News & Analysis as of

DOL 2014 Fall Regulatory Agenda

Introduction - The Department of Labor has released the 2014 Fall Regulatory Agenda. The updated agenda provides the anticipated publication dates for the next steps in the regulatory process for nearly a dozen ERISA...more

How to Settle an ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case and Sleep at Night: A Checklist for Plan Trustees to Consider

Plan trustees often look to settle ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought against them as a way to put the past behind them. Assuming there is enough fiduciary liability insurance coverage available to pay the proposed...more

GAO report shines spotlight on key issues for managed accounts in 401(k) plans

Most professionals who work in the 401(k) arena would agree that managed accounts are, on balance, a favorable development for 401(k) plan participants. However, such accounts are, in many ways, still in their infancy,...more

DOL’s New Audit Focus? Health Plan Claims and Appeals and Hard to Value Assets

In recent talks and appearances, representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor have issued a warning about new areas of focus of DOL audits and enforcement actions. While there are a number of different enforcement...more

Bells and whistles not being used is worse than having no bells and whistles

My wife will admit I am a dutiful husband. For years, I have been forced from sleep to stand online for Black Friday sales. One year, I stood on line at Sports Authority for the 5 am open to buy a treadmill. A treadmill is...more

New Guidance on Locating Missing Participants for Terminated Defined Contribution Plans

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

Advisors Advantage - August 2014

Dealing with adversity. It's about how you deal with it. I'm a huge Aerosmith fan since high school and it's because the music resonates with me because it reminds me of the experiences that I have gone through...more

July and August 2014 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 and excise taxes. To...more

Yeah, I know, Everyone does it

I was never part of the in crowd. Look at my picture, could I ever be in the “in crowd”? I’m always the odd one out, that’s why I dressed up as the Rodney Dangerfield character, Al Czervik from Caddyshack on Halloween. While...more

The Law Firm Review

Plan Sponsors' Misconceptions About Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure. There are many. To me, there is no greater television show than Seinfeld because it's timeless and there is something about each episode that...more

Fees are only part of a 401(k) Plan’s problem

10 years before I went on my own and started my own practice, I started The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C. It was a side venture, kind of an attempt to see if I can start my own practice without actually having to leave my day job....more

The Debate Continues Over The Fiduciary Status of 401(k) Plan Service Providers

In Golden Star Inc. v. MassMutual Life Ins. Co., 2014 WL 2117511 (D. Mass. May 20, 2014), a district court addressed two issues that have become hotly contested in 401(k) plan fee litigation: (1) whether and when a plan...more

Some plan sponsors will only “get it” when it’s too late

I talk to a lot of advisors and I have many advisor clients around the country and one of the things that I keep on hearing is that even with fee disclosure regulations almost 2 years later, it is still difficult to get...more

The proposed Fiduciary Rule and the selling of Fear

I’m a Howard Stern fan since I was about 11. I’m sorry if you’re offended, but I love that brand of humor. One of the main producers of funny materials are guys by the name of Sal & Richard. Aside from their phony calls, they...more

The DOL script Plan Sponsors don’t want to hear

I have a client who had been undergoing a Department of Labor (DOL) audit. Their mistake? Years ago, a former participant asked for a distribution from this trustee directed profit sharing plan (so no 401(k)) and my client...more

New Guidance on COBRA and ACA Marketplace Coverage: The Gap in Coverage is (Not Quite) Filled

There has been much confusion and concern about the interplay between the COBRA continuation coverage rules and the new Health Insurance Marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act (the “Marketplace”). One important...more

No Country for Lousy Retirement Plans

In the movie, No Country for Old Men, the hit man Anton Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem) confronts Carson Wells (who was also trying to recover the same money Chigurh was after) in his hotel room. Before killing...more

Calendar Year Plans Need To File Form 5500 By July 31, 2014

Executive Summary: Administrators or sponsors of employee benefit plans subject to ERISA generally must file information regarding each benefit plan every year. This information is filed using Form 5500. For calendar year...more

How a Plan Sponsor Can Avoid Being a Deer Caught in the Headlights

The term “deer in the headlights” explains the mental state of a person who shows behavioral signs that remind us of a deer subjected to a car’s headlights where the deer is in such panic that they show no motor reaction to...more

This is What a TPA Does and Why a Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Hire a Good One

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Deer Hunter. It’s a story about the Vietnam War and the post-traumatic stress disorder a group of friends from Western Pennsylvania who were drafted together and fought alongside...more

A Retirement Plan Sponsor’s Guide for Selecting Their Financial Advisor

When it comes to your role as a retirement plan sponsor, outside of hiring a TPA (third party administrator), the most important plan provider that you need to hire is a financial advisor. Unfortunately, like my favorite...more

Mistakes a Plan Sponsor Should Correct Before an IRS/DOL Audit

I have been in the retirement plan business for over 15 years and I have met too many plan sponsors who don’t care that their plan isn’t being run correctly. What makes them eventually care is when they are audited by the...more

The Law Firm Review - January 2014

Future Threats That a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of. What might be good today, may not be good tomorrow. What was good yesterday might not be a good today. Asbestos was a great fireproof building...more

Paying Fees from the Plan is Not a "No-Brainer"!

Although using the revenue generated by the Plan’s investment funds to pay investment, advisory or recordkeeping fees may seem at first a “no-brainer”, this decision requires financial analysis, assessment of fiduciary...more

IRS, DOL Rulings Clarify Treatment Of Same Sex Couples For Benefit Plan Administrators And Sponsors

The United States Supreme Court's landmark Windsor decision in June of this year invalidated certain key provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act by holding that the disparate tax treatment of validly married same sex...more

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