Benefit Plan Sponsors

News & Analysis as of

The Problem With Providers Using Their Own Funds In Their 401(k) Plan

I always say that I come up with many ideas, but most of them are bad. Seriously, there are so many bad ideas out there in the 401(k) space and one of the really bad ideas out there are bundled plan providers using their own,...more

DOL Significantly Increases Some Penalties for ERISA Violations

Under the Federal Civil Monetary Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (2015 Inflation Adjustment Act), the US Department of Labor (DOL) increased the penalties for specified violations of the Employee...more

Major Changes in IRS Determination Letter Program Take Effect in 2017

As we reported earlier this year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is making significant changes to its determination letter program for tax-qualified retirement plans. Last month, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2016-37...more

Private Investment Fund Managers and Other Investment Advisers May Be Affected by the U.S. Department of Labor’s New Fiduciary...

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) 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) and the...more

Pensions Round-Up: June 2016 (UK)

Welcome to the latest edition of Pensions Round-Up which provides an overview of developments in pension legislation, case law and regulatory guidance. In this edition we look at key developments from June 2016 including...more

401(k) Litigation Overkill?

The landscape for the retirement plan business has radically changed since when I first started in 1998. Normal courses of business such as revenue sharing and non-transparency of fees were the order of the day. No one cared...more

IRS Moves Forward with Plan to Change the Determination Letter Process

In 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it would cut back the determination letter program for qualified retirement plans. In Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) 2016-37, published June 29, 2016, the IRS has...more

Another Off-Label Promotion Third Party Payor Case Lacks Causation

July in D.C. is hot and sticky. When scorching day follows scorching day, area residents look forward to evening thunderstorms, not just to water otherwise thirsty lawns and gardens but to cool things down. Lightning can be...more

Cautionary Observations from the Proposed 457 Regulations

After more than nine years of deliberations, the IRS has finally released proposed regulations governing all types of deferred compensation plans maintained by non-profit organizations and governmental entities. In...more

A Blueprint for Maintaining an Individually Designed Qualified Plan after the IRS’s Determination Letter Program Cutback

In Depth - On June 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officially sounded the death knell for the five-year remedial amendment cycle with its release of Revenue Procedure 2016-37. Effective January 1, 2017,...more

Big Fish and Service Provider Lawsuits

It seems like every week, there is another major lawsuit against a plan sponsor and one of their service providers. Allegations of impropriety are just allegations until decided by a trier of fact of whether they are...more

Revenue Sharing Demolition Night

When I was a kid in the 1970’s, disco was the biggest thing. By 1980, disco was dead thanks to a backlash. People didn’t know it at the time, but disco died the night of July 12, 1979, thanks to the riot during a White Sox...more

I’m not interested in making $$$$ off referrals

Maybe I’m like Larry David, but I have a lot of pet peeves. I hate when people whistle or sing in public. I hate when people talk on the phone in line. I also don’t deal well with working with, working for, and being related...more

Employee Benefits Innovators Roundtable: Fiduciary Update and the DOL Fiduciary Rule

The US Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule is aimed at financial advisors, including brokers, who provide retirement plan services. However, the new rule will impact compliance obligations and potentially, costs for plan...more

Business Associates of HIPAA Covered Entities Beware!

If your organization is a business associate of a HIPAA covered entity (such as a health care provider or employee health benefit plan), you should know that the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Civil Rights...more

REMINDER – IRS Questions on Form 5500 Not Required to be Answered

Earlier this year, the IRS announced that it had failed to receive Office of Management and Budget approval and that, consequently, certain questions it had added to the Form 5500 series were not required to be answered by...more

The ACA’s Health Insurance Marketplace Begins Reaching Out To Employers

Last week, employers began receiving notices from the Federal Health Insurance Marketplace / Exchange regarding employees who applied for Exchange coverage and were determined eligible for a tax subsidy to defray part of the...more

Advisors Advantage - July 2016

How Retirement Plan Providers Can Deal With The Fiduciary Rule Change. Adapt to this change. At its prime, Blockbuster Video had 9,000 stores and was actually bought by Viacom in 1994 for $8.4 billion. Then some...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - July 2016

The Future Is Now For 401(k) Plan Sponsors. The future is here. When I was the head ERISA attorney at a New York based third party administrator (TPA), I left because I saw the future of the retirement plan...more

Be Alert Middle East: Dubai Health Insurance Cover – Your questions answered

Employers need to be aware that 30 June 2016 signifies the deadline by which all employees (regardless of the size of the employer) should have compulsory health insurance cover in accordance with the Dubai Health Insurance...more

The Government's consultation on pension increases in the British Steel Pension Scheme

The DWP's consultation on changing the law to allow pensions increases to be reduced to the statutory minimum in the British Steel Pension Scheme (BSPS) ends on 23 June. It is likely that one of the proposals in the...more

Don’t be Phased by Annuity Treatment: Taxation of Distributions During Phased Retirement

On June 10, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2016-39 in response to inquiries regarding the appropriate tax treatment under section 72 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) for payments received by an...more

The Problem With Choice in 401(k) Plans

In life, giving people a wide variety of choices is a good thing. However, when it comes to daily valued 401(k) plans, too many choices isn’t a good thing. It sounds counter-intuitive, but too many choices offered to plan...more

“Off the Rails:” A Plan Administrator’s Burden

When an ERISA plan provides the plan administrator with discretion to interpret the terms of the plan, the administrator’s claims and appeals decisions are generally reviewed by courts under a lenient standard of review such...more

Don’t get stuck in 1986

I was a volunteer and officer for an organization where I stated that the leadership (not including me) was stuck in 1986. What it meant was that this leadership couldn’t adjust to the current age when it came to...more

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