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How Does the Supreme Court’s Obergefell Decision Affect Your Employee Benefit Plans?

The short answer: No plan amendments are required, but certain plan amendments and operational changes are permitted, and certain operational changes may be required....more

Health and Welfare Plans: Big Compliance Burdens, Big Penalty Exposures

Health and welfare have been around for a long time, and they are ubiquitous. Employees have come to expect medical, dental, life, and other insurance as part of their benefits packages. Employers offer coverage in order to...more

UK Financial Regulatory Developments - January 2016 #6

Commission reports on volatility of own funds - The Commission has reported to EP and the Council on the effect of the revised International Accounting Standard (IAS) 19 on employee benefits, on the volatility of own...more

Another Post-Tackett Ruling Denying Retiree Health Benefits

A district court in West Virginia recently held that retirees were not entitled to lifetime health benefits under the clear and unambiguous language of the relevant collective bargaining agreements. Shortly after Constellium...more

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

EIOPA reports on consumer trends

EIOPA has published its fourth consumer trends report, analysing the occupational and personal pensions sectors for the first time as well as the insurance sector. EIOPA identified the following new and emerging trends in the...more

The Affordable Care Act’s Reporting Requirements for Carriers and Employers (Part 24 of 24): 5 Predictions

This post concludes our half-year series of posts focusing on the Affordable Care Act’s reporting requirements. These requirements are challenging in the extreme. Carriers and employers, and their vendors, service providers...more

2016 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties. To avoid such...more

DOL's Fiduciary Duty Rule Survives Year-End Appropriations Process

The insurance industry’s short-term strategy to oppose the Department of Labor’s proposed investment advisor fiduciary duty rule centered on a defunding initiative as part of the year-end appropriations process. That...more

Increase in PBGC Premiums Effective for 2017 and Later Years

President Barack Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the Budget Act), which raised Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premium rates beginning in 2017....more

PRA removes pension obligation risk statement for insurers

PRA has deleted its legacy supervisory statement on pension obligation risk under the individual capital adequacy standards. It concerned the approach that PRA would expect insurers to take when evaluating their capital...more

Group Life Insurance Claims by a Teacher’s Beneficiary Are Subject to ERISA Preemption: Woods v. American United Life Insurance...

On ERISA preemption grounds, a federal court has ruled against state law claims asserted by the beneficiary of a former school teacher who sought benefits from a group life insurance policy. Woods v. American United Life...more

Fiduciary Liability Insurance is Worth It

The warranty in the electronics business is gravy for the retailers who sell it. You’ll be surprised how many people pay $20 to get a warranty on a $100 Blu-Ray player. When Best Buy was going national, they advertised how...more

FCA and PRA Rules On Whistleblowing

The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) published new whistleblowing rules in October 2015 (click here for FCA policy and here for PRA) aiming to ‘encourage a culture in which...more

November and December 2015 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties. To avoid such...more

New UK Regulations to Govern Whistleblowing in Financial Institutions

This month, the FCA and PRA announced a new regime for whistleblowing that will start to be phased in from March 2016. This is part of the broader desire on the part of the UK regulators to encourage individuals to raise...more

ERISA — ATTORNEY FEES: What Happens When The Plan And The Insurer Don’t Agree On The Benefit Denial?

You already know that under ERISA the court has discretion to award attorney fees to a party that has “some success on the merits.”...more

Regulators make whistleblowing rules

FCA and PRA have published their feedback, rules and policy documents on whistleblowing. The rules complement the senior manager regime (SMR) and reforms of remuneration rules. The new rules affect...more

ERISA — 7th Circuit: Illinois State Law Ban On Discretionary Clauses Upheld

You already know about the big trend in states to ban discretionary clauses in insurance policies that fund ERISA benefits. Chalk up another circuit deciding to enforce the ban....more

Hospitals Accused of Violating the False Claims Act Through Ownership of the PPO For Their Self-Funded Employee Health Plans

On August 27, 2015, following notification by the government that it had decided not to intervene, the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, ordered that a qui tam complaint charging...more

Employee Benefits Alert - August 2015

Retirement Plans - IRS Issues Guidance on Benefit Suspension Voting under MPRA - As we have written in prior alerts, the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) permits trustees of financially troubled...more

EIOPA updates Solvency 2 reporting webpage

EIOPA has updated its Solvency 2 reporting format webpage with revised information on the data point model (DPM) and XBRL taxonomy design. They have been developed in accordance with its guidelines on the submission of...more

Bank Bond Covers Third-Party Losses Arising out of Bank Employee’s Fraud, Eighth Circuit Holds

Fidelity bonds are purchased primarily to protect against loss to the policyholder’s own assets, from things like employee theft or embezzlement. In Avon State Bank v. BancInsure, Inc., however, the Eighth Circuit interpreted...more

For Life Insurers and Agents – A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule (the “Proposal”), which defines the term “fiduciary” as it applies to persons who provide “investment advice” to ERISA plans and IRAs, will impact the likelihood and severity of...more

Sixth Circuit Holds No Disgorgement of Profits Based on Wrongfully Denied ERISA Disability Benefits

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, recently decided a closely-watched case regarding the scope of "other appropriate equitable relief" under ERISA Section 502(a)(3). In Rochow v. LINA, the court held that...more

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