News & Analysis as of

Benefit Plan Sponsors Employee Benefits

Company Liable for Not Providing Accurate Information about Benefits

by Dickinson Wright on

A recent court case, Erwood vs Life Insurance Company of North America, is a reminder that plan sponsors must understand the terms of their welfare and retirement benefit plans, and ensure that their staff follows the...more

How to Avoid Costly Beneficiary Designation Litigation – Helpful Hints for All Benefit Plans

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

When administering an employee benefits plan, it is critically important to provide clear and specific instructions as to how a participant can designate a beneficiary. A recent federal district court opinion in Florida...more

Labor Department Boosts Disability Claimant Protections

by Fisher Phillips on

The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) recently issued a final rule addressing disability benefit claims and appeals (see 81 FR 92316). The rule adds new procedural protections and safeguards meant to ensure disability...more

Does the Fiduciary Exception Apply to Legal Advice Received By Insurers During the Claims Process

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: Adding to the body of conflicting authority on the scope of the attorney-client privilege in ERISA lawsuits, a district court has found that the fiduciary exception to attorney-client privilege applies to...more

Final Disability Claims and Appeals Regulations – Be Prepared to Comply

by Foley & Lardner LLP on

In December 2016, the Department of Labor issued final regulations under ERISA governing claims procedures for group disability plans, which will become effective January 1, 2018. Generally, these regulations were drafted to...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - February 2017

by Ary Rosenbaum on

Why an Employer Should Sponsor A 401(k) Plan. Lots of good reasons. As an employer, a big reason for setting up a retirement plan is because it's an employee benefit and it can be used to recruit and retain...more

IRS Issues First Required Amendments List for Qualified Plans

by Snell & Wilmer on

In a previous blog, we discussed the IRS’ elimination of its five year staggered determination letter cycle for individually designed plans. The IRS recently provided guidance to help sponsors of individually designed plans...more

Newly Proposed IRS Rules Permit the Use of Forfeitures for QNECs and QMACs

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

On January 18, 2017, the IRS issued proposed regulations that expand the permitted uses of forfeitures in a 401(k) plan. Under the proposed rules, the definitions of “qualified nonelective contributions” (QNECs) and...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Editor’s Overview - In 2016, we saw a considerable uptick in the number and variety of excessive fee lawsuits commenced against plan fiduciaries of defined contribution plans. We begin the year by taking a look at these...more

IRS Relaxes Rules on Use of Forfeitures to Fund Safe Harbor Contributions and QNECs to 401(k) Plans

by Sherman & Howard L.L.C. on

The IRS recently issued welcome guidance for sponsors of 401(k) plans. On January 18th, the IRS issued proposed regulations that permit forfeitures to be used to fund the employer’s safe harbor contributions, qualified...more

Don’t blame the 401(k)

by Ary Rosenbaum on

I’ve seen the articles that pop up about how 401(k) plans are somehow to blame for the lack of retirement savings or their replacement of defined benefit plans as the savings vehicle for private employers. I don’t like to...more

Employment and Benefits Advisory: 2017 Reminders and Developments

by Sullivan & Worcester on

New Relief for Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements - As mentioned in prior advisories, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury have taken the position that employers cannot reimburse...more

DOL Updates Guidance on Proxy Voting by Plan Fiduciaries

by McNair Law Firm, P.A. on

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

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

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

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

Are Individually Designed Retirement Plans Destined to Become Dinosaurs?

by Sherman & Howard L.L.C. on

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

401(k) Plan Fee Litigation Update

by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. on

The wave of fee litigation is ongoing and has significantly increased the responsibility of 401(k) plan fiduciaries to follow well documented, prudent processes to monitor 401(k) plan fees and expenses....more

Coverage is always the biggest problem

by Ary Rosenbaum on

When you look at the problems of retirement plans, one that gets short shrift is coverage and that is one of the pillar of qualified plans needed to be fulfilled in order to be a qualified plan. It’s a forgotten rule of...more

Qualified Retirement Plan Amendments and IRS Filings — Upcoming Deadlines

by Alston & Bird on

This advisory reminds plan sponsors of deadlines for amending qualified retirement plans and for submitting certain plans to the IRS for a determination letter, as well as other significant changes to the determination letter...more

Forfeitures can be a compliance headache

by Ary Rosenbaum on

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

2016 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List Qualified Retirement Plans (Part 3)

by Snell & Wilmer on

As 2016 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. Like last year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of...more

2016 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List: Health & Welfare

by Snell & Wilmer on

As 2016 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. Like last year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate Employee Benefits Updates. Part 1 of...more

IRS Releases Benefits and Contribution Limits for 2017

by Robinson & Cole LLP on

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued its annual update regarding dollar limitations on contributions and benefits applicable to tax-qualified retirement and welfare plans for 2017. Please see full...more

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

by K&L Gates LLP on

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

Client Alert: IRS Announces Increases for Health FSAs and HSAs

by Fraser Trebilcock on

The IRS has just released its 2017 annual inflation adjustments, in which it announced that the dollar limitation under Code section 125 on voluntary employee salary reductions for contribution to health flexible spending...more

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