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Why A Plan Sponsor Should Get A Plan Review

Retirement plan sponsors tend to be reactive rather than pro-active. They would rather not spend money to undergo a plan review and assume everything is fine until they run into a big compliance issue or mistakes are...more

SEC Takes Issue with Employee Confidentiality Obligations and Waivers of Monetary Awards

The Securities and Exchange Commission's (the "SEC" or "Commission") Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") issued a risk alert on October 24, 2016, announcing that it will be reviewing registrants'...more

A “Crystal Ball” On Life After The New ERISA Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) new fiduciary rule that is going to go in effect in April 2017 is going to have a profound change in how financial advisors work with their retirement plan clients. It’s unchartered waters,...more

Things That Won’t Help A Retirement Plan Sponsor Limit Their Liability

When I was a teenager, we were told that eating oat bran would lower cholesterol and it didn’t. We’re told that cracking our knuckles will cause arthritis and it doesn’t. We’re told that going outside when it’s cold with wet...more

SEC Releases Guidance on Pay Ratio Rules

Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission released new Compliance & Disclosure Interpretations (“C&DIs”) which provide guidance on the CEO pay-ratio rules. As a reminder, the CEO pay-ratio rules were enacted in...more

Glaring Problems A Plan Sponsor May Not Be Aware Of When They Think Everything is OK

I knew a family member who would never go to the doctor for preventative care. She always reasoned that if she went to a doctor, that meant she was sick. That meant that her goal was avoiding the doctor at all costs. It’s...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 11

Structured Products Legal and Regulatory Conference: November 2016 - In November 2016, Morrison & Foerster LLP sponsored Risk magazine’s annual structured products legal and regulatory conference in Washington, D.C. ...more

Seyfarth’s Analysis of the Short-Term Impact of the Election on Business and Employment-based Immigration

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Trump Administration will have the power to make significant changes to the business immigration landscape. Here is what we can expect. Immigration issues have become more important than ever for...more

The Changing Fiduciary Duty Landscape in a Trump Presidency

The fiduciary standards for institutions and individuals providing investment advice throughout the retail investment and municipal securities markets are currently undergoing significant change. Following on the heels of the...more

The To-Do List For 401(k) Plans Now: 2016-2017 Edition

Being a retirement plan sponsor is a tremendous responsibility and the problem is that most plan sponsors don’t understand that. Plan sponsors often act passive because they hire retirement plan providers to help them. The...more

2016 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List (Part 1) Executive Compensation

As 2016 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. Like last year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of...more

Business Litigation Alert: "Lesson Learned from Wells Fargo - What Your Board of Directors Needs to Know"

According to recent news reports, Wells Fargo management created an aggressive sales culture that encouraged employees to create thousands of fake accounts. News reports also suggest that the Board took no action regarding...more

401(k) Plan Providers’ Behavior To Avoid That Loses Clients

Over the past 18 years as an ERISA attorney, I have some pretty weird reasons why retirement plan providers get fired. I’ll never get the financial advisor who was fired because the client’s new Chief Executive Officer wanted...more

SEC Examiners Focus on Investment Adviser and Broker-Dealer Compliance With Whistleblower Rules

Last week, the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) issued a Risk Alert regarding examinations of investment adviser and broker-dealer registrants' compliance with key whistleblower provisions...more

How to Pick Your Retirement Plan Providers

Too often, retirement plan providers are selected at the family dinner table, the golf outing, or at a house of worship. While those are nice places for social gatherings, they are not the ideal place for selecting retirement...more

OCIE Publishes Risk Alert on Examinations of Compliance with SEC Whistleblower Rule by Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers

The Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a National Exam Program Risk Alert on October 24, 2016 (Risk Alert) regarding examinations of...more

Incentive Compensation for Employees: Instead of Increasing Banks' Bottom Lines, These Arrangements May Increase the Risk of Fines

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) recently issued guidance to regulated banking institutions (Institutions) prohibiting them from implementing incentive-based compensation programs unless these...more

Transactions Update: Purchase Price or Compensation

Purchase Price v. Compensation - ..Companies are choosing to stay private significantly longer than the vesting period for stock options ..Recent proposals by private companies to buy back stock from current and...more

401(k) Sponsors Say Their Plan is OK, but They Really Have No Idea

When I was dating my wife, she asked me if I had a good credit score and I said I did. I never checked my credit score, but I paid all my bills in full and on time. Of course when I got a copy of my credit report, my credit...more

Trek Beyond To The Future of 401(k) Plans

While I prefer Star Wars, I still have an affinity for Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future was a hopeful one while the science fiction genre prior to his tome had a bleak future. The original series and the...more

ISS Survey Results Regarding Pay-for-Performance and Say-on-Pay Frequency

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), the influential proxy advisory firm, recently released their 2016-2017 Global Policy Survey results. These results show some interesting findings related to executive...more

Do You Know Who Your Employees Are? Joint Employer Liability Under the FLSA and Other Employment Laws

As private equity firms become more involved in the operations of their portfolio companies, they are increasingly at risk of being deemed joint employers of their portfolio companies’ employees, leaving private equity firms...more

UK Regulators Consult on Compensation Guidance

The Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority published proposed revised guidance on remuneration, principally to bring their guidance into line with the European Banking Authority's Guidelines on...more

Plan Sponsors Should Know Their “Hat” as Retirement Plan Fiduciaries

I love baseball jerseys and I also love New Era on-field Major League Baseball hats. Speaking of hats, a retirement plan sponsor wears many hats when they main a retirement plan. Plan sponsors know they wear the hat of the...more

Double-Breasted Company Owners, Officers Can Be Indicted for Underpaying Benefit Contributions

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts held in September that the shareholders and officers of a double-breasted construction company can be indicted and could go to prison if the government proves they...more

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