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DOL Issues (Some) Additional Guidance on the Fiduciary Investment Advice Rule and Best Interest Contract Exemption

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its first set of FAQs under the fiduciary investment advice rule (the “Rule”) and related prohibited transaction exemptions. In general, the Rule provides that parties providing...more

Thoughts on the DOL Fiduciary Rule Q&A

The Department of Labor (DOL) issues the first of a few Q&As to help with financial advisors to cope with meeting the requirements of the new fiduciary rule coming down the pike in April....more

The DOL Issues “Investment Advice” FAQs – Continues to Try to Find an Ideal Balance for the Brave New Fiduciary World

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) released its first set of FAQs (the “FAQs”) regarding the DOL’s recently finalized “investment advice” regulation and various related exemptions (collectively, the “Final Rules”) on...more

"Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Conflicts of Interest Rule"

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance on the Conflicts of Interest Rule it released earlier this year. The guidance, issued on October 27, 2016, is in the form of answers to frequently asked questions, which...more

Employee Benefits Developments - October 2016

The Employee Benefits practice group is pleased to present the Benefits Developments Newsletter for the month of October, 2016. 2017 Benefits Limits Announced - The Internal Revenue Service and Social Security...more

Mutual Fund Sales by Intermediaries – Fall-Out from DOL Fiduciary Rule and FINRA Enforcement

Mutual fund sales and distribution arrangements are once again under review. It has been reported that fund intermediaries are re-examining their practices relating to sales charges, share class structures and product...more

Owner/Trustee of 401(k) Plan Accused of Having Eyes Wide Shut on Fiduciary Duties

Last June I blogged about the trend of participant fee class actions moving down to smaller 401(k) Plans. Occasionally, class actions are brought based on other breaches of fiduciary duties, particularly those involving...more

The Problem With The BIC

The biggest hallmark for the new Fiduciary Rule is the best interest contract exemption and the need for brokers to get those signed with their retirement plan and IRA clients. Getting legalese written on paper isn’t going to...more

$300,000 401(k) Plan Sued* (Note Asterisk)

A Florida optometry practice with a 401(k) plan with only $300,000 in assets is the latest plan to be sued for 401(k) mismanagement, with a newly filed lawsuit accusing the practice of over-investing in alleged “patent troll”...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - September 2016

Editor's Overview - This month, we have re-published an interview of our colleague Seth Safra discussing the Department of Labor’s final regulation concerning fiduciaries and conflicts of interest. In this interview,...more

District Court Rules on ERISA Liability of Board and ESOP Advisory Committee Members in ESOP Transactions

On Sept. 1, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued its decision in the Antioch employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) fiduciary litigation. The court held that the Antioch Board of Directors...more

District Court Dismisses 401(k) Plan Investment Claims Against Chevron Fiduciaries

A federal district court in California granted defendants’ motion to dismiss claims asserted by Chevron 401(k) plan participants that the plan fiduciaries breached their ERISA fiduciary duties by selecting underperforming...more

Case Note: Court Rules In Favor Of Fidelity And Holds That Float Income Is Not A Plan Asset

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that float income is not a plan asset and therefore is not subject to fiduciary and prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA. The decision was written by former Justice Souter...more

Financial Services Quarterly Report - Second Quarter 2016: Does the Supreme Court’s Dudenhoeffer Decision under ERISA do “More...

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Amgen v. Harris, in which the Court revisited and clarified its 2014 holding in Dudenhoeffer v. Fifth Third Bancorp.2 Both cases concern the application of a...more

Small Plan Faces Excessive Fee Challenge

On May 18, 2016, a lawsuit was filed in the Federal District Court in Minnesota alleging various claims arising out of investment and record keeping fees in an employer’s 401(K) plan. The plaintiffs are seeking for the case...more

The Final DOL Fiduciary Rule—Considerations for Plan Sponsors

The final rule has implications for plan sponsors and may impact certain relationships with service providers. On April 6, after a long (and some might say tortured) process, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a...more

The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Regulations: The Principal Transactions Exemption

This post continues our examination of the Department of Labor’s suite of final fiduciary and conflict of interest regulations. Our prior posts discussed the newly expanded definition of “investment advice fiduciary” and the...more

401(k) Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries Face an Alarming Number of Stable Value Fund and Other Class Action Lawsuits

In the last several months, plaintiffs have filed multiple class action lawsuits against plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries and stable value fund providers. These lawsuits, which have involved 401(k) plans sponsored by large...more

The Brave New Fiduciary World Has Arrived – The DOL Tries to Find a More Ideal Balance in the Final “Investment Advice” Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) on April 6, 2016 released the final version of its “investment advice” regulation and accompanying prohibited transaction exemptions, a highly-anticipated milestone that is the...more

The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Rule: The Best Interest Contract Exemption

Last month the U.S. Department of Labor published a suite of final regulations governing the fiduciary status of, and prescribing conflict of interest rules that apply to, persons who provide investment advice to...more

The Wait Is Over – the DOL Announces New Rules Impacting Broker Regulation

The Department of Labor recently enacted rules that require financial advisers and brokers handling individual retirement and 401(k) accounts to act in the best interests of their clients. The much-anticipated rules have...more

Recent Lawsuit Demonstrates Continuing Need for Plan Fiduciaries to Document Decision-Making Process

Late last year, another lawsuit was brought on behalf of participants in a 401(k) plan alleging breaches of fiduciary duties resulting from allegedly high plan fees. This type of case is not novel; the law firm that brought...more

“They’re Here!” – Department of Labor Issues Final ERISA Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Regulations

After receiving and reviewing extensive feedback on its earlier proposals, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued final regulations expanding the definition of a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act...more

Courts Strike Down Church Plan Exemptions for Church-Affiliated Organizations

Until recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and federal courts seemed to agree that a retirement plan established and maintained by a church-affiliated organization generally qualified...more

Private Equity Funds Held Liable for Pension Obligations of a Portfolio Company

District Court: Two Affiliated Funds Formed “Partnership-in-Fact” and Have Controlled Group Liability for Portfolio Company Pension Liabilities - In a closely watched case (the “Sun Capital” case), the U.S. District...more

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