News & Analysis as of

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

Update: One-Time Extension for Furnishing Annual Fee Disclosures to Participants

Earlier this month we reminded you that plan administrators of participant-directed ERISA defined contribution retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, profit sharing plans and money purchase plans) had to...more

DOL Provides Fee Disclosure Relief

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2013-02 on July 22, 2013, which provides plan administrators of individual account plans with participant-directed investments (such as 401(k) and...more

Important New Fee Disclosure Guidance

On July 22, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2013-02, which provides plan administrators of individual account plans with participant-directed investments (such as 401(k) and...more

DOL Extends Deadline For Providing Annual Comparative Chart Of Investment Alternatives In Participant-Directed Individual Account...

On July 22, 2013, the DOL announced a temporary enforcement policy that provides the administrators of individual account retirement plans such as 40 (k) or 403(b) plans some additional flexibility regarding when they have to...more

New 401(k) Fee Controversy Goes Viral: What Should Fiduciaries Really Be Looking At?

The web was on fire this past week with reports from advisers whose clients had received some very unusual letters from a Yale law professor who doesn’t teach an ERISA course....more

Retirement Plans Get One Chance to Change Annual Participant Fee Disclosure Deadline

On July 22, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a one-time opportunity for administrators of participant-directed individual account plans such as 401(k) and ERISA-covered 403(b) plans to “re-set” their annual...more

DOL Delays Obligation of 401(k) and 403(b) Plans To Distribute Annual Investment Related Information

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) yesterday released Field Assistance Bulletin 2013-2 granting plan sponsors of participant-directed individual account plans (such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans) the ability to delay this year’s...more

Sharing the Wealth – Department of Labor Clarifies Treatment of Revenue Sharing Under ERISA

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) recently issued Advisory Opinion 2013-03A (the “Opinion”), which addresses implications under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) surrounding certain...more

It Takes Only One Participant To Sink A Retirement Plan Sponsor

I am a fan of the original Highlander movie with Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery. The subsequent sequels and television series make the cannon of the series nonsensical, but I do love the original. Maybe it’s because of...more

Labor Department Intends To Require Added Information On 401(k) Statements

The United States Department of Labor (the "Department") has indicated it will propose a new rule that requires qualified participant 401(k)retirement plan statements to show the monthly income the participant can expect to...more

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