Benefit Plan Sponsors Employee Retirement Income Security Act

News & Analysis as of

Same Sex Marriage: Effect on Benefits

The United States Supreme Court recently held in Obergefell v. Hodges http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf that all states must recognize and allow marriages between same sex partners. Depending on an...more

US Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Same-Sex Marriage

Now that same-sex couples have the freedom to marry in every state, employers must consider whether plan amendments and administrative changes are necessary. On June 26, the US Supreme Court issued its landmark...more

Obergefell v. Hodges – Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in All 50 States

In 2013, the Supreme Court, in United States v. Windsor, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) which defined marriage, for Federal purposes, as between one man and one woman. The Windsor ruling...more

U.S. Supreme Court Says “Regular Review” of ERISA Investments Required

ERISA plan fiduciaries charged with responsibility for selecting, monitoring or removing plan investment options should pay close attention to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Tibble v. Edison Intl., 135 S. Ct. 1823...more

The U.S. Supreme Court Finds a Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage: Implications for Employee Benefit Plan Sponsors

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses require states to allow same-sex marriage and to...more

The skinny on narrow networks

The insurance exchanges created under Affordable Care Act have facilitated increased competition. Old version managed care models implemented cost-savings measures like pre-authorizations for medical care, hospital length of...more

Court Of Appeals Holds No ERISA Preemption Of Section 419(b)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent holding in Sender v. Franklin Res., Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10113 (9th Cir. Cal. June 16, 2015) is reasonably clear and yet there is much about the case that puzzles...more

ERISA Preemption Trumps State Insurance Law Yet Again: Ninth Circuit Declines to Apply California’s Insurance Notice-Prejudice...

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a Plan participant’s attempt to extend California insurance law’s notice-prejudice rule to self-insured ERISA plans. Zagon v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 2015 BL...more

Sometimes it’s just words

So much of any industry is dedicated to marketing, because marketing can help a company sell a product or service just based on how it’s marketed. Whoever sold the pet rock is still probably laughing all the way to the...more

DOL Report on Quality of Independent Plan Audits Shows that Plan Sponsors Must Continually Monitor Plan Compliance

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently released “Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits,” a comprehensive report reviewing the quality of audit work...more

Supreme Court Expands the Potential for Challenges of ERISA Fiduciaries and Their Ongoing Duty to Monitor Investment Options

The Supreme Court recently affirmed that retirement plan fiduciaries have an ongoing duty under ERISA to monitor investment options and the fees charged by them. This means that ERISA plan fiduciaries can be held liable if...more

Once Again, the Supreme Court Upsets Precedent in Fourth and Eleventh Circuit

As we reported in our March 11, 2014 article, the Eleventh and Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals definitively rejected the “continuing breach” theory in recent disputes involving statute of limitations deadlines in ERISA cases...more

Avoid Other Providers Who Are The Sticks in The Wheels of Progress

I had a friend of mine in college who was involved in student politics like I was and he once proclaimed to the school newspaper that he was “the stick in the wheels of corruption.” 20 years later, I have used that line many...more

Supreme Court Reminds Companies to Monitor 401(k) Plan Investments, Sets Parameters for "Regular Review" Requirements

Companies and in-house fiduciaries face increasing scrutiny these days over their 401(k) and other retirement plans. This was underscored again recently by a key Supreme Court ruling. In Tibble v. Edison International, the...more

What Does the Supreme Court’s Tibble Ruling Mean for Practitioners and ERISA Fiduciaries?

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Tibble v. Edison Int’l, et al., --- S.Ct. ---, Case No. 13-550, 2015 WL 2340845 (May 18, 2015), is perhaps more interesting for what the Court did not decide than for what it did....more

Monthly Benefits Alert - May 2015

As we do every month, we have provided below a comprehensive alert that highlights the most important employee benefits legal developments during May of 2015. We hope that our “Monthly Benefits Updates” continue to be a...more

Fiduciary Risks Involved in Transferring Assets from a Seller’s 401(k) Plan to the Buyer’s Plan

In many transactions, particularly those where the buyer is a portfolio company of a private equity fund, the buyer agrees to cause its 401(k) plan to accept a transfer of assets from the seller’s 401(k) plan. The asset...more

U.S. Department of Labor Re-Proposes Rules Governing the Definition of “Fiduciary”—Part 4: The Impact on 401(k) Plan Consultants...

This post highlights the significant impact the proposed regulations may have on advisers to mid-sized and small 401(k) retirement plans if adopted. Previously, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series described the...more

Yes Virginia, There is a Duty to Monitor Retirement Plan Investments

In a recent unanimous ruling the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed what most retirement plan professionals already knew: ERISA requires plan investment fiduciaries to monitor investments and remove imprudent ones. Surprisingly to...more

Concerns Mount over Department of Labor’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) released a controversial proposed rule on April 20, 2015, that seeks to expand fiduciary duties in the context of retirement-investment advice. Specifically, the proposed rule would rework a...more

Supreme Court Affirms Duty to Monitor Plan Investments

The Supreme Court’s decision will undermine a plan fiduciary’s ability to assert a statute of limitations defense based on when an investment option was added; rather, the six year statute of limitations will be measured from...more

Tibble v. Edison International Decision Finds Ongoing Duty to Monitor Investments in 401(k) Plans

The Supreme Court holds that ERISA’s limitations period does not bar an alleged breach for failure to monitor a plan’s investments. Background - On May 18, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Tibble v....more

U.S. Department of Labor Re-Proposes Rules Governing the Definition of “Fiduciary”—Part 3: The Impact on Large Retirement Plans

In Part 1 of this series, we reported on recently proposed regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor amending the definition of the term “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the...more

Supreme Court Rules on Plan Fiduciaries Duty to Monitor Plan Investments

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held on Monday, May 18, 2015, that a plan trustee has a continuing duty to adequately monitor plan investments and remove imprudent ones. Tibble v. Edison, Int’l, 2015 BL...more

Supreme Court Ruling Heightens Pressure on Fiduciaries to Monitor 401(k) Plan Investments

On May 18th, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Tibble et al. v. Edison International et al., No. 13-550 (S. Ct. May 18, 2015) that ordinary principles of trust law impose on ERISA fiduciaries a duty to continually...more

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