Benefit Plan Sponsors

News & Analysis as of

Automatic enrollment is growing in 401(k) plans

The Plan Sponsor Council of America’s newest annual report shows that in 2015, 25.5% of small 401(k) plans offer automatic enrollment. In their survey, small plans are considered plans with less than 50 participants....more

DOL Updates Guidance on Proxy Voting by Plan Fiduciaries

On December 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) released Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (“IB 2016-1”) relating to the voting of proxies on securities held in employee benefit plans. IB 2016-1 withdraws the...more

Now You Can Be Up to Your QNEC in Forfeitures

On January 18, 2017, the IRS issued proposed regulations allowing amounts held as forfeitures in a 401(k) plan to be used to fund qualified nonelective contributions (QNECs) and qualified matching contributions (QMACs). This...more

The Final Rule: DOL Releases Additional FAQs Related to New Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released two additional sets of FAQs providing guidance related to its final rule expanding the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” (the Final Rule) for purposes of the Employee...more

Fiduciary Rule will clear out the Alphabet Soup of Share Classes

When it comes to mutual funds offered under 401(k) plans, I’ve always believed that the multiple share classes was something out of an alphabet soup. I’m not an advisor, so I don’t know how or why there is so many share...more

PBGC Sticks Its Head Out Of The Water And Issues RFI Regarding Hybrid (Two-Pool) Multiemployer Pension Plans

Seyfarth Synopsis: The PBGC is seeking more information on hybrid or two-pool withdrawal liability calculation methods. This is a sign that the PBGC may be re-evaluating its role in approving hybrid proposals, although it...more

Plan Sponsors Sued Over Fees on Multiple Plans and Vendors

In a very novel retirement fee lawsuit, a plan sponsor is being sued over the cost of multiple plans and the use of multiple record-keepers....more

Certain Information Statements for ISOs and ESPPs Due by January 31, 2017

As reported in Part 1 of our 2016 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List, Section 6039 of the Code requires employers to provide a written information statement to each employee or former employee and file information returns...more

Raising the Bar to a Perfect Score: Corporate Equality Index to Look for Expanded Health Benefits as Measure of LGBT Workplace...

Employers looking for strong scores on the Corporate Equality Index (CEI) in coming years may have to make some unexpected changes to their health benefit programs. Benefit programs are one key component of CEI ratings,...more

A Poet's Guide to Employee Benefits Law - 2017 Edition

The employee benefits world, with all its legal rules and regulations, is viewed by human resources people, financial people, and for that matter most lawyers, as forbidding territory - the "darkest forest" from the Wizard of...more

Top 10 Employee Benefits New Year’s Resolutions for 2017

If statistics are any guide, by now a significant number of you have already broken your New Year’s resolutions. However, there’s still plenty of time to make new ones that you can break, er, keep. ...more

Are Individually Designed Retirement Plans Destined to Become Dinosaurs?

The Impact of Changes to the IRS Determination Letter Program - This January 2017 will see the last regular IRS determination letter applications filed for individually designed retirement plans. After this final Cycle A...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - December 2016

The Potential Liability of Participant Directed 401(k) Plans. There is a liability lurking there. As children, we were told the story of Jack and The Beanstalk. Jack sells a cow for some "magic beans" and his...more

Your Business Can Fall A Lot Quicker That It Rose

One of the business philosophies I learned while working for third party administrator is that it’s a lot easier to lose a client than to gain one. I know that first hand, seeing bad service that gets plan sponsors to fire...more

The New ERISA Claims and Appeals Regulations for Disability Benefits

The Employee Benefits Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor recently published final regulations governing the ERISA claims and appeals process that will apply to all claims for disability benefits filed on...more

Best Practices for 401(k) Plan Administration Includes Using Forfeiture Accounts by Year-End

Since at least 2010, the IRS has publicly stated that forfeitures must be used by the end of the plan year in which the forfeiture occurred, or as soon as possible thereafter. Some IRS pre-approved prototype or volume...more

Court of Appeal Rejects Another Post-PEPRA Challenge

On December 20, 2016, the California Court of Appeal struck another blow to a legal challenge brought against an employer who changed its pension policies in the wake of the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013...more

ERISA 404(c) lineup are a much bigger headache

When I first started in the business in 1998, daily valued, participant 401(k) plans were starting to become a big deal because the technology caught up with the idea of plan participants directed investments and that their...more

401(k) Plan Sponsor ERISA Fiduciary Litigation Update: Sequoia Fund Litigation

While much of the 401(k) fiduciary litigation in recent years has focused on investment and recordkeeping expenses, a large number of claims filed against 401(k) fiduciaries have alleged that fiduciaries simply made a bad...more

ACA Facelift to Disability Claims Process Could Affect All Plans

It might be tempting to conclude that the recent Department of Labor regulations on disability claims procedures is limited to disability plans. However, as those familiar with the claims procedures know, it applies to all...more

Proof Again That Small Plans and Their Fiduciaries Can Get Sued

I’ve heard of for years on how small 401(k) plans and their plan fiduciaries don’t get sued. While they are never going to be the target for a class action lawsuit because they don’t have enough assets to justify an ERISA...more

Cover Letters: The Key to Simplifying ERISA Plan Document Requests

Sponsors of qualified retirement plans and group health plans may receive tens, if not hundreds, of plan document requests every year. Responding to these requests in accordance with the rules set forth under the Employee...more

Pensions Round-Up - December 2016 (UK)

In this edition we look at key developments from November 2016 including the following. - The Pensions Regulator: the publication of checklists about new information required in the 2016- 17 scheme return for DB and...more

DOL Releases Advance Copies of the 2016 Form 5500

In Depth - On November 1, 2016, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released advance copies of the 2016 Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF annual return/report and their related schedules and instructions. Information copies of the...more

Dear Plan Sponsors, it’s about Reasonableness

Thanks to fee disclosure regulation and litigation against plan sponsors, plan sponsors are focusing on the costs of administering their plan. That’s great, but there’s a problem because of the focus. A study recently shows...more

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