News & Analysis as of

Benefit Plan Sponsors Employee Benefits

Don’t gyp employees on retirement plans

by Ary Rosenbaum on

As I’ve stated before, I wouldn’t hire employees because I was an employee once too. That pretty much means that I never met an employee whoever thought they were overpaid. For that matter, I never met an employer who thought...more

403(b) Pre-Approved Retirement Plans List

by Bryan Cave on

We’ve recently updated the list of 403(b) pre-approved retirement plans that have received an IRS favorable opinion or advisory letter. A favorable opinion or advisory letter for a 403(b) pre-approved plan means that the IRS...more

ERISA: New Questions for Church-Affiliated Organizations After The Supreme Court Expands ERISA Church-Plan Exemption

On June 5, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the scope of ERISA’s church-plan exemption in the case of Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, — S. Ct. –, 2017 WL 2407476 (2017). The unanimous decision adopted a broad...more

Supreme Court Rules That Church-Affiliated Hospitals Fall Within ERISA’s Church Plan Exemption

On June 5, a unanimous US Supreme Court reversed decisions of the US Courts of Appeal for the Third, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits, holding that a church-affiliated organization that establishes an employee benefits plan falls...more

Documentation Relief For Hardship Distributions

by Fisher Phillips on

Retirement plans are permitted, but not required, to provide in-service distributions of elective deferrals to participants if they can show financial hardship, which is defined as a hardship that is “deemed to be on account...more

Supreme Court clarifies definition of ‘church plan’ under ERISA

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

The Supreme Court on June 5, 2017, unanimously held that a benefits plan administered by an entity that is associated with a church and has as its principal purpose the administration or funding of that plan is a “church...more

Church-Affiliated Employers Get Win As SCOTUS Clarifies ERISA Exemption

by Fisher Phillips on

In a unanimous 8-0 decision published today, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruled that employee benefit plans sponsored by church-affiliated organizations will qualify for the “church plan” exemption under the Employee...more

What Phyllis Borzi got wrong

by Ary Rosenbaum on

It’s been about 4 months since Phyllis Borzi left her position as the head of the Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) and as time passes by, we can certainly opine on her accomplishments in that position. Of...more

Protecting Your Qualified Retirement Plan Now that the IRS Determination Program is (Mostly) Closed

A lot has been written over the last few months about what to do now that the IRS has closed its determination letter program for ongoing individually designed tax-qualified retirement plans....more

SEC Guidance Signals Approval for “Unbundled” Pricing for Mutual Funds

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

A recent ruling by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) indicates approval for mutual funds to be sold without servicing costs already built into the cost of the fund. In other words, the SEC ruling states that...more

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

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