W. Mark Smith

W. Mark Smith

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

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The Final Rule: Technical Corrections to Best Interest Contract and Principal Transaction Exemptions

On July 7, 2016, DOL released technical corrections to its two new exemptions published in April 2016 in conjunction with the Final Rule: ..The Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE), now officially designated as...more

7/13/2016 - Best Interest Contract Exemptions DOL ERISA Fiduciary Duty Final Rules Financial Institutions PTEs

DOL and Treasury Update 2015-2016 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months. On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its Semi-Annual Regulatory...more

5/27/2016 - DOL Employee Benefits Executive Compensation IRS Priority Guidance Plan Regulatory Agenda Retirement Plan U.S. Treasury

2015 in Review: ERISA Civil Enforcement Recoveries Remain Low, Criminal Investigations Continue to Rise

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently published its Fiscal Year 2015 “Fact Sheet” documenting civil and criminal enforcement activities under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)....more

2/10/2016 - Civil Monetary Penalty Corporate Counsel Criminal Prosecution DOL Enforcement Statistics ERISA

DOL and Treasury Update 2015-2016 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months. On November 19, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its Semi-Annual...more

1/8/2016 - DOL Employee Benefits Employer Group Health Plans Executive Compensation IRS Regulatory Agenda U.S. Treasury

Labor Department Provides Guidance on ERISA Coverage of State-Run Retirement Programs for Private Sector Employers

In recent years, a number of states have explored the idea of establishing state-run retirement plans for private sector employees who do not have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. The preemption concerns under...more

11/24/2015 - Comment Period Corporate Counsel DOL ERISA Payroll Deductions Preemption Retirement Plan Safe Harbors

DOL and Treasury Update 2015-2016 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months. On May 21, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its Semi-Annual Regulatory...more

9/10/2015 - DOL Employee Benefits Regulatory Agenda U.S. Treasury

DOL Has Many Questions About its Fiduciary Reproposal

As has been widely reported, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on April 14 issued its proposal to expand the definition of investment advice fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). DOL included...more

6/1/2015 - 401k DOL ERISA Fiduciary Duty FINRA Retirement Plan

DOL Reproposes Expanded ERISA Fiduciary Definition and Revised Complex of Exemptions

On April 14, 2015, after 43 months in development, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its reproposal to expand the “investment advice fiduciary” definition under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974,...more

4/22/2015 - Benefit Plan Sponsors DOL ERISA ESOP Fiduciary Duty Investment Adviser IRS Qualified Retirement Plans

2014 in Review: ERISA Civil and Criminal Enforcement Activity by DOL Is Trending Upward

The Fact Sheet recently published by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) documenting Fiscal Year 2014 civil and criminal enforcement activity under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) showed...more

3/25/2015 - DOL Employer Liability Issues Enforcement Actions ERISA Strategic Enforcement Plan

DOL Provides More Timing Flexibility for Annual Participant Investment Disclosures

As promised, on March 19, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published guidance that would provide more flexibility in the timing of the annual plan and investment disclosures for participant-directed defined...more

3/20/2015 - Defined Contribution Plans Disclosure Requirements DOL ERISA New Guidance

2014 in Review: ERISA Individual Prohibited Transaction Exemptions and Advisory Opinions

In 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) maintained a diminished program of advance guidance under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), in response to requests from the regulated community....more

1/9/2015 - Affordable Care Act DOL EBSA ERISA Exemptions New Guidance Prohitibed Transactions

Legal Alert: Ring in the New Year with New Summary of Benefits and Coverage Requirements for 2015

On December 30, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services published a joint notice of proposed rulemaking modifying the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) final regulations issued in 2012. In...more

1/8/2015 - DOL Employer Group Health Plans Health Insurance HHS HIPAA Rulemaking Process Summary of Benefits and Coverage

DOL and Treasury Update 2014-2015 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months. The updated plans are reflected in the attached chart. ...more

1/7/2015 - DOL Employee Benefits Employer Group Health Plans Executive Compensation Health Insurance Regulatory Agenda Retirement Plan U.S. Treasury

IRS and DOL Issue Favorable Guidance on Lifetime Income Provided Through Target Date Funds in Retirement Plans

On October 23 and 24, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Department of Labor (DOL) issued coordinated guidance on lifetime income provided through target date funds held by retirement plans. According to an...more

10/29/2014 - Annuities Deferred Private Annuities Defined Contribution Plans DOL Investment Funds IRS Target Date Funds U.S. Treasury

Legal Alert: DOL Proposes 408(b)(2) Disclosure Guide

On March 12, 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) published in the Federal Register a proposed amendment to its disclosure requirements for “covered service providers” to retirement plans under ERISA § 408(b)(2) that would...more

3/13/2014 - Disclosure Requirements DOL Employee Benefits ERISA Retirement Plan

2013 in Review: ERISA Individual Prohibited Transaction Exemptions and Advisory Opinions

In 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) maintained a modest program of advance guidance under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), in response to requests from the regulated community....more

1/7/2014 - DOL ERISA Prohibited Transactions

Legal Alert: DOL and Treasury Update 2013-2014 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

On November 26, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda. This publication takes the form of a Federal Register notice to comply with certain administrative requirements. The DOL’s...more

1/7/2014 - Cafeteria Plans DOL Employee Benefits Executive Compensation IRS Priority Guidance Plan Regulatory Agenda Retirement Plan U.S. Treasury

Legal Alert: DOL and Treasury Update 2012-2013 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months. - On July 3, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its Semi-Annual Regulatory...more

7/17/2013 - DOL Employee Benefits IRS New Regulations U.S. Treasury

Legal Alert: DOL Opines on Plan Expense Reimbursement Credits

In Advisory Opinion 2013-03A (July 3, 2013), the Department of Labor opined that revenue sharing and similar amounts carried on the books of a retirement plan service provider as a credit due the plan, if properly structured,...more

7/12/2013 - DOL ERISA Reimbursements Retirement Plan

Legal Alert: DOL Proposes to Substitute Creditworthiness Determinations for Credit Ratings in ERISA Prohibited Transaction Class...

On June 21, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) published proposed amendments to certain class exemptions required by Section 939 A of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which directs federal...more

7/1/2013 - Credit Ratings Dodd-Frank DOL ERISA Exemptions

Legal Alert: DOL Proposes Short-Term Relief for and then Prohibition of Many Cross-Collateralization Agreements for IRAs and ERISA...

On May 24, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed to amend ERISA Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 80-26 (PTE 80-26) to allow an indemnity, security interest or other cross-collateralization agreement with a...more

5/30/2013 - DOL ERISA IRA Prohitibed Transactions

Legal Alert: DOL Issues Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Lifetime Income Estimates in Plan Participant Statements

On May 7, 2013, the Department of Labor released an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) that seeks commentary on requiring a projection of estimated lifetime income to be included in participant statements from...more

5/9/2013 - DOL ERISA Retirement Plan

Legal Alert: DOL Resolves Important ERISA Issues About Cleared Swap Transactions

In Advisory Opinion 2013-01A (February 7, 2013), the Department of Labor (DOL) issued an important advisory opinion addressing the treatment under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), of...more

2/14/2013 - DOL ERISA Retirement Plan Swap Agreements Swap Clearing

2012 in Review: ERISA Individual Prohibited Transaction Exemptions

In 2012, the Department of Labor (DOL) continued a fairly active program of issuing individual exemptions from the prohibited transaction rules of ERISA. These rules generally prohibit, among other things: - Sale and...more

1/8/2013 - Conflicts of Interest DOL ERISA Exemptions Fiduciary Duty IRS PTEs

2012-2013 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits Published by DOL and Treasury

The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months. - On December 24, 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its 2012 Semi-Annual...more

1/3/2013 - DOL Employee Benefits Executive Compensation Health Insurance HSA IRA IRS Retirement U.S. Treasury

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