News & Analysis as of

Where Oh Where Could They Be? Finding Missing Participants Under the New DOL Guidance

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued updated guidance on locating missing participants in a terminated defined contribution plan. The guidance reflects the discontinuance of the IRS and SSA letter forwarding...more

DOL Updates Procedures for Locating Missing Participants in Defined Contribution Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor recently released Field Assistance Bulletin 2014-01 (the “FAB”), which updates DOL’s guidance on locating missing participants when a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) plan, is...more

DOL Requests Information Regarding Use of Brokerage Windows and Similar Arrangements in Participant-Directed Defined Contribution...

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published a request for information (the “RFI”) regarding the use of brokerage windows, self-directed brokerage accounts, and similar arrangements (collectively referred to in this article...more

Department of Labor Opens the Door to Questioning Brokerage Windows Under 401(k) Plans

A request for information ("RFI") by the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") was published on August 21, 2014 regarding the use of so-called "brokerage windows" under retirement plans, such as many Section 401(k) plans, that...more

Advisors Advantage - August 2014

Dealing with adversity. It's about how you deal with it. I'm a huge Aerosmith fan since high school and it's because the music resonates with me because it reminds me of the experiences that I have gone through...more

Employee Benefits: ERISA Fiduciary Guidance - Fairness for Defined Contribution Fees (6/14)

There has been a tremendous amount of focus on participant-assessed fees in 401(k) and 403(b) plans over the last couple of years. This has come about, in part, because of lawsuits and the Department of Labor (DOL)...more

Fees are only part of a 401(k) Plan’s problem

10 years before I went on my own and started my own practice, I started The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. It was a side venture, kind of an attempt to see if I can start my own practice without actually having to leave my day job....more

The Debate Continues Over The Fiduciary Status of 401(k) Plan Service Providers

In Golden Star Inc. v. MassMutual Life Ins. Co., 2014 WL 2117511 (D. Mass. May 20, 2014), a district court addressed two issues that have become hotly contested in 401(k) plan fee litigation: (1) whether and when a plan...more

Death, Taxes and …ERISA Disclosure Regulations?

There are few sure things in life, and although it is probably safe to say that ERISA disclosure regulations would not be considered one of them, there has certainly been a steady stream of new ERISA-related disclosure and...more

New Rules for IRS Relief on Late Form 5500 Filings

Form 8955-SSA Required to Correct Late Form 5500. The IRS recently issued a new rule for late Form 5500 filings on qualified retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans, ESOPs or pension plans) using the Department of Labor’s...more

FINRA’S Reminder About Rollovers: News To Many

A number of government and regulatory agencies—the Government Accountability Office (the GAO), the Department of Labor (the DOL) and, most recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC), and the Financial Industry...more

This is What a TPA Does and Why a Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Hire a Good One

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Deer Hunter. It’s a story about the Vietnam War and the post-traumatic stress disorder a group of friends from Western Pennsylvania who were drafted together and fought alongside...more

District Court Relies on Fee Disclosure Regulation to Dismiss Complaint

A federal district court in New York last month dismissed a class action complaint brought by a company sponsoring a 401(k) plan. The plaintiff, in Skin Pathology Associates v. Morgan Stanley, alleged, among other claims,...more

Two law school professors and their 401(k) study

There is a tendency to shoot the messenger because folks don’t like the message. I ought to know. Whether it was in college, law school, or working at a third party administrator, I was the messenger of some terrible news....more

Your 401(k) Plan and the Shape of the Earth

I used to work with a very smart lawyer who said that he could give a legal opinion that the world was flat if his qualifying language was not limited. In that case, he would have stated something on the order of: this...more

The Wild Wild West of non-ERISA 403(b) Plans

I always say that as bad as 401(k) plans may be, 403(b) plans are in much worse shape. It didn’t help that the Internal Revenue Service only issued regulations that governed them only 30 years too late, back in 2008. It also...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2014

The employee benefits issues to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court continue to be of great significance to plan sponsors and fiduciaries. This month we review the Court's employee benefit decisions from 2013 and also...more

Who's Checking The Person Who Checked The Boxes?

A Lesson In 401(k) Prototype Documents - Most small to mid-size employers sponsoring a 401(k) plan maintain their plan on a pre-approved prototype document. If you’re not familiar with the term pre-approved prototype...more

The Law Firm Review - January 2014

Future Threats That a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of. What might be good today, may not be good tomorrow. What was good yesterday might not be a good today. Asbestos was a great fireproof building...more

Employee Benefits Update: 2013 Year End Plan Tasks

As we approach the end of the year, employers and plan sponsors of qualified retirement plans and health and welfare plans should take time to meet various upcoming deadlines. Failure to comply with the deadlines may result...more

10 Concepts That Every Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Know

Unless they are involved in the retirement plan industry a plan sponsor must delegate much of their duties to retirement plan providers that may include third party administrators (TPAs), financial advisors, and ERISA...more

Fiduciary Implications of Revenue Sharing Arrangements

For years, 401(k) plan service providers have utilized revenue sharing arrangements to "share" in the revenue earned from plan investments as a source of compensation. Until recently, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") had...more

How to Handle Employee Benefits with Same-Sex Marriages: BB&K's John Wahlin Looks at What Changes Should be Made in Light of the...

With this summer’s Supreme Court rulings on DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, and Prop. 8 allowing same-sex marriages to be recognized in states that allow them, private sector and public agency employers in California...more

DOL Policy Allows Employers A Limited Opportunity To Re-Set Timing Of Annual Participant Fee Disclosures

The DOL’s new participant fee disclosures regulations took effect last year. These rules require 401(k) and other participant-directed plans to provide participants with an annual disclosure of certain plan and fee...more

DOL Permits Plan Administrators to Reset Annual Fee Disclosure Deadline

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance that gives administrators of defined contribution plans a one-time opportunity to reset their deadline for providing participants with the plan’s required...more

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