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Dodd-Frank and Executive Compensation – Part 1: Status Update

It’s been over five years since the signing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Act (“Dodd-Frank”) and we are still waiting for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to finalize rules on several provisions...more

Keeping Your (Top) Hat On

“Top hat” plans are plans employers maintain for a “select group of management or highly compensated employees.” These plans are exempt from many of ERISA’s protections, including eligibility, vesting, fiduciary...more

What Constitutes “Reasonable Efforts” to Inform Plan Participants of Plan Amendments, Which Include a Forum Selection Clause?

You know that many Plans have forum selection clauses. Are they enforceable? YES When a Plan participant claims they “did not know of a plan amendment,” how do you prove the Participant received notice of the...more

New PTEs Impact Broker’s and Advisor’s Relationship with Retirement Plans and IRAs and Also Impact Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries

While only the plan service providers, like brokers, are required to comply with the requirements of the revised and new prohibited transaction class exemptions contained in the package with the definition of...more

Food and Beverage Law Update: April 2016

Finance - PACA Liens Could Impact Financing Terms - The Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act (PACA) is a federal law enacted in 1930 with the goal of protecting suppliers and sellers of agricultural goods from...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we feature three key developments. First, we review the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, 947 (2016) wherein the Supreme Court held that a...more

New Fiduciary Rule & Its Impact on Retirement Advice for Plan Sponsors

After much controversy and criticism, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final conflict of interest rule on April 6th (the “Final Rule”) which expands the definition of a fiduciary for an “employee benefit plan,” as...more

China Aims to Strengthen Regulations on Commercial Bribery

Recently, the Legal Affairs Office of the State Council released draft amendments (Draft Amendments) to the Anti-Unfair Competition Law (AUCL) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for public comments. The Draft Amendments...more

District Court Rules Johnson Controls Retirees Not Entitled to Lifetime Health Benefits

A district court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decision in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926 (2015), the Third Circuit’s rule that clear and express...more

Court Enforces Forum Selection Clause in ERISA Plan

A federal district court in New York enforced an ERISA retirement plan’s forum selection clause and transferred the case to the District of New Jersey. The plaintiff argued that the forum selection clause was invalid because...more

Practical Advice for the Business Owner - Avoiding common mistakes when making incentive compensation grants to employees

Incentive compensation (e.g., stock options, restricted stock, bonus plans, phantom stock, stock appreciation rights, etc.) can be a very useful tool for aligning the incentives of employees and shareholders, as well as a...more

Education or Advice: The DOL Final Definition of Fiduciary; Conflict of Interest Rule

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor finally released the long-awaited “Definition of Fiduciary; Conflict of Interest Rule.” This blog post is intended to do two things...more

Are Concerns About the UK’s New Whistleblower Rules Misplaced?

In early April, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) began rolling out new whistleblower rules, with which financial organisations will be required to comply. These rules have...more

Employer Action Required Following Issuance of Final Rule

On April 8, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) released the much anticipated final regulation to broaden the scope of fiduciary status under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal...more

Wisconsin Broker-Dealers Will Owe Fiduciary Duties for Retirement Investment Advice

Wisconsin is home to over 10,000 registered broker-dealers, all of whom currently operate without owing federally imposed fiduciary duties. Unlike some of their peers in other states, Wisconsin broker-dealers generally do not...more

U.S. Department of Labor Finalizes Fiduciary Definition and Conflict of Interest Rule

On April 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (Department) issued its highly anticipated final rule addressing when a person is considered to be a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)...more

A Brave New World for Investment Advisors Following Issuance of Final Rule

On April 8, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) released the much anticipated final regulation to broaden the scope of fiduciary status under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal...more

Sun Capital Court Finds that Common Industry Practices Exposed PE Funds to Pension Plan Liabilities

A group of related private equity (“PE”) funds were found liable for a bankrupt portfolio company’s pension plan debts in the latest and most worrisome decision in the long-running Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England...more

What Does the Department of Labor's New Fiduciary Rule Mean?

The Department of Labor (DOL) has announced its highly anticipated final fiduciary rule, which is intended to help ensure that Americans saving for retirement get investment advice that is in their best...more

DOL issues final fiduciary rule and related exemptions

The final DOL fiduciary regulation (the Final Rule) and other guidance published by the DOL on April 8 will have a significant effect on those who provide investment advice and sell investment products and services to...more

New Fiduciary Rule: It’s all politics

You read articles about the Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new fiduciary rule and experts will tell you that it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, the worst thing since Caddyshack II, or somewhere in between. I learned a...more

The DOL Fiduciary Definition Regulations are Here . . . Really They are Finally Here

Included in the definition of a fiduciary in Section 3(21) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) is someone who provides investment advice for a fee. Regulations issued in 1975 by the U.S. Department of...more

Investment Plus Partnership-in-Fact = Withdrawal Liability

Previously, we wrote about the First Circuit decision that a private equity fund constituted a “trade or business” under ERISA as amended by the Multeimployer Pension Plan Amendments Act (“MPPAA”). That dry description is...more

At Long Last: The Department of Labor Issues Final Fiduciary Rules

On April 6, 2016, after more than five years of anticipation, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued the final fiduciary rule and related guidance. The final fiduciary rule amends and expands the definition of a fiduciary that...more

Private Equity Fund Sponsors' Risk for ERISA Unfunded Pension Liability Grows

On March 28, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts held that, under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), two private equity funds (1) were engaged in a trade or business, and (2) had...more

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