Benefit Plan Sponsors Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Watching SCOTUS – ERISA Church-Plan Exemption Revisited

Seyfarth Synopsis: Currently before the Supreme Court are two petitions regarding the thorny legal question of which organizations can qualify for ERISA’s Church-plan exemption. If the Supreme Court grants certiorari and...more

Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines for October and November

This alert follows up on our August 4, 2016, alert titled, “Upcoming Employee Benefit Plan Deadlines.” The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines for calendar year plans for October and November....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

IRS and Treasury Department Seek Input on How Plan Sponsors Can Avoid Plan Document Problems

On September 16, 2016, the IRS and the Department of the Treasury requested public comment on ways the IRS and Treasury “can improve compliance…by making it easier for plan sponsors to satisfy requirements for qualified plan...more

Top US Universities Hit with Retirement Plan Lawsuits: Lessons for Plan Sponsors

The recent wave of 403(b) lawsuits against more than a dozen prominent US universities could herald similar suits for other 403(b) plan sponsors. Plan sponsors can minimize their risk by reviewing their plan governance...more

[Webinar] 28th Annual Employee Benefits Seminar - September 21st, 8:20am Central / 9:20am Eastern

Program Highlights Please join the Locke Lord Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group for our 28th annual employee benefits seminar via webinar.  Our attorneys will provide an overview of current developments...more

Update on the Apparent Demise of the Determination Letter Program

As we previously reported, the IRS had said last year that determination letter program for retirement plans would largely be going away. Rev. Proc. 2016-37 includes information with respect to the future of the determination...more

Upcoming Employee Benefit Plan Deadlines

This client alert follows up on our prior alerts entitled "Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines." The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines (and/or "Heads Up" for coming deadlines) or other important...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

IRS Lays Out Plan for Maintaining Tax Qualification for Individually-Designed Plans after Elimination of the Determination Letter...

On June 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2016-37, which modifies the Determination Letter Program for tax-qualified plans and the requirements for when plan amendments must be adopted by...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

Major Changes in IRS Determination Letter Program Take Effect in 2017

As we reported earlier this year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is making significant changes to its determination letter program for tax-qualified retirement plans. Last month, the IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2016-37...more

IRS Moves Forward with Plan to Change the Determination Letter Process

In 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it would cut back the determination letter program for qualified retirement plans. In Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) 2016-37, published June 29, 2016, the IRS has...more

Upcoming Employee Benefit Plan Deadlines

This law alert follows up on our prior alerts entitled "Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines." The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines (and/or "Heads Up" for coming deadlines) or other important dates...more

Important Information for 2015 Form 5500 Reporting: Pension Benefit Plans and Funded Welfare Benefit Plans

As you may know, there have been several new items added to the 2015 Form 5500 series. Specifically, these are: - ..Preparer Information at the bottom of page 1 of Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF ..Schedule H, Lines...more

Basic-Supplemental Life Insurance Plan Pricing Structure Upheld in ERISA Class Action

An employee benefit plan that includes an alleged subsidization component for its basic and supplemental options is neither prohibited by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) nor a violation of the plan...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we feature three key developments. First, we review the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, 947 (2016) wherein the Supreme Court held that a...more

SCOTUS ERISA Cases, Part Two: Preemption of State Healthcare Claims Database

This is the second article of a three part series summarizing employee benefit issues that are being argued in front of the U.S. Supreme Court during the current October 2015 term. Part One provided an outline of Montanile v....more

Department of Labor Issues Final Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule to re-define who is rendered a "fiduciary" of an employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by providing investment advice to a plan...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - March 2016

Editor’s Overview - This month we review the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of National Elevator Industries Health Benefit Plan where the Supreme Court considered the scope of...more

New Guidance From IRS Provides Mid-Year Changes To Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans

Prior to the Internal Revenue Services' (IRS) recent issuance of Notice 2016-16 (the Notice), employers that sponsored safe harbor 401(k) retirement plans were uncertain about whether any mid-year changes to their plans would...more

How Does the Supreme Court’s Obergefell Decision Affect Your Employee Benefit Plans?

The short answer: No plan amendments are required, but certain plan amendments and operational changes are permitted, and certain operational changes may be required....more

Reduce Fiduciary Risk With An Effective Investment Policy

Human resource officers and managers are often asked to chair or sit on a retirement plan committee responsible for administrative tasks. In this role, a committee member takes on fiduciary responsibilities to plan...more

Transportation Benefits Coming to D.C. Employees in 2016

In July 2014, the Council of the District of Columbia adopted and the then-mayor signed the Sustainable DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2014, DC Law 20-385. The Act, among other things, brought about regulations and rules...more

Employee Benefits Provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

The Bipartisan Budget Act includes the following important employee-benefit related provisions: - It repeals the automatic enrollment mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Under the ACA, employers with more than 200...more

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