Health Reimbursement Accounts (“HRAs”),...more

PBGC Publishes Final Regulations on the Phase-In Period for Guarantee of Benefits for an Unpredictable Contingent Event

The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (“PBGC”) recently published final regulations related to the phase-in period for its guarantee of benefits that are contingent upon the occurrence of an “unpredictable contingent...more

Health care reform reporting requirements: Final rules

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) contains requirements for both individuals and employers related to health care coverage. In order to assure compliance with certain of these requirements, PPACA requires...more

Full disclosure: A practical guide for the HR professional when preparing the retirement plan portions of a proxy statement

In 2006, the SEC adopted rules which created the Pension Benefits Table and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Table to supplement the Summary Compensation Table. The tables mandate certain specific disclosures with respect...more

IRS updates determination letter request forms

In December of 2013, the IRS released new final versions of the Form 5300 and the Form 5310, forms which are used by individually designed retirement plans to request a determination as to the plan’s tax qualification status....more

Private sector pension de-risking and participant protections

On Nov. 5, 2013, the ERISA Advisory Council submitted findings and recommendations on pension de-risking to the Secretary of Labor. Pension de-risking transactions have received a lot of attention lately, both in the media...more

3/31/2014  /  Employee Benefits , ERISA , Pensions

SEC proposed rules on CEO pay ratios: What employer benefits professionals need to know

On Sept. 18, 2013, the Securities Exchange Commission (“SEC”) issued long-awaited (and controversial) proposed rules regarding the disclosure of what is commonly referred to as the “CEO pay ratio.” This disclosure, which is...more

IRS Provides Some Guidance on Federal Tax Matters for Same-Sex Marriage

Earlier this year, in the case of U.S. v. Windsor, the US Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Under Section 3 of DOMA, the definitions of "marriage" and "spouse" had been limited to a...more

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