Benefit Plan Sponsors Retirement Plan

News & Analysis as of

Update on the Apparent Demise of the Determination Letter Program

As we previously reported, the IRS had said last year that determination letter program for retirement plans would largely be going away. Rev. Proc. 2016-37 includes information with respect to the future of the determination...more

401(k) Litigation: The Next Frontier

With the proliferation of litigation against 401(k) plans, it should be noted that it focuses on only one thing: cost. Litigation surrounding share classes, proprietary funds, and overall plan expenses is all about plan...more

The effect of more 401(k) bundled provider litigation

There is a proliferation of litigation against plan sponsors and against bundled 401(k) plan providers for offering their own proprietary funds in 401(k) plans for their employees as well as the 401(k) plans they administer...more

DOL Significantly Increases Certain ERISA Civil Penalties Effective August 2, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has significantly increased a number of civil monetary penalty amounts (CMPs) that may be assessed by the DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration for violations of Title I of the...more

When you should step aside and let someone else speak

One of my least favorite days during the year is my birthday because I’ve been accustomed to it being a so-so to a bad day. I took my Criminal Law final on that day during my first year at law school and I was abandoned by my...more

Advisors Advantage - August 2016

Why 401(k) Plan Providers Should Push Automatic Enrollment. It just makes sense. We have a retirement crisis in this country thanks to a Social Security program that has too many retirees to pay to, and the death...more

IRS Clarifies Instructions for Form 5500 Reporting of RMD Failures

Certain employee benefit plans, including qualified retirement plans, must file an annual return/report on Form 5500 with the Department of Labor, which is shared with the IRS. Each year discreet changes are typically made...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - August 2016

Neglecting The Plan That Will Get 401(k) - Sponsors Living on The Edge. They can help themselves from falling. When you don't take care of your teeth, they end up rotting. When you don't take care of your car, it...more

IRS Lays Out Plan for Maintaining Tax Qualification for Individually-Designed Plans after Elimination of the Determination Letter...

On June 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2016-37, which modifies the Determination Letter Program for tax-qualified plans and the requirements for when plan amendments must be adopted by...more

Proposed Changes to Form 5500 Reporting Requirements May Have Significant Impact on Retirement Plan Sponsors

On July 11, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced a proposal to implement sweeping changes to the forms and regulations that govern...more

Fidelity Prevails In ERISA Float Litigation

The First Circuit joined the Eighth Circuit in finding that Fidelity’s practice of earning overnight “float” interest on the cash paid out to 401(k) participants redeeming shares in mutual funds did not violate ERISA’s duty...more

The Problem With Providers Using Their Own Funds In Their 401(k) Plan

I always say that I come up with many ideas, but most of them are bad. Seriously, there are so many bad ideas out there in the 401(k) space and one of the really bad ideas out there are bundled plan providers using their own,...more

Private Investment Fund Managers and Other Investment Advisers May Be Affected by the U.S. Department of Labor’s New Fiduciary...

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its highly anticipated final rule addressing when a person is considered to be a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the...more

401(k) Litigation Overkill?

The landscape for the retirement plan business has radically changed since when I first started in 1998. Normal courses of business such as revenue sharing and non-transparency of fees were the order of the day. No one cared...more

A Blueprint for Maintaining an Individually Designed Qualified Plan after the IRS’s Determination Letter Program Cutback

In Depth - On June 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officially sounded the death knell for the five-year remedial amendment cycle with its release of Revenue Procedure 2016-37. Effective January 1, 2017,...more

Big Fish and Service Provider Lawsuits

It seems like every week, there is another major lawsuit against a plan sponsor and one of their service providers. Allegations of impropriety are just allegations until decided by a trier of fact of whether they are...more

Revenue Sharing Demolition Night

When I was a kid in the 1970’s, disco was the biggest thing. By 1980, disco was dead thanks to a backlash. People didn’t know it at the time, but disco died the night of July 12, 1979, thanks to the riot during a White Sox...more

Employee Benefits Innovators Roundtable: Fiduciary Update and the DOL Fiduciary Rule

The US Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule is aimed at financial advisors, including brokers, who provide retirement plan services. However, the new rule will impact compliance obligations and potentially, costs for plan...more

Advisors Advantage - July 2016

How Retirement Plan Providers Can Deal With The Fiduciary Rule Change. Adapt to this change. At its prime, Blockbuster Video had 9,000 stores and was actually bought by Viacom in 1994 for $8.4 billion. Then some...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - July 2016

The Future Is Now For 401(k) Plan Sponsors. The future is here. When I was the head ERISA attorney at a New York based third party administrator (TPA), I left because I saw the future of the retirement plan...more

The Problem With Choice in 401(k) Plans

In life, giving people a wide variety of choices is a good thing. However, when it comes to daily valued 401(k) plans, too many choices isn’t a good thing. It sounds counter-intuitive, but too many choices offered to plan...more

Don’t get stuck in 1986

I was a volunteer and officer for an organization where I stated that the leadership (not including me) was stuck in 1986. What it meant was that this leadership couldn’t adjust to the current age when it came to...more

The Final DOL Fiduciary Rule—Considerations for Plan Sponsors

The final rule has implications for plan sponsors and may impact certain relationships with service providers. On April 6, after a long (and some might say tortured) process, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a...more

You’re Always Going Against The Tide

I always get the call from my third party administrator (TPA) and financial advisory clients concerning the same topic. The topic is how it’s still difficult to get across with potential plan sponsor clients on the urgency to...more

MEPs primed for a comeback?

My mother would always tell me that fashion is cyclical and that what was popular once will fall out of disfavor and will become popular again. I was a child in the late 1970s and 35+ years later, ruffled dress shirts, velvet...more

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