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The Final Rule: DOL Issues Fourth Set of FAQs

On August 3, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a fourth set of FAQs related to its new “investment advice” fiduciary definition and related exemptions (Final Rule), which became applicable on June 9. Like the May ...more

The Final Rule: June 9 is the Launch Date After All

With its announcements of May 22, 2017, starting with an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, the Department of Labor confirmed that, absent last-minute action in the courts or by Congress, its new “investment advice” fiduciary...more

The Final Rule: Delayed But (Perhaps) Not Denied

On April 4, 2017, the Department of Labor released its final rule postponing the applicability date of its new “investment advice” fiduciary definition and related exemptions. This extension, which was published in the April...more

The Final Rule: BICE on Ice? Status of the DOL Fiduciary Rule

With recent developments in all three branches of government bearing on the authority and timing of the new Department of Labor (DOL) final rule expanding the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” (the Final Rule) for...more

2016 in Review: ERISA Criminal Enforcement Rises, Civil Enforcement Falls

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently published its Fiscal Year 2016 “Fact Sheet” documenting the criminal and civil enforcement activities of its Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) under the...more

The Final Rule: DOL Releases Additional FAQs Related to New Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released two additional sets of FAQs providing guidance related to its final rule expanding the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” (the Final Rule) for purposes of the Employee...more

Legal Alert: 2016 Year in Review

In 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) continued a curtailed program of interpretive guidance under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA). As has been the case for several years, the...more

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

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

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

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

Supreme Court Instructs Ninth Circuit to Consider Common Law of Trusts in Applying ERISA's Statute of Limitations

The Supreme Court has once again emphasized the importance of ERISA’s origins in the common law of trusts, this time in interpreting its statute of limitations. On May 18, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in...more

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

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

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

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

Legal Alert: It’s Time to Review Benefit Denial Letters

On August 7, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided in Moyer that the contractual time limits governing the period during which a participant must initiate judicial review of a benefits denial must be...more

IRS Finalizes Guidance on Rev. Rul. 81-100 Group Trusts, and Insurance Company Separate Accounts

In Rev. Rul. 2014-24, scheduled for publication on September 8, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (the Service) substantially completed its pending guidance on Rev. Rul. 81-100 group trusts by permanently authorizing the...more

Financial Service Company’s Nonqualified Plan Found to be an ERISA Pension Plan

In Tolbert v. RBC Capital Markets (July 14, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a deferred incentive compensation plan maintained by a financial services company for certain employees was an...more

IRS Releases Additional Rulings on Lump-Sum Windows

The practice of offering lump-sum distributions has become increasingly popular among defined benefit plan sponsors looking to decrease volatility or other defined benefit plan risks. In some situations, plan sponsors offer...more

Whose Risk Is It Anyway? New Revenue Ruling Provides Guidance for Employee Benefits Captives

On May 8, the IRS issued Rev. Rul. 2014-15, 2014-22 I.R.B. 1, which provides guidance in the rapidly expanding area of insuring or reinsuring employee benefits with captives. ...more

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

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 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: Fall of the DOMA-n Empire: Practical Employee Benefits Implications

On June 26, the U.S. Supreme Court decided United States v. Windsor, striking down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) as unconstitutional and holding that same-sex marriages recognized under state law...more

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