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News & Analysis as of

Employee Benefits Developments August 2015

Certain Closely Held For-Profit Employers Need Not Provide Women’s Contraceptive Services. Under the ACA, non-grandfathered group health plans must cover specified preventive services, including certain women’s preventive...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - August 2015

Editor's Overview - As the summer draws to a close, this month's Newsletter previews three cases that the U.S. Supreme Court already has agreed to hear that ought to be of particular interest to ERISA plan sponsors and...more

DOL Hearings Debate “Fiduciary Duty” not “Suitability” Standard for Retirement Accounts

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL“) recently heard public comment to its proposed regulatory changes implementing a fiduciary duty on any individual receiving compensation for advice tailored to a plan sponsor, participant...more

Advisors Advantage - August 2015

How Retirement Plan Providers Can Avoid Communication Problems. It's all about relationships and communication. Life is all about relationships, whether it's family, friends, or business. Whether it's starting a...more

Tips to Reduce Adverse Effects of DOL's New Independent Contractor Status - Employers Must Carefully Select Status with...

Administrator David Weil issued an Administrator's Interpretation (Interpretation) on July 15, 2015, on behalf of the United States Department of Labor (DOL) regarding the appropriate classification of workers as independent...more

Focus on Private Equity - July 2015

What Private Equity Funds Should Know About ERISA: Basics of ERISA Coverage - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) imposes numerous duties on fiduciaries holding employee benefit...more

Health and Welfare Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses after Obergefell: A New Mandate for Employers?

After last month’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges, employee benefit plan sponsors may wonder whether Obergefell affirmatively imposes an obligation for employers to provide health, life,...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2015

Supreme Court: Plan Fiduciaries Have a Continuing Duty to Monitor Plan Investments. In 2007, participants and beneficiaries under a 401(k) plan sued the plan fiduciaries and the plan sponsor to recover damages for alleged...more

IRS Moves to Limit De-Risking Lump Sum Distributions

On July 9, 2015, the IRS announced that it intends to amend the required minimum distribution regulations under Section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code to prohibit plans from offering voluntary lump-sum cashouts to...more

Advisors Advantage - July 2015

In This Issue: - How Retirement Plan Advisors Can Benefit From Any New DOL Fiduciary Rule - Avoid Other Providers Who Are The Sticks in the Wheels of Progress - Sometimes It's Just Words - Never...more

House and Senate Appropriations Committees Approve Funding Bills with Riders Targeting DOL, NLRB Initiatives

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees advanced bills this week to fund various federal agencies for FY 2016. Each chamber approved versions of spending measures that include riders prohibiting funding for a...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

DOL Proposal Would Fundamentally Alter Fiduciary Relationship

Nearly five years after proposing a failed rule that would have dramatically expanded the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Department of Labor has decided to try...more

SEC Extends Rule 482 Relief to Non-ERISA Retirement Plans

The SEC staff issued a no-action letter on February 18 that is important for many participant-directed individual account retirement plans (including some established under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code) that...more

EBSA Releases Plan Audit Quality Report, Recommends Stricter Plan Audit Standards

The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) released a report assessing the quality of audit work performed by certified public accountants with respect to financial statement audits of retirement and welfare...more

Appropriations Subcommittee Rejects Efforts to Strip Funding Bill of Pro-Employer Riders

The day after the House Appropriations Committee released a draft bill that would significantly limit certain federal agency rules and initiatives, the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education held a...more

Draft Appropriations Bill Seeks to De-Fund Various Regulatory Efforts

A draft House appropriations bill to fund various federal agencies, including the Department of Labor, for Fiscal Year 2016 includes several provisions that would effectively halt a number of controversial regulatory efforts....more

DOL’s Proposed Rule On Fiduciaries

On April 14, 2015, the DOL issued a new proposed rule to expand the definition of “fiduciary” under ERISA. This is the second time in recent years that the DOL has gone down this path. The first proposed rule (issued in 2010)...more

Advisors Advantage - June 2015

In This Issue: - For Retirement Plan Providers, It's All About Making A Connection - DOL Comment Period Extended - Supreme Trouble with Tibbles - My Referrals Aren't For Sale And Neither Should...more

Supreme Court Reminds Companies to Monitor 401(k) Plan Investments, Sets Parameters for "Regular Review" Requirements

Companies and in-house fiduciaries face increasing scrutiny these days over their 401(k) and other retirement plans. This was underscored again recently by a key Supreme Court ruling. In Tibble v. Edison International, the...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

Monthly Benefits Alert - May 2015

As we do every month, we have provided below a comprehensive alert that highlights the most important employee benefits legal developments during May of 2015. We hope that our “Monthly Benefits Updates” continue to be a...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

Concerns Mount over Department of Labor’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) released a controversial proposed rule on April 20, 2015, that seeks to expand fiduciary duties in the context of retirement-investment advice. Specifically, the proposed rule would rework a...more

DOL Has Many Questions About its Fiduciary Reproposal

As has been widely reported, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on April 14 issued its proposal to expand the definition of investment advice fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). DOL included...more

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