News & Analysis as of

Benefit Plan Sponsors Employee Benefits

Forfeiture Freedom

by Jackson Lewis P.C. on

Some of our employer client sponsors of pre-approved 401(k) plans have contacted us regarding plan amendment notices received recently from their prototype or volume submitter plan document sponsors relating to the expanded...more

Open Enrollment: SBC, HIPAA, GINA, WHCRA, NMHPA, CHIPRA, EOB, OOPM, HSA, HCFSA, DCFSA…

by Bryan Cave on

Are you gearing up for open enrollment’s alphabet soup? Anyone who works in human resources/employee benefits and has survived even one open enrollment season knows just how busy that alphabet soup will make your next few...more

Benefits Litigation Update – Summer 2017

by Epstein Becker & Green on

Welcome to the Summer edition of Benefits Litigation Update, brought to you by The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) and the law firm Epstein Becker & Green. With a new Administration and executive branch, we are already...more

ESOPs in Iowa Gone Wrong

by Davis Brown Law Firm on

What is an ESOP? An Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) is an employee benefit plan designed to give company stock to its employees. ...more

Work Now, Party Later: The Case for Tackling the New Disability Claims Procedures Before Year-End

by Bryan Cave on

Plan sponsors are typically forced to wait for last minute guidance to satisfy year-end compliance obligations. As a result, those of us who work with these plans spend the last days of the year frantically ensuring plans are...more

EBSA means Business

by Ary Rosenbaum on

When I started my own practice in 2010, some critics said I was selling fear because of issues I had with fee disclosure, revenue sharing, and other fiduciary issues. History ended up proving me right....more

Texas Supreme Court Disputes Reach of Obergefell in Employee Benefits Case

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Texas Supreme Court held that the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark marriage equality decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, did not dispositively address how far government employers must go in providing benefits...more

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

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