Defined Benefit Plans

News & Analysis as of

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

Monthly Benefits Alert - March 2015

Retirement Plans - 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...more

DOL Issues Final Rules for Annual Funding Notice Requirements and Addresses Extended Pension Smoothing Law’s Impact on Annual...

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued final rules for the annual funding notice requirements of section 101(f) of ERISA. Plan administrators of defined benefit pension plans that are subject to the PBGC’s insurance...more

PBGC Issues Draft 2015 Premium Filing Instructions Requiring De-risking Disclosures

The PBGC recently submitted draft forms and instructions for 2015 premium filings to the Office of Management and Budget. The draft forms and instructions would require defined benefit plan sponsors to notify the PBGC if they...more

New Plant Shutdown Rules for Defined Benefit Retirement Plans

The 2015 omnibus appropriations bill (the "Omnibus Bill"), signed by President Obama on December 16, 2014, made significant changes to the "substantial cessation of operations" rules (also known as the "plant shutdown" rules)...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2015

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Notice 2015-16, intending to initiate and inform the process of developing regulatory guidance regarding the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage. The...more

Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors Beware – Potential Liability Related to Facility Closings and Sales of Business Units

ERISA Section 4062(e) provides for potential employer liability when an employer ceases operations at a facility, resulting in a set percentage of a defined benefit pension plan’s participants being terminated. However, this...more

DOL Issues Final Rules on Annual Funding Notice for Defined Benefit Plans

The Department of Labor recently issued final regulations implementing the annual funding notice that defined benefit plans are required to provide under Section 101(f) of ERISA. The final regulations are similar to the...more

Significant Multiemployer and Single Employer Benefit Rule Changes Take Effect

On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed into law the $1.1 trillion Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 (Appropriations Act), which includes some significant changes to the rules governing...more

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