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The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2016

Editor's Overview - Happy New Year! Because 401(k) plans play an increasingly prominent role as an employee's principal retirement investment vehicle, fiduciaries overseeing those plans face increased pressure to see...more

Is a Qualified Retirement Plan Required to Apply Windsor Retroactively?

Following the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in U.S. v. Windsor (in which the Court held that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) was unconstitutional), one of the questions facing sponsors of...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - December 2015

Editor's Overview - In this month's newsletter, we focus on the recent wave of guidance and case law related to the Affordable Care Act. We also discuss IRS Notice 2015-86, which provides guidance on the application of...more

IRS Notice 2015-86 — The Limited Effect of Obergefell

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-86, providing guidance on the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to qualified retirement plans and health and welfare...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - November 2015

Editor's Overview - This month we take a look at how the lower courts have been dealing with claims for retiree health benefits after the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926...more

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations to Accommodate Obergefell

On October 21, 2015, the IRS issued proposed regulations to clarify the treatment of same-sex spouses for federal tax purposes. By way of background, in 2013, the United States Supreme Court held in United States v. Windsor...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - June 2015

Editor's Overview - In this month's newsletter, Anthony Cacace analyzes the heavily anticipated Supreme Court ruling in Tibble v. Edison Intl., 135 S. Ct. 1823 (2015), where the Court held that ERISA's fiduciary duty of...more

Changes to the IRS Determination Letter Program

The IRS has informally stated that it is intending to make some significant changes to the Determination Letter program, and is even considering eliminating the program for individually designed retirement plans (other than...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2015

The Supreme Court cast a ray of sunlight for employers by rejecting the use of a problematic inference in adjudicating claims for retiree benefits brought pursuant to collective bargaining agreements. For many years, the...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide Fate of Same-Sex Marriage Laws

It was announced today that the U.S. Supreme Court will consider two important questions relating to same-sex marriage–whether states are required to allow same-sex marriages within their jurisdictions, and whether states are...more

HIPAA Certificates Are No Longer Required As of January 1, 2015

Effective January 1, 2015, group health plans and insurers are no longer required to issue a certificate of creditable coverage (“HIPAA Certificate”) to individuals who lost group health plan coverage. As a reminder, HIPAA...more

IRS Increases Maximum Employee Contribution to Health Care FSAs for 2015

The IRS announced yesterday that the maximum annual employee contribution to a health care flexible spending account plan is increasing by $50 to $2,550 for 2015 (up from the $2,500 limit that has applied since 2013)....more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - This month's newsletter focuses on repayment of pension plan overpayments. Our issue discusses pension plan overpayments to participants, a plan administrator's duties to seek repayment, corrections...more

More Post-Windsor Tax Guidance: IRS Issues Letter Outlining Steps for Individuals to Obtain Tax Refunds for Same-Sex Spousal...

On June 27, 2014, the IRS published a letter outlining the steps taxpayers should take in order to obtain a refund for taxes paid on the value of employer-sponsored health coverage provided to an employee’s same-sex spouse....more

DOL Proposes Change to FMLA Definition of Spouse to Accommodate Same-Sex Marriage

As was expected, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a proposed regulation changing the definition of “spouse” for FMLA purposes in order to protect the FMLA rights of employees with same-sex spouses. The proposed...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - May 2014

Editor's Overview - This month our authors explore two important areas of ERISA's fiduciary duties applicable to single employer and multiemployer plans. First, Neal Schelberg and Aaron Feuer comment on a growing trend...more

Despite Windsor, Federal Court Rejects Challenge to a Self-Insured ERISA Health Plan’s Denial of Coverage for Same-Sex Spouses

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in US v. Windsor, the requirement that an ERISA health plan provide health coverage for same-sex spouses has often hinged on whether an employee benefit plan was insured or...more

New IRS Guidance Relating to Same-Sex Spouses and Qualified Retirement Plan Benefits

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled (in U.S. v. Windsor) that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, the IRS announced that same-sex marriages will be recognized for federal tax...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2014

This month we look at part three of our three part series on Class Actions. In part three, Robert Rachal and M. Todd Mobley address the role of experts in class certification post Wal-Mart and Comcast and how to use and...more

More Post-Windsor Guidance from the IRS Relating to Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses: Cafeteria Plan Changes, Flexible Spending...

Prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s Windsor decision that repealed Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex spouses were not recognized as spouses for federal tax and benefits purposes. In the immediate...more

Federal District Court (In Its Capacity As An Employer) Must Reimburse Employee for the Cost of Health Benefits for her Same-Sex...

The Ninth Circuit Judicial Council, an administrative body that reviews decisions of the court’s chief judge, recently weighed in on an issue involving same-sex domestic partner health benefits in the post-Windsor world. The...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2013

This month we return to the age-old question – "What makes someone a fiduciary?" As Nicole Eichberger explains, the Seventh Circuit reminded us that the meaning of a "functional fiduciary" depends on exercise/conduct in...more

U.S. Department of Labor Announces a “Place of Celebration” Rule in Implementing the U.S. Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision With...

A few weeks after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) stated that it will apply a “place of celebration” rule in recognizing same-sex spouses for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code (including with respect to employee...more

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