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DOL Releases Final Regulations to Expand ERISA ‘Fiduciary’ Definition

In Depth - After more than five years of development and revision, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released final regulations to redefine a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as...more

Final DOL Fiduciary Rule – Q&As for Employers and Plan Sponsors on Investment Education

On April 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (Department) issued its final rule defining who is a fiduciary of an employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) as a result of giving...more

SEC Probes Retirement Advice

The SEC has been sending lengthy sweep examination letters to many registered investment advisers (RIAs) and broker-dealers, requesting a broad variety of information regarding retirement plan advice. A form of the...more

The Vagueness of the Best Interest Exemption

One of the interesting points of the new fiduciary rule is the best interest exemption that is intended to stop conflicts of interests especially for brokers who need to meet a new fiduciary standard. As long as a broker...more

A Compilation of Non-Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement - Amendments to the Venture Capital Fund Adviser and Private Fund Adviser Exemptions - Last month the SEC’s Division of Investment Management issued a guidance update (Update) addressing recent...more

Employee Benefits Developments - April 2016

Stock Drop Case Update: Settlement Reached in Dudenhoeffer Case; Dismissal of Lehman Brothers Lawsuit Upheld. Two recent developments in stock drop litigation are worth noting: Dudenhoeffer Settlement. In Fifth Third...more

Surviving the Strife: How Start-Up Founders Can Ensure That Inevitable Friction and Departures Won't Sink the Company

History is all too often repeated when start-up founders fail to plan for when (not if) they don’t see eye-to-eye. Relationship breakdowns and messy founder departures are common root causes of start-up failures. Common...more

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

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Redefining ERISA’s Definition of “Fiduciary” for Certain Types of Investment Advice

On April 6th, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a final rule (the “Fiduciary Rule”) that expands the types of retirement investment advice that will be subject to the fiduciary duty rules of the Employee Retirement...more

"Labor Department Redefines ‘Fiduciary’ for ERISA and Internal Revenue Code Purposes"

On April 6, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a widely anticipated final regulation that redefines who is a “fiduciary” of certain employee benefit and other plans for purposes of the Employee Retirement Income...more

Is Your Corporation “Zeroing Out” Income at End of Year Through Bonuses? Watch Out!

For the last few years the IRS has warned taxpayers that it would look closely at year-end bonuses that resulted in “zeroing out” taxable income of a corporation by deducting the bonuses as salary rather than a payment of...more

“Best Interests” of Investors and Employees

Ima Knowitall, owner of All My Business Ideas (AMBI), just read the Wall Street Journal article on new Department of Labor (DOL) regulations and called her financial advisor, Phillip Coffers. Mindful of last fall’s Tilting...more

District Court Holds Private Equity Funds Jointly Liable for Portfolio Company's ERISA Withdrawal Liability

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled on March 28, 2016 that two private equity funds were jointly and severally liable for the multiemployer pension plan withdrawal liability of their jointly-owned...more

District Court Applies Dudenhoeffer “More Harm Than Good” Standard to Closely-Held Corporation

A federal district court in Mississippi ruled for the first time that the “more harm than good” pleading standard established by the Supreme Court in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 134 S. Ct. 2459 (2014), applied to...more

News Alert – 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

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

The Wait Is Over – the DOL Announces New Rules Impacting Broker Regulation

The Department of Labor recently enacted rules that require financial advisers and brokers handling individual retirement and 401(k) accounts to act in the best interests of their clients. The much-anticipated rules have...more

DOL’s fiduciary rule levels playing field for advisors, imposes new duty on brokers

On April 6, 2016, the Department of Labor released the final version of its highly anticipated fiduciary rule. The rule is the culmination of six years of study, commentary and revisions after it was originally proposed in...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

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

US Department of Labor Finalizes Rules to Impose Fiduciary Duty on Financial Advisors Who Provide Retirement Advice to Retail...

The US Department of Labor announced final rules that will, for the first time, subject investment advice to IRA and other non-ERISA plan clients to ERISA’s fiduciary standards and remedies. Currently, brokers and dealers and...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

The US Department of Labor’s Final “Fiduciary” Rule Incorporates Concessions to Financial Service Industry but Still Poses Key...

The Rule Will Require Restructuring of Pay and Compliance Policies at Financial Institutions Serving Retail Retirement Clients The Rule Also Increases the Litigation Risks to Financial Institutions Associated with...more

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