Labor & Employment Finance & Banking Insurance

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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

ERISA Preemption Trumps State Insurance Law Yet Again: Ninth Circuit Declines to Apply California’s Insurance Notice-Prejudice...

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a Plan participant’s attempt to extend California insurance law’s notice-prejudice rule to self-insured ERISA plans. Zagon v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 2015 BL...more

Analysis: The Impact of the DOL’s Fiduciary Proposal on Sales of Insurance Products

This paper explains the basis for our conclusions about the impact of the Department of Labor (DOL) proposal to amend the fiduciary investment advice regulation and the prohibited transaction (PT) exemptions for sales of...more

Fiduciary Risks Involved in Transferring Assets from a Seller’s 401(k) Plan to the Buyer’s Plan

In many transactions, particularly those where the buyer is a portfolio company of a private equity fund, the buyer agrees to cause its 401(k) plan to accept a transfer of assets from the seller’s 401(k) plan. The asset...more

U.S. Department of Labor Re-Proposes Rules Governing the Definition of “Fiduciary”—Part 4: The Impact on 401(k) Plan Consultants...

This post highlights the significant impact the proposed regulations may have on advisers to mid-sized and small 401(k) retirement plans if adopted. Previously, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series described the...more

U.S. Department of Labor Re-Proposes Rules Governing the Definition of “Fiduciary”—Part 2: The “Best Interest Contract” Exemption

In Part 1 of this series, we reported on recently proposed regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor amending the definition of the term “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) and the...more

More ERISA Complications

In passing the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), Congress sought to make it as easy and economical as possible for employers to provide benefits to their workers; for example, pensions, health insurance,...more

First Circuit’s RAA-Friendly Ruling Stands

The class plaintiffs’ challenge to a group life insurer’s use of so-called retained asset accounts (RAAs) in Merrimon v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America has come to an unsuccessful end. On January 26, the United...more

FCA Releases Discussion Paper Under MiFID II

The revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID II”) came into force on 2 July 2014. It will have effect on 3 January 2017, reflecting the period required for European Union member states to transpose its...more

Ninth Circuit Rules That Harmless Procedural Violation Does Not Alter Standard of Review

The Ninth Circuit held that a plan administrator’s failure to render a decision on a long-term disability benefits claim within the period mandated by the plan and ERISA did not alter the standard of review that the court...more

2014 Pension Plan Regulatory Highlights

The start of the new year is as good a time as any to look back at some of the employee benefits regulatory developments of 2014 that were not previously covered in this column. Originally published in Employee Benefit...more

SEC Issues Rule 482 No-Action Relief to Non-ERISA 403(b), 457 Plans

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a no-action letter extending relief to certain investment-related information provided to participants in non-ERISA 403(b), 457(b), and other qualified participant-directed...more

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