Defined Benefit Plans

News & Analysis as of

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

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

ERISA Section 4062(e) Significantly Reformed Effective December 16, 2014

On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, which contains provisions that significantly reform ERISA Section 4062(e). The new law is meant to ensure that...more

The battle over 4062(e) 'facility closure' liability

Employers who sponsor defined benefit plans, or who are involved in a corporate transaction involving defined benefit plans, should be aware of developments in Washington concerning Section 4062(e) of ERISA. The Pension...more

Monthly Benefits Update - December 2014

Illinois Becomes the First State to Require Automatic Retirement Savings Program for Workers Without Access to a Workplace Retirement Plan - On January 5, 2015, outgoing Governor Quinn signed landmark legislation that...more

“Cromnibus Act” Changes for Multiemployer and Single-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans

The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (the so-called “Cromnibus Act”), enacted into law last week, is not just a $1.1 trillion spending bill that keeps most of the federal government open through...more

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

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

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