Defined Benefit Plans

News & Analysis as of

April 30 Deadline for Pre-approved Defined Contribution Plans

This is a follow-up on the IRS’ recent reminder to plan sponsors using pre-approved defined contribution plans (i.e., prototype and volume submitter plans) that they must adopt restated plan documents by the end of this...more

Department Of Labor Audits Are Focusing On Plan Procedures For Locating Missing Vested Participants

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has increased its examinations of the procedures of defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans for locating and paying out benefits to terminated vested participants whom the...more

Two Adverse Decisions against Church Plans Reached at Appellate Court Level

In Depth - Since 2013, there have been more than 10 lawsuits filed against various health care systems across the country that maintain and operate defined benefit pension church plans. These suits allege that the...more

DOL Official Says Office Is Investigating Large Defined Benefit Plans Regarding Locating and Paying Terminated Vested Participants

Recent comments from an official with the Department of Labor (DOL) indicate that the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has begun investigating large defined benefit plans to review how plan...more

Courts Strike Down Church Plan Exemptions for Church-Affiliated Organizations

Until recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and federal courts seemed to agree that a retirement plan established and maintained by a church-affiliated organization generally qualified...more

Private Equity Funds Liable for Withdrawal Liability of Portfolio Company

What you need to know: On March 28, 2016, the US District Court for the District of Massachusetts held, on remand from the First Circuit, that two related private equity funds were jointly and severally liable for...more

Do You Know Where Your Participants Are?

The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has recently implemented an initiative to investigate the manner in which defined benefit plans of large employers comply with the required minimum distribution rules set forth in Section...more

Beer and the Payroll Provider TPA

I’m a beer snob and I’m proud of it. I like the taste of beer and I’m not going to waste my time, money, and calories on a mass-produced inferior product like Budweiser, Bud Light, Coors, and Miller. I would rather drink...more

March and April 2016 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 Proposes Nondiscrimination Testing Relief for Closed Pension Plans

In order for its participants to receive favorable tax treatment, a “qualified” retirement plan must satisfy various requirements, including ensuring that it benefits a nondiscriminatory cross-section of employees rather than...more

Employee Benefits Developments February 2016

IRS Issues Guidance Regarding Application of ACA Fee to Expatriate Health Plans. Section 9010 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes an annual fee on covered entities engaged in the business of providing health insurance...more

What Ever Happened To….The Pension Lawsuit Against CIGNA?

One of the cases I’ve covered on this blog since the beginning, was a lawsuit challenging CIGNA’s change from a traditional defined benefit plan to a cash balance plan. In plain English, it was basically (and I’m...more

New Reportable Events Filing May Affect Borrowers with Defined Benefit Pension Plans

This article is for employers who sponsor defined benefit plans that are subject to Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) coverage. Those employers pay premiums to the PBGC and also are required to report certain events...more

IRS Proposes Permanent Nondiscrimination/Coverage Relief for Closed Pension Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued proposed regulations that would provide permanent relief from certain coverage and nondiscrimination testing requirements to defined benefit plans that are closed to new...more

DOL Announces Expansion of Defined Benefit Pension Plan Audit Program

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that it is expanding an audit program directed at large defined benefit pension plans. The program, which originated in the DOL’s Philadelphia region and is expanding, is...more

Defined Benefit Plan Participant’s Action Mooted by ERISA Plan’s Improved Financial Condition

A federal district court in Minnesota dismissed a plan participant’s allegations that plan fiduciaries mismanaged a defined benefit plan — and thus caused it to be underfunded — because the plan’s financial condition improved...more

Thoughts on Church Plan Status After Kaplan v. Saint Peter’s Healthcare System

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit now is the first federal appellate court to decide whether a defined benefit plan sponsored by church-affiliated organization is a church plan under ERISA. The Court held that a...more

2015 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List Part 2 – Qualified Retirement Plans

As 2015 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. This year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate SW Benefits Updates. Part 1 of the series...more

Increase in PBGC Premiums Effective for 2017 and Later Years

President Barack Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the Budget Act), which raised Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premium rates beginning in 2017....more

Reportable Event Changes for Pension Plans Effective January 1, 2016

Effective January 1, 2016, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) altered the reportable event rules for defined benefit pension plans. Under new final regulations, the PBGC substantially reduced the reporting...more

PRA removes pension obligation risk statement for insurers

PRA has deleted its legacy supervisory statement on pension obligation risk under the individual capital adequacy standards. It concerned the approach that PRA would expect insurers to take when evaluating their capital...more

2015 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review Provisions Affecting the Retirement Income System

The Ontario government has confirmed that it continues to move forward to implement the ORPP in 2017, while allowing for potential integration of the ORPP with a Canada Pension Plan (CPP) enhancement in the future. For more...more

November and December 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

Employee Benefits Provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

The Bipartisan Budget Act includes the following important employee-benefit related provisions: - It repeals the automatic enrollment mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Under the ACA, employers with more than 200...more

Bipartisan Budget Act Extends MAP-21 Pension Funding Relief and Increases PBGC Premiums

On Monday, November 1, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (the “BBA”) which brings familiar changes for sponsors of defined benefit pension plans. Similar to the Moving Ahead for Progress...more

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