Benefit Plan Sponsors

News & Analysis as of

IRS Pulls Determination Letter Program, Puts Premium on Plan Assessments by Sponsors

Effective January 1, 2017, the IRS has announced that, due to limited resources, it is eliminating the existing 5-year determination letter application staggered filing cycles for individually designed plans. Off-cycle...more

IRS Overhauls Determination Letter Process for Individually Designed Plans

On July 21, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Announcement 2015-19, which significantly limits the circumstances under which the IRS will accept determination letter applications for individually designed...more

Canadian Employment News Series - July 2015

Self-Reporting Drug Use Policies at Work: Are They Discriminatory? Employers seeking to strengthen policies aimed at reducing drug and alcohol abuse in safety sensitive workplaces should take note of this recent Alberta...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - August 2015

Good Bets by a 401(k) Plan Sponsor to Avoid Liability. As close to a sure thing you'll get. I don't gamble because I don't like to lose and that's a big problem about gambling because people do lose. I stopped playing...more

IRS Makes Significant Changes to Qualified Plan Determination Letter Program

The IRS has announced significant changes to its qualified plan determination letter program. These changes, which become effective January 1, 2017, impact individually-designed plans. Favorable determination letters...more

Benefits Litigation Update – July 2015

Welcome to the new, rejuvenated version of the Benefits Litigation Update, which we bring you jointly with the law firm of Epstein Becker Green. Our goal is to provide a concise and, we hope, insightful glimpse into recent...more

Offering Employee Equity Has Become Much Easier for Australian Start-Ups

From 1 July 2015 the way in which options granted by any company to its employees in Australia will be taxed has changed, but the main winners under the new tax rules are those Australian companies that qualify for the...more

Tenth Circuit Addresses ERISA Limitations Provision in Class Action Decision

In Fulghum v. Embarq. Corp., 785 F.3d 395 (10th Cir. 2015), the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals considered the claims of a class of telephone company retirees whose life and health insurance benefits were reduced or eliminated...more

The Top 7 Concerns for Employee Benefits Administrators

For years, employers have been getting a free pass from the courts for a number of different violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") relating to the operation of retirement, medical,...more

Major Changes in IRS Qualified Retirement Plan Determination Letter Procedure Announced

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that, effective January 1, 2017, the existing procedure for issuance of favorable IRS determination letters for qualified pension, profit-sharing and 401(k) plans will be...more

The IRS Tosses Plan Sponsors a Curveball: New Guidance Throws Out One Method of Pension Plan De-Risking

In recent guidance, the IRS surprised plan sponsors with its plan to prevent them from using one means of “de-risking” their defined benefit pension plans to reduce their pension plan liabilities. In Notice 2015-49, the IRS...more

Recent Decision Sheds Light on the ERISA Definition of a Top Hat Plan and the Absence of Detailed Guidance

The “top hat plan” exception to full ERISA coverage of an employee benefit plan is the very foundation of executive deferred compensation. The exception provides that “a plan which is unfunded and is maintained by an...more

Quirky Question #264, Oregon Employers: Beware!

Question: I am an employer in Oregon, and I understand Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a whole slew of bills into law on Monday which will directly impact Oregon employers. What do I need to know?...more

Plan Provider Changes Shouldn’t Be Just To Make Someone $$$$$

Everyone has an opinion, but I think the independent opinion that is guided by beliefs and not by pay is far more important than the opinion that is greased by greed. I had lunch with my local neighborhood third party...more

Employee Benefits After The Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Obergefell v. Hodges establishes a national right to same-sex marriage and requires states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Generally speaking, this...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

Oregon Governor Kate Brown Signs “Fair Shot” Legislation into Law—Employers Beware!

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a package of four bills into law on Monday, three of which will directly impact Oregon employers. Specifically, it requires even small employers to give up to 40 hours of paid sick time,...more

The Supreme Court Addresses Federal Health Care Subsidies and Same-Sex Marriage

Two recent Supreme Court decisions have implications for employee benefit plan sponsors: King v. Burwell, decided June 25, 2015, and Obergefell v. Hodges, decided June 26, 2015....more

United State Supreme Court Confirms ERISA Fiduciary’s Continuing Duty To Monitor Investments

In its Tibble v. Edison International decision the United State Supreme Court confirmed that the scope of an ERISA fiduciary’s duty of prudence continues after initial investments are made and imposes an ongoing duty to...more

Same-Sex Marriage and Employment Discrimination: The Future of Sexual Orientation Bias Claims

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage throughout the country. In Oberfell v. Hodges, the Court held that Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment – commonly referred to as the Equal...more

Plan Sponsors Need Their Own All-Stars

The Major League Baseball All Star Game was something I always looked forward, especially when my Mets were doing well in the mid-1980’s. Since 1933,it has been the Mid-Summer Classic. The starters for the All Star Game...more

Reminder: Non-Grandfathered Plans Must Implement Embedded Out-of-Pocket Maximums

As employers and plans prepare for 2016 open enrollment, they must be sure to address in their benefit design and with their third party vendors the new embedded out-of-pocket maximum limitations on individuals that were...more

July and August 2015 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. To avoid such...more

IRS Changes Rules on Lump Sum Window Programs

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has surprisingly issued a notice of its intention to amend the required minimum distribution (RMD) regulations under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) to limit the use of lump sum payments to...more

DOL Proposes Broader ERISA Fiduciary Definition

In April, the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued controversial proposed regulations that would broaden the category of service providers who become fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974...more

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