Defined Benefit Plans

News & Analysis as of

Fifth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Claims Involving De-risking of Pension Assets

In October 2012, a defined benefit plan sponsor amended its plan to provide that, effective Dec. 7, 2012, the plan would purchase an annuity to cover the plan’s obligations to make payments to the roughly 41,000 participants...more

Looking Beyond the 401(k) for Advisors

Too often brokers and financial advisors think about their client’s retirement plan needs and only think about the 401(k) plan. It’s understandable based on their lack of understanding retirement plan basics, but it’s not...more

Guidance Prompts Changes to PBGC Reportable Event Rules and Electronic Filing Requirements for Multiemployer Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recently issued two important pieces of guidance that change certain of the PBGC’s notice requirements for both single-employer and multiemployer pension plans....more

401(k) Plans Don’t Have To Be That Dangerous

Thalidomide was supposed to be the wonder drug that helped women manage morning sickness until they discovered it caused birth defects. Asbestos was supposed to be the ultimate fire resistant material that was later found out...more

PBGC Proposes Changes to Plan Reporting Requirements

Section 4010 of ERISA requires reporting to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) of actuarial and financial information by plan sponsors of certain underfunded single-employer defined benefit pension plans. The...more

Updated Static Mortality Tables Issued for Defined Benefit Pension Plans

In Notice 2015-53, the IRS provided updated static mortality tables for use by defined benefit pension plans under Section 430(h)(3)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code. The new tables apply for purposes of calculating the...more

September and October 2015 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties. To avoid such...more

Recent IRS Guidance Prohibits Lump-Sum Windows for Pension Retirees, Updates Pension Mortality Tables for 2016

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued two significant notices for employers that sponsor defined benefit pension plans, particularly those considering lump-sum windows as a “de-risking” option for their plans....more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - August 2015

Editor's Overview - As the summer draws to a close, this month's Newsletter previews three cases that the U.S. Supreme Court already has agreed to hear that ought to be of particular interest to ERISA plan sponsors and...more

The IRS Takes Aim at De-Risking of Defined Benefit Plans

Many defined benefit plan sponsors are looking for ways to reduce the on-going liability and the volatility of the annually required contributions to their defined benefit plans, which is sometimes referred to as...more

August and September 2015 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties. To avoid such...more

IRS Announces Major Changes to its Determination Letter Program for Individually Designed Retirement Plans

On July 21, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Announcement 2015-19 (the Announcement), which ends the five year remedial amendment cycles for individually designed plans effective January 1, 2017. For remedial...more

Employee Benefits Alert - July 2015

Major Revisions to Qualified Plan Determination Letter Process Announced - Effective January 1, 2017, the staggered five-year determination letter remedial amendment cycles for individually designed plans will be...more

Third Circuit Rules That Actual Harm Needed for Monetary Equitable Remedy

The Third Circuit recently held that a plaintiff was not entitled to a monetary, equitable remedy under ERISA § 502(a)(3) where he failed to prove actual harm. Perelman v. Perelman, Nos. 14–1663, 14–2742, 2015 WL 4174537 (3d...more

New IRS Guidance on Lump-Sum Windows

The IRS has changed its position on lump-sum windows for retirees in pay status. On July 9, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-49, which prohibits sponsors of qualified defined benefit plans from...more

IRS Flip Flops DeRisking Pension Plan Options

The volatility and unpredictability of an employer's obligations under a defined benefit pension plan can have a significant impact on its bottom line. This is especially true of plans with liabilities for pension benefits...more

IRS Moves to Prohibit Lump Sum Windows for Retirees

The IRS issued Notice 2015-49 (the "Notice") on July 9, 2015, effectively ending the ability of sponsors of qualified defined benefit pension plans ("DB Plan") to "de-risk" their plans by offering participants in pay status...more

It's Curtains for Some Lump-Sum Window Programs

On July 9, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2015-49 to announce it intends to prohibit retirees who are receiving annuity payments from a defined benefit pension plan from electing a lump sum in lieu of the...more

IRS Changes Rules on Lump Sum Window Programs

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has surprisingly issued a notice of its intention to amend the required minimum distribution (RMD) regulations under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) to limit the use of lump sum payments to...more

Tax Law Blog: New Procedures to Correct Retirement Plan Mistakes

The IRS has recently modified the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) to encourage employers to adopt automatic contribution features, and to detect and correct errors in retirement plans quickly. Revenue...more

Department of Labor issues final regulations on annual funding notices

The Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor (hereinafter, the “DOL”) recently released final regulations related to the provision of annual funding notices under Section 101(f) of ERISA. The...more

Pension scheme management costs – would you like VAT with that?

Many costs associated with defined benefit pension schemes will usually fall on the scheme employer one way or another. There are two basic heads of cost: first there are the costs associated with funding the scheme benefits...more

Traps for the Unwary: A Look at Employees and Benefits in M&A Transactions

Employees drive the success of a company. In fact, in some industries (technology, for example) talent acquisition can be a primary motivation for a transaction. From identifying the target’s key employees, to assessing the...more

Effect of a Check Notation: Void After 90 Days

On April 2, 2015, the IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2015-28, which provides new safe harbor correction methods for errors relating to automatic contribution features, including automatic enrollment and automatic escalation of...more

IRS Extends Temporary Coverage/Nondiscrimination Testing Relief for Closed Defined Benefit Plans

Under guidance issued in Notice 2015-28, the IRS extended relief from certain coverage/nondiscrimination testing requirements for defined benefit plans that have been closed to new participants but provide ongoing accruals...more

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