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Approval Process Disapproved: IRS Curtails the Determination Letter Program

The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) on July 21, 2015, issued Announcement 2015-19, describing important changes to the determination letter program for individually designed tax-qualified retirement plans. These changes...more

The Essential Plan Providers For A 401(k) Plan

When people are sick, especially debilitating illnesses or diseases, it’s natural for them to travel far and wide to get the best medical coverage possible. I live in Long Island, but my children were born in Manhattan...more

Pensions News - July 2015

Welcome to DLA Piper’s Pensions News publication in which we report on developments in pension legislation, guidance and case law, as well as keeping you up to speed on what to look out for in the coming months. This...more

Pension Investment Management Services - with or without VAT?

A significant cost of running a defined benefit pension scheme historically has been the VAT on investment management services. However, HMRC has recently confirmed that a European court case means employers may now recover...more

IRS Announces Changes to Determination Letter Process for Individually Designed Retirement Plans

In Announcement 2015-19, the IRS announced the elimination of the five year remedial amendment cycle for individually designed retirement plans effective as of January 1, 2017. This means that after January 1, 2017,...more

Absurd Things About 401(k) Plans That Are True

We drive on parkways and park on driveways. Cigarettes are sold in gas stations even though smoking is prohibited there. Fat chance and slim chance mean the same thing. Phonetic isn’t spelled the way it sounds. When it comes...more

IRS Releases Guidance on Taxability of Identity Protection Services

As companies and governmental entities increasingly do business and store sensitive information in online or cloud-based environments, the risk of improper disclosure continues to grow. The unprecedented breach of the United...more

The IRS Takes Aim at De-Risking of Defined Benefit Plans

Many defined benefit plan sponsors are looking for ways to reduce the on-going liability and the volatility of the annually required contributions to their defined benefit plans, which is sometimes referred to as...more

There Is No Such Thing as Free 401(k) Administration

There is no such thing as the Easter Bunny, or the Tooth Fairy, or the Boogeyman. While we can laugh at it, it’s surprising to note that many plan sponsors still believe they pay nothing for 401(k) plan administration even in...more

IRS Takes Aim at Pension Plans “De-Risking” Lump Sum Cash-outs

In recent years, many pension plan sponsors have sought to reduce pension liabilities by offering lump sum “window” programs. Such programs are one of several popular risk-reduction (or “de-risking”) strategies employed by...more

Ninth Circuit: Multiemployer Plan Calling Unpaid Contributions “Plan Assets” Does Not Make Persons Controlling Contribution...

The Ninth Circuit recently held that a multiemployer pension plan (MEP) cannot label unpaid contributions as “plan assets” so as to impose ERISA fiduciary status on persons controlling the payment of employer contributions to...more

IRS Reduces Cost to Fix Some Missed Deferral Errors

The Internal Revenue Service has issued new guidelines that should be advantageous for employers that sponsor 401(k) and 403(b) plans. The new rules reduce and, in some cases, completely eliminate the windfall in favor of...more

The End Of An Era? IRS Announces The End Of The 5-Year Determination Letter Remedial Amendment Cycles

On July 21, 2015 the IRS announced that the staggered 5-year determination letter remedial amendment cycles for individually designed qualified retirement plans will be eliminated as of January 1, 2017. Generally, this means...more

IRS changes their Determination Letter Program

When I first started as an ERISA attorney in 1998, almost every plan I worked on except for standardized prototype plan documents were submitted to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for a favorable determination letter to...more

Attention 401(k) Plan Sponsors: This is Your Wake Up Call

Anytime I travel, I ask for a wake up call even though my IPhone will blare “Eat the Rich” by Aerosmith at the same time because you can never be too careful. When I travel around the country to speak, I want to make sure I...more

IRS Overhauls Its Determination Letter Program For Individually-Designed Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that it will be significantly limiting the employee plan determination letter program for individually-designed qualified retirement plans. Prior to these new changes,...more

Is An Asset Purchaser Liable For Seller’s Withdrawal Liability?

Many asset buyers believe that, as long as they do not agree to ERISA Section 4204’s sale of assets exception to withdrawal liability, they will acquire the seller’s assets free and clear of any prior contribution history and...more

August and September 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

IRS Announces Major Changes to its Determination Letter Program for Individually Designed Retirement Plans

On July 21, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Announcement 2015-19 (the Announcement), which ends the five year remedial amendment cycles for individually designed plans effective January 1, 2017. For remedial...more

How Retirement Plan Providers Can Avoid Communication Problems

Life is all about relationships, whether it’s family, friends, or business. Whether it’s starting a relationship, continuing one, or ending one, it’s all about communication. I can honestly say from my life, the relationships...more

IRS Overhauls Determination Letter Process for Individually Designed Plans

On July 21, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Announcement 2015-19, which significantly limits the circumstances under which the IRS will accept determination letter applications for individually designed...more

Labour Fund Reporting Requirements Enacted

The Income Tax Act was recently amended to enact unprecedented and potentially onerous public disclosure obligations on labour organizations and investment funds in which labour organizations or persons represented by a...more

IRS Determination Letter Program for Qualified Retirement Plans to Be Significantly Curtailed

In Announcement 2015-19 (Announcement), the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has indicated that it is eliminating the staggered five-year determination letter (DL) remedial amendment cycles for individually designed...more

The IRS Tosses Plan Sponsors a Curveball: New Guidance Throws Out One Method of Pension Plan De-Risking

In recent guidance, the IRS surprised plan sponsors with its plan to prevent them from using one means of “de-risking” their defined benefit pension plans to reduce their pension plan liabilities. In Notice 2015-49, the IRS...more

Good Bets by a 401(k) Plan Sponsor to Avoid Liability

I don’t gamble because I don’t like to lose and that’s a big problem about gambling because people do lose. I stopped playing Powerball and Mega Millions. The last time I ever bet on a sport was betting a friend $10 on the...more

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