Which Canadian jurisdictions are examining Target Benefit Plans? An update from Ian McSweeney
Status of Target Benefit Plans in Quebec
BB&K's Isabel Safie Discusses the Implications of IRS’ Definition of Governmental Plan Status
I was very lucky that when I started as an ERISA attorney in 1998, I worked as a staff attorney for third party administrators (TPAs) because it gave me insight and experience that I could never have gotten as an attorney...more
So much energy has been spent on what the final regulations on the employer shared responsibility tax and the related final reporting regulations (the “ESRR”), that some of the most significant considerations have been missed...more
Corporate officers can wear two hats under ERISA: the corporate officer hat or the ERISA fiduciary hat. Actions taken wearing the corporate officer hat are traditionally not fiduciary functions.
The courts recognize...more
I was a fit at my old law firm sort of like how my son’s toddler clothes fit him at age 7. I wasn’t a good fit because I didn’t take myself too seriously, I tried to push for flat fee billing, and I tried to break down...more
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 Issue: Companies often divide their workers into a variety of categories . . . agency employees, temporary employees, provisional employees, independent contractors, and so on. Unfortunately, many companies believe that...more
Effective September 1, 2014, the new Alberta Employment Pension Plans Act (New EPPA) and Employment Pension Plans Regulation (New Regulation) came into force. Pension plans registered in Alberta, as well as plans registered...more
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently amended the rules governing money market funds in an effort to increase the stability and liquidity of these funds in times of economic stress. Money market funds...more
In the Nelson Algren novel, A Walk on The Wild Side, there are 3 important rules of life to follow: “Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse...more
Regardless of the business you’re in, one of the worst thing you can do in being the decision maker for your retirement plan is that you know better than most retirement plan professionals.
No plan sponsor likes to get...more
Starsky had Hutch, Cagney had Lacey, Fred had Ginger, Bogie had Bacall, Bonnie had Clyde, Bert had Ernie, Baskin had Robbins, and Sheriff Bart had the Waco Kid. Whether it's law enforcement, entertainment, or any type of...more
On August 8, President Obama signed legislation that extends certain “pension smoothing” provisions in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act that was signed in 2012. This pension funding relief will...more
You Might Have a Problem With Your Retirement Plan When....
Things to look for.
There are so many situations when you know you have a problem like when you forget to shut off the stove before you left home or when...more
Retirement plan sponsors have a lot of headaches and liability because of their role as plan fiduciaries. They can sit back and do nothing, thereby increasing their potential liability. They can also be proactive and take...more
If you sponsor a self-insured group health plan, then November includes two important deadlines: (1) you must obtain a health plan identifier for your plan, and (2) you must report the number of participants for whom a...more
The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Dudenhoeffer decision demonstrated that benefit plan fiduciaries are definitely in the litigation spotlight, and that they should exercise caution to avoid fiduciary liability in garden-variety...more
On August 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provided new guidance to plan fiduciaries of terminated defined contribution plans for locating missing and unresponsive participants in order to distribute their...more
An often-neglected area in the world of benefit plan administration is the beneficiary designation form. Many participants complete their beneficiary designations incorrectly because they don’t read the instructions carefully...more
Pension plan overpayments to participants and their beneficiaries are an all-too-common occurrence. When overpayments occur, a plan administrator’s duties are fairly clear. Typically, the plan administrator must seek...more
“A pure heart and an empty head are not enough.” This is a quote from an early case defining the scope of ERISA fiduciary liability. However, ERISA has always made fiduciaries responsible only for losses caused by their...more
“For Want of a Nail” is a proverbial rhyme that shows that the smallest of action can have huge consequences later down the line, just like a snowball effect “For want of a nail the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe the horse...more
The administrative burden of determining the validity of rollover contributions to qualified retirement plans, and the associated risk of jeopardizing the plan’s tax-qualified status, traditionally has been a significant...more
This case discusses the fiduciary obligation of plan administrators to inform participants in advance of ERISA’s statutory notice periods regarding the potential impact caused by a change of life insurance carrier under a...more
We reported in 2012 on two private letter rulings (“PLRs”) issued by the IRS (PLR 201228045 and PLR 201228051) blessing certain retiree cashout programs. A retiree cashout program is a de-risking strategy used by defined...more
I would say that if that if you ask a retirement plan expert for their opinion, 3,000 experts will yield 5,000 opinions. It’s great to be opinionated, but for the plan sponsor, it can be a bit confusing....more
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