Labor & Employment Finance & Banking

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Labor & Employment issues written by leading professionals.
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Financial Services Quarterly Report - Third Quarter 2016: The Evolving DOL Fiduciary Rule: Impact on Mutual Fund Distribution and...

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued the final version of its “fiduciary investment advice” regulation (Final Rule) on April 6, 2016, following a lengthy proposal and re-proposal process. Although the Final Rule reflects...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

SEC Exams Looking for Whistleblower Violations

SEC staff in the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations are examining compliance with key whistleblower provisions arising out of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The staff is...more

The IRS Voluntary Compliance Program Is Like Your Parents

As a child, you’re usually told by your parents that they just want to hear the truth and that telling the truth is going to carry a far less punishment than if you lie and try to hide whatever bad thing you do. The...more

IRS Clarifies Benefit Coverage Requirements for Employees of Tax-Exempt Disregarded Entities

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued General Counsel Memorandum 201634021 (Memorandum), clarifying benefit coverage requirements for employees of a disregarded LLC wholly owned by a single member tax-exempt...more

Third Circuit Rejects Contractor’s Challenge To Arbitral Jurisdiction Based On Failure To Comply With Agreement’s Procedural...

The Third Circuit affirmed a lower court’s ruling against a contractor challenging an arbitrator’s authority in ordering payment of delinquent contributions to employee benefit funds. Plaintiff (“Nolt”) signed a Project Labor...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

401(k) Sponsors Say Their Plan is OK, but They Really Have No Idea

When I was dating my wife, she asked me if I had a good credit score and I said I did. I never checked my credit score, but I paid all my bills in full and on time. Of course when I got a copy of my credit report, my credit...more

Update: EB-5 Regional Center Program Receives Short-Term Extension

On September 29, 2016, as part of recently enacted federal spending legislation, the EB-5 Regional Center Program received a short-term extension through December 9, 2016. The Program has been similarly extended, with no...more

Some Brokers Will Leave, But Not Like What They’re Saying

Experts saying how many brokers are going to leave the retirement plan business reminds me of the radio report that Henry Hill heard in the shower about the Lufthansa heist, in Goodfellas. Like the loot stolen in the heist,...more

California Employers with Qualified Plans Not Subject to New Secure Choice Program

On September 29, 2016, California Governor Brown approved significant amendments to the 2012 California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act ("Secure Choice"). Secure Choice is intended to provide Roth IRAs and...more

State Run IRA Programs Can Actually Be An Opportunity for Plan Providers

A few states including California are going into the retirement business. While ordinarily competition in the shape of a state government is cause for concern, I believe that it’s an actual opportunity for both third party...more

Your Daily Dose of Financial News

For a start-up looking to unseat Bloomberg as the go-to insider source for financial news [other than this blog, of course], there’s a surefire way to gain some instant credibility: hire one of Bloomberg’s former top execs,...more

Merrill’s End of Commission IRAs is going to be a game changer

In a move that will shake the broker-dealer and retirement plan industries, Merrill Lynch’s decided to end its commission individual retirement account (IRA) business to comply with the Department of Labor’s (DOL) new...more

Treasury Makes it Easier for Pension Plans to Pay Partial Annuities

The Department of Treasury has issued final regulations that simplify the rules that allow retiring participants to simultaneously elect a partial lump sum and a partial annuity from a defined benefit pension plan. Under the...more

Trek Beyond To The Future of 401(k) Plans

While I prefer Star Wars, I still have an affinity for Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future was a hopeful one while the science fiction genre prior to his tome had a bleak future. The original series and the...more

Now You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: New Pension Distribution Rules Allow More Flexibility

If you are one of the lucky few employees who participate in an employer’s defined benefit retirement plan, you previously had to choose between receiving your benefits in a lump sum or in annuity payments. However, in the...more

Prohibited Transactions for Retirement Plans

A recent case reminds us that people need to be careful when dealing with their retirement plans, particularly if those accounts are used as investment vehicles to fund business activities relating to the plan participant or...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

New Rules for New York Employers Who Use Payroll Debit Cards and Direct Deposit

As the workplace becomes increasingly digitized, both employers and employees can benefit from the conveniences technology provides. Chief among those is the convenience of electronic access to funds, which allows people to...more

The MPRA: One Size Fits No One

This is another in our series addressing the continuing deterioration of multi-employer defined benefit pension plans. Regardless of the identity of the next tenant of the White House, a major item on the new...more

The Problem with “Top-Heavy” Administration

If you know about a thing or two about plan administration, you know about the top-heavy rules. The top-heavy rules generally ensure that the lower paid employees receive a minimum benefit if the plan is top-heavy. A plan is...more

The Senior Managers Regime – should GCs be worried?

In March this year the PRA and the FCA introduced the Senior Managers Regime (‘SMR’) for individuals associated with banks and PRA regulated investment firms (from 2018 the SMR will apply to all UK authorised firms). The...more

Watching SCOTUS – ERISA Church-Plan Exemption Revisited

Seyfarth Synopsis: Currently before the Supreme Court are two petitions regarding the thorny legal question of which organizations can qualify for ERISA’s Church-plan exemption. If the Supreme Court grants certiorari and...more

ISS Survey Results Regarding Pay-for-Performance and Say-on-Pay Frequency

Institutional Shareholder Services Inc. (“ISS”), the influential proxy advisory firm, recently released their 2016-2017 Global Policy Survey results. These results show some interesting findings related to executive...more

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