Benefit Plan Sponsors

News & Analysis as of

How a Plan Sponsor Can Avoid Being a Deer Caught in the Headlights

The term “deer in the headlights” explains the mental state of a person who shows behavioral signs that remind us of a deer subjected to a car’s headlights where the deer is in such panic that they show no motor reaction to...more

Advisors have to offer Investment Education

Advisors ask me all the time of the role of education in participant directed 401(k) plans. Participant directed 401(k) plans that are governed under ERISA §404(c) offer the plan sponsors liability protection based on a...more

Health Care Reform: Employer Reporting Requirements

Health care reform imposed new employer reporting requirements regarding health coverage provided to individuals, including: (i) reporting of minimum essential coverage for employer-sponsored self-insured plans and (ii)...more

Is It Time To Review, Retest, Or Amend Your Employee Benefit Plans? IRS Provides Same Sex Marriage Guidance For Retirement Plan...

On June 26, 2013, when the Supreme Court determined that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, the tax and benefit plan implications were unclear. Later, in Revenue Ruling 2013-17, the...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

April and May 2014 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties and excise taxes. To...more

The ABC’s of Target Benefit Plans – Part III

This is my third blog post in a series on target benefit plans. In the first post, I discussed the basics of target benefit plans (TBP), also referred to as defined ambition plans. In the second post, I discussed New...more

Employee Benefits: Is Your Health Plan Premium Affordable Under The ACA?

By now, most large employers are aware that they are required to offer "affordable" health care coverage to their full-time employees beginning in 2015 in order to avoid potential penalties under the shared responsibility...more

Retirement Plan Fee Litigation Finds Its Way to North Carolina

Over the last few years, we have seen a significant increase in litigation involving the fees paid by retirement plans. However, until recently, no major litigation had occurred in North Carolina. On March 12, 2014, one of...more

A Plan Provider Success Story

I always talk about my open door policy with financial advisors and third party advisors where I will help these plan providers out without me actively seeking their business. I kind of have that liberty because it’s my own...more

Why Employers Should Sponsor a Retirement Plan

Starting and running a business is one of the hardest things out there and I know from experience in starting my own law firm. You start a business to make a living and when the need arises and when you can afford it, you...more

In Tussey, Eighth Circuit Weighs in on Excessive Fee Claims

The Eighth Circuit issued a highly anticipated decision yesterday in the appeal of the first ERISA excessive fee class action to proceed to a trial on substantially all of the pleaded claims. In Tussey v. ABB, the court...more

Being a retirement plan provider and pro wrestling business terms

I am a fan of professional wrestling and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I kind of claim that I had no choice in the matter since both my grandfathers watched it, so I say that it’s in my blood. I have known it isn’t real...more

The ABC’s of Target Benefit Plans – Part II

This is my second blog post in a series regarding target benefit plans (TBPs) (for Part I, which provides a general overview of TBPs, see my March 10, 2014 post). In this post I will focus on New Brunswick, as the first...more

Potential clients and the plan provider ties that bind

How many times as a retirement plan provider that you contact a retirement plan that is paying too much money and getting too little back in plan services? If you’re a registered investment advisor offering 3(38) service and...more

The $550 TPA is no Advantage

When I was a kid, I remember my parents were shopping for a car and the sticker price had a base fee for the car with so many add-ons that I seriously wondered whether they would charge you for the steering wheel. As with...more

Ninth Circuit Sides with Orange County in Retiree Health Benefits Case

A Practice or Policy without Clear Legislative Intent Does Not Create Implied Contractual Right to Retiree Health Benefits - A federal appellate court has affirmed a U.S. District Court’s decision to grant Orange...more

The Thing About Investment Committees

I joked in many of my writings and I believe in my new book, available on Kindle (cheap plug here), was that when my Managing Attorney at that semi prestigious law firm (sorry, Lois) wanted to quell a topic, she’d create a...more

A Retirement Plan Sponsor’s Guide for Selecting Their Financial Advisor

When it comes to your role as a retirement plan sponsor, outside of hiring a TPA (third party administrator), the most important plan provider that you need to hire is a financial advisor. Unfortunately, like my favorite...more

Which Canadian jurisdictions are examining Target Benefit Plans? An update from Ian McSweeney [Video]

Ian McSweeney, Osler Partner, Pensions & Benefits, discusses the status of Target Benefit Plans in Canada...more

Status of Target Benefit Plans in Quebec [Video]

Julien Ranger - Associate with Osler's Pensions & Benefits team discusses the status of Target Benefit Plans in Quebec, Canada....more

Notice to Plans and PBMs: Pay for Contraceptive Services and Maybe We Will Pay You Back

As has been widely covered in the news, regulations and guidance developed under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) require that non-grandfathered health plans make preventive care and screenings available to their members at no...more

Mistakes a Plan Sponsor Should Correct Before an IRS/DOL Audit

I have been in the retirement plan business for over 15 years and I have met too many plan sponsors who don’t care that their plan isn’t being run correctly. What makes them eventually care is when they are audited by the...more

Is There An Elephant In The Room?

401(k) Plan documents can read like Russian novels. They are often long and difficult to understand, so it’s no surprise that administrative errors in operating such plans happen frequently. Common errors include omitting or...more

Don’t Waive Privilege: Exclude Unnecessary Service Providers From Meetings

A recent opinion from a federal district court in Massachusetts provides plan sponsors and fiduciaries with a reminder that plan service providers should be excused from meetings where their attendance is not needed to assist...more

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