Defined Benefit Plans

News & Analysis as of

Multiemployer Pension Relief Act Provides Little Relief to Contributing Employers

On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (“Omnibus Spending Bill”), which will fund government operations through September, 2015. Typically, the...more

Federal District Court Dismisses “100% Equity Strategy” Claims on Statute of Limitations Grounds

A federal district court held that participants in a defined benefit plan had standing to challenge plan fiduciaries’ strategy of investing 100% of the plan’s assets in equities, but dismissed those claims based on ERISA’s...more

VAT Charged On Invoices Relating To Defined Benefit Occupational Pension Schemes – All Change For HMRC’s Approach

HMRC has released new guidance dealing with the ability of sponsoring employers to recover input VAT in respect of supplier costs for running defined benefit occupational pension schemes. These costs will typically involve a...more

Defined Benefit Plan Participants Have Standing to Pursue Fiduciary Breach Claims

A federal district court in Minnesota found that participants in a defined benefit pension plan had standing to assert claims that defendants breached their fiduciary duties by, among other things, shifting to an...more

Considerations for Employee Benefit Programs That Benefit Employers and Employees

Employers must compete in the marketplace for talented employees at every level—both in recruitment and retention. It is thus in employers’ best interests to provide employee benefit plans that are attractive to employees and...more

What Goes in the Denominator? Complying with the Allocation Rules for Distributions from Qualified Plans With After-Tax Accounts

Compliance starts with understanding. Understanding the rules set forth in Notice 2014-54, assisted us with the application of the rules in a situation in which a participant was entitled to take a distribution from his...more

2015 Cost-Of-Living Adjustments Applicable To Employee Benefit Plans

Elective Deferral Contributions: For the 2015 calendar year, the annual limitation under Code section 402(g)(1) on the amount of elective deferrals to Code section 401(k) plans, Code section 403(b) plans, and Code section...more

Impact of Supreme Court’s Recent Actions on Employee Benefits

Did the Supreme Court legalize same-sex marriage? On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States denied review of seven petitions challenging federal court of appeal rulings in the Fourth, Seventh, and...more

IRS Issues Final and Proposed Hybrid Plan Regulations

On September 19, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") released additional final regulations clarifying the rules regarding hybrid defined benefit pension plans. At the same time, the IRS also issued proposed regulations...more

Final and Proposed Regulations on Hybrid Pension Plans

Plan sponsors have been granted limited relief to bring cash balance interest crediting rates into compliance. On September 18, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published final and proposed regulations for cash...more

PBGC Intends to Monitor Lump-sum and Annuity Cashouts Under Defined Benefit Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) stated in a filing published in the Federal Register on September 23, 2014, that it intends to require that plan sponsors report to the PBGC “certain undertakings” to cashout or...more

For Pension Plans – To Risk or to De-Risk: That is the Question!

U.S. private-sector retirement plans are voluntary in nature. There is no legal requirement that employers adopt or contribute to retirement plans in addition to the social security system. However, once established,...more

When Did You Last Amend Your Section 125 Cafeteria or Flexible Benefit Plan? Now May Be A Good Time to Dust It Off and Update It

Section 125 Plans, which are commonly referred to as either cafeteria plans or flexible benefit plans, are much loved, and needed, if you want to allow employees to pay health insurance and other premiums on a pre-tax basis....more

Monthly Benefits Update

On August 8, President Obama signed legislation that extends certain “pension smoothing” provisions in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act that was signed in 2012. This pension funding relief will...more

Monthly Benefits Update - July 2014

Two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on the validity of subsidies for the purchase of health insurance under the federal marketplace established pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On July 22, a...more

Advisors Advantage - August 2014

Dealing with adversity. It's about how you deal with it. I'm a huge Aerosmith fan since high school and it's because the music resonates with me because it reminds me of the experiences that I have gone through...more

Mitigating Longevity Risk in DC Plans

401(k) participants face the risk of outliving retirement assets. However, earlier this month, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department issued final regulations that make it easier for 401(k) plans, individual...more

Employee Benefits: ERISA Fiduciary Guidance - Fairness for Defined Contribution Fees (6/14)

There has been a tremendous amount of focus on participant-assessed fees in 401(k) and 403(b) plans over the last couple of years. This has come about, in part, because of lawsuits and the Department of Labor (DOL)...more

Discriminatory Defined Benefit Plans: Finding Retirement Gold in the Least Likely of Places

We live in politically charged times. Congress seems unable to reach a consensus on anything, including where to have the annual congressional Christmas ball! Years of political crossfire over the Affordable Care Act have...more

IRS Releases Additional Rulings on Lump-Sum Windows

The practice of offering lump-sum distributions has become increasingly popular among defined benefit plan sponsors looking to decrease volatility or other defined benefit plan risks. In some situations, plan sponsors offer...more

Full disclosure: A practical guide for the HR professional when preparing the retirement plan portions of a proxy statement

In 2006, the SEC adopted rules which created the Pension Benefits Table and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Table to supplement the Summary Compensation Table. The tables mandate certain specific disclosures with respect...more

Religious Institutions Update - Lex Est Sanctio Sancta

"Church plans" are pension plans (including defined benefit or defined contribution plans) exempt (without an irrevocable election) from many of the legal requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)...more

Act Now Advisory: Unions Swim Against the Tide as Pension Issues Surface for Negotiations and Organizing

Contributions to multiemployer defined benefit pension plans have been a mainstay, legacy feature of union negotiations in many industries. But the fabric of such staples may be tearing apart as employers contemplate the...more

CalPERS Declares Wall Street Journal Wrong

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has a well-deserved rap as a taxpayer drain. So to rehabilitate its image, the pension fund has produced a “study” purporting that public-worker pensions are California’s...more

Old Days – Remembering When Small Business Had Pension Plans

We lived in politically charged times. Congress seems unable to reach any consensus on anything including where to have the annual Congressional Christmas Ball! Years of political crossfire over the Affordable Care Act have...more

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