Benefit Plan Sponsors Retirement Plan

News & Analysis as of

The Times are Changing: A First Look at the DOL’s New Fiduciary Paradigm

On April 14, 2015, the US Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued its proposed rule clarifying when individuals and institutions providing advice to employee benefit plans and individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”) will be...more

New Fiduciary Regulations Require Retirement Investment Advisers to Act in Clients’ Best Interests

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued new proposed regulations that changed the definition of “fiduciary investment advice” as currently found in DOL Regulation 2510.3-21(c). These proposed rules also...more

An Army of One

A few years back, the Army unleashed a marketing campaign called “An Army of One.” The Sopranos has an episode called “An Army of One” when Jackie Jr. was whacked by Vito Spatafore. Around that time, I was working as an...more

DOL Proposes Sweeping Expansion of Fiduciary-Duty Rules

Proposed new guidance from the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) would significantly alter the regulation of investment advice to employee plans and IRAs. The guidance aims to reshape the marketplace for retirement-related...more

The DOL’s New Proposal on ERISA Fiduciary Status for Investment Advisers

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its widely anticipated re-proposed rules for defining fiduciary status under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) for providers of investment advice...more

The Worthlessness Of The 401(k) Fiduciary Warranty

I am a firm believer in the idea that what you see is what you should get. If you’re promised the moon, anything short of that is wrong. Some of the biggest disappointments in my life is when I was sold a bill of goods that...more

EPCRS Updates: New Guidance Eases Administration of Plan Corrections

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released two Revenue Procedures providing guidance under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) that will facilitate the correction of certain retirement plan defects....more

IRS Modifies its Voluntary Retirement Plan Correction Procedures (EPCRS)

Under the IRS’s Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), retirement plan sponsors may voluntarily request that the IRS approve certain corrections to a variety of plan administration errors before those errors are...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: IRS Changes Retirement Plan Correction Program (EPCRS)

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued two revenue procedures that modify the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). EPCRS sets forth the various correction programs and correction methodologies for...more

Labor Department Proposes Fiduciary Conflict of Interest Rules — Again

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reissued the long-awaited re-proposal of its regulation expanding the definition of "fiduciary" under the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), and...more

There’s a Cost For Those “Free” SEP and SIMPLE IRA Plans

There is no such thing as a free lunch. There is no such thing as free advice. The more years I spend in the retirement plan business; I know that there is no such thing as a free retirement plan. When I speak of “free”...more

IRS Issues Updates to Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System

In recent weeks, the IRS has issued two updates to its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). EPCRS allows plan sponsors to correct many documentary and operational errors that otherwise might jeopardize a...more

Using Plan Sponsor fear of liability into positive action

Many plan sponsors have a fear of liability and that’s a good thing is they put that fear into use by putting good practices in place for their retirement plan. It means nothing if plan sponsors process that fear into...more

IRS Provides New Flexibility to Correct Retirement Plan Errors

The IRS recently issued important updates to its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). The updates are contained in Revenue Procedures 2015-27 and 2015-28. ...more

Two-Year Preapproved Defined Contribution Plan Window is Still Open

Retirement plan vendors sponsoring defined contribution plan documents approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have begun issuing packages containing the new IRS-approved version of those documents—reflecting the...more

Retirement Plan Sponsors Need To Care About Plan Design

If you had your eyes set on a car and one model gave you 25 miles to the gallon and the other model gave you 45 with no difference in features or price, what would you choose? If you can find a coupon for items you were...more

Non-Qualified Plan Sponsors: Beneficiary Designations May Require Attention

A recent court decision highlights the importance of up-to-date beneficiary designations for participants in non-qualified retirement plans. Without up-to-date designations, the payment of the benefits of a deceased...more

Easier, Less Costly Alternatives for Correcting Retirement Plan Mistakes

In two recent Revenue Procedures, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has modified the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), the IRS correction program for retirement plans. Revenue Procedure. 2015-27 reduces...more

DOL Opens Window for Annual Participant Fee Disclosures

?After several annual cycles of participant fee disclosures, sponsors of participant-directed retirement plans have discovered that sometimes pulling together the relevant information from vendors and issuing timely...more

Second Circuit Revisits Remedies In Amara v. Cigna

The Second Circuit court of appeals held that a court can exercise its equitable powers to reform the terms of a cash balance retirement plan to provide greater benefits than stated in response to material misstatements made...more

Plan Sponsor Agrees to $62 Million Settlement in ERISA Case Challenging 401(k) Plan Fees

Lockheed Martin Corp. has settled the 401(k) excessive fee litigation pending against it in federal court in Illinois....more

Ninth Circuit Rules Beneficiary Designation Forms Are Not Documents and Instruments Governing the Plan

In Becker v. Mays-Williams, 13-35069-cv, 2015 WL 348872 (9th Cir. Jan 28, 2015), the Ninth Circuit – in a matter of first impression – concluded that beneficiary designation forms were not “documents and instruments...more

2015 PBGC Premium Filings Must Include Risk Transfer Disclosures

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the “PBGC”) recently finalized its premium filing requirements for 2015. In addition to higher premium rates and other more minor changes, plan sponsors are now required to report...more

DOL Provides Flexibility in Timing of Annual Participant Fee Disclosures for Retirement Plans That Provide for Participant...

On March 18, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a direct final rule that revises the annual disclosure requirement in the participant-level fee disclosure regulations under ERISA Section 404(a). The guidance provides...more

DOL Clarifies Timing Requirement for Annual Investment-Related Disclosures

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a modification to the fee and investment-related disclosure requirements for ERISA individual account retirement plans that allow participants to direct the...more

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