Benefit Plan Sponsors The United States Department of Labor

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

Advisors Advantage - December 2016

A "Crystal Ball" On Life After The New ERISA Fiduciary Rule. We can see the future if we look closely enough. The Department of Labor's (DOL) new fiduciary rule that is going to go in effect in April 2017 is going...more

What Employers Need To Know About Mandatory Payroll Deduction Savings Programs

Administering and providing retirement benefits can present difficulties to employers. If you offer such benefits, you must choose and monitor service providers, offer prudent investment options, and administer benefits,...more

Trump and the Debate Over the Fiduciary Rules Affecting Retirement Savings

CAMPAIGN PROMISES AND THE FIDUCIARY FIGHT - President Elect Trump’s campaign website states that he intends to issue a moratorium on new regulations that are “not compelled by Congress or public safety.” His stated goal...more

Are HR employees ‘investment advisors’ under the DOL’s fiduciary rule?

In April 2016, the Department of Labor promulgated final regulations that fundamentally changed the ERISA fiduciary rules governing advisors to retirement income investors. Though the rule is final, the new provisions...more

Forfeitures can be a compliance headache

Defined contribution plans such as 401(k) plans have a forfeiture provision if there are contribution in the plan that are not immediately vested. The problem with the forfeiture provision is that they are usually neglected...more

California’s New State Sponsored Retirement Program to Debut Soon: California Employers Blog

In September 2016, the California legislature amended the California Secure Choice Savings Trust Act of 2012 (“Secure Choice”). This law will eventually require employers with at least five employees, and which do not offer...more

The U.S. Department Of Labor’s Conflict of Interest/Fiduciary Regulatory Package Survives Challenge in DC

One of the District Courts hearing challenges to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest regulatory package has upheld the regulation and related prohibited transaction class exemptions, including the Best...more

ERISA Fiduciary Issues for Plan Sponsors: What Do 401(k) Plan Fiduciaries Need to Know About Revenue Sharing?

Retirement plan revenue sharing has a bad reputation. Numerous lawsuits have been filed during the past year against employers that sponsor 401(k) plans alleging breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income...more

How Secure is Your Retirement Plan?

Most employers are generally aware of their fiduciary status as a “plan sponsor” of an ERISA-governed retirement plan (e.g., 401(k) and 403(b) plans). In fact, the employer’s hiring of a service provider is in and of itself a...more

Cutting Through the Fog: The Applicability of DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule to Financial Advisors

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new Conflicts of Interest rule1 expands the scope of the definition of “fiduciary” under ERISA2 and the Code3 to cover more classes of financial advisors. This rule replaces a long-standing...more

States get DOL approval for IRAs, but what about MEPs?

The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule providing states with a safe harbor under which they can create programs that require employers to establish payroll-deduction IRAs for employees. I would say that’s a...more

Reports on Increase in Retirement Plan Audits Further Illustrate the Need for Plan Sponsors to Focus on Administrative Compliance

In Depth - Recent reports show that the number of retirement plan audits by government agencies is increasing. A survey released by Willis Towers Watson indicates that one in every three plan sponsors has experienced a...more

"Employment Flash - August 2016"

The August 2016 edition of Employment Flash covers a number of developments, including the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on when the clock starts ticking on the filing period for constructive discharge claims; the Department of...more

DOL Significantly Increases Certain ERISA Civil Penalties Effective August 2, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has significantly increased a number of civil monetary penalty amounts (CMPs) that may be assessed by the DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration for violations of Title I of the...more

IRS Clarifies Instructions for Form 5500 Reporting of RMD Failures

Certain employee benefit plans, including qualified retirement plans, must file an annual return/report on Form 5500 with the Department of Labor, which is shared with the IRS. Each year discreet changes are typically made...more

Proposed Changes to Form 5500 Reporting Requirements May Have Significant Impact on Retirement Plan Sponsors

On July 11, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced a proposal to implement sweeping changes to the forms and regulations that govern...more

Proposed Changes to Form 5500 Would Significantly Increase Reporting Obligations for Health and Welfare Plan Sponsors

Summary - On July 11, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a proposal to implement significant changes to the forms and regulations that govern annual employee benefit plan...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

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

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