The United States Department of Labor Employee Retirement Income Security Act

The United States Department of Labor is a federal executive department established in 1913 and headed by the Secretary of Labor. The Department's mission is to promote workers's general welfare and... more +
The United States Department of Labor is a federal executive department established in 1913 and headed by the Secretary of Labor. The Department's mission is to promote workers's general welfare and improve working conditions. less -
News & Analysis as of

DOL Clarifies Fiduciary Duties for Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors Offering Annuity Contracts

The availability of annuity options under defined contribution plans has increased in recent years due to the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans. Fiduciaries, however, are often concerned with potential...more

Employee Benefits Developments August 2015

Certain Closely Held For-Profit Employers Need Not Provide Women’s Contraceptive Services. Under the ACA, non-grandfathered group health plans must cover specified preventive services, including certain women’s preventive...more

ERISA Plan Can't Shrink Deadlines Without Providing Notice, Says 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals just ruled that an ERISA plan can’t shorten the deadline for filing a legal action challenging a denial of benefits unless the participant receives written communication of the plan’s altered...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

A Summary of Comments From the DOL Hearing on the Proposed Conflict of Interest Rule

On August 13, 2015, the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) concluded a four day public hearing on its proposed conflict of interest rule (the “Proposed Rule”). The approximately 75 witnesses generally fell into two groups: the...more

Commenters React to DOL’s Proposed Expansion of Fiduciary-Duty Rules

Four months after proposing a significantly expanded definition specifying when “investment advice” to employee plans and IRAs would give rise to fiduciary status under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the...more

DOL Hearings Debate “Fiduciary Duty” not “Suitability” Standard for Retirement Accounts

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL“) recently heard public comment to its proposed regulatory changes implementing a fiduciary duty on any individual receiving compensation for advice tailored to a plan sponsor, participant...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

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - July 2015

Editor's Overview - This month's article by Lindsey Chopin discusses Affordable Care Act ("ACA") litigation. Just five years old, the Supreme Court has considered issues related to the ACA numerous times. Two of those...more

Analysis: Impact of the DOL’s Fiduciary Proposal on Participant Investment Advice

This paper explains the basis for our conclusions about the impact on the investment recommendations to participants of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposal to amend the fiduciary investment advice regulation and to...more

Focus on Private Equity - July 2015

What Private Equity Funds Should Know About ERISA: Basics of ERISA Coverage - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) imposes numerous duties on fiduciaries holding employee benefit...more

The DOL and the Proposed Fiduciary Rule: A Prediction

Public comments regarding the Department of Labor’s proposed new fiduciary rule were due and the process will continue. I have said all along that the Department of Labor (DOL) will get a new fiduciary rule in place...more

Seeking Guidance In Fiduciary Duty Compliance? Work With Experienced Attorney

In our last post, we spoke about the importance of businesses being aware of their fiduciary responsibilities and establishing solid compliance policies to ensure they are meeting their legal obligations. One area where this...more

Recent Decision Sheds Light on the ERISA Definition of a Top Hat Plan and the Absence of Detailed Guidance

The “top hat plan” exception to full ERISA coverage of an employee benefit plan is the very foundation of executive deferred compensation. The exception provides that “a plan which is unfunded and is maintained by an...more

Employee Benefits After The Supreme Court’s Same-Sex Marriage Decision

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Obergefell v. Hodges establishes a national right to same-sex marriage and requires states to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Generally speaking, this...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2015

Supreme Court: Plan Fiduciaries Have a Continuing Duty to Monitor Plan Investments. In 2007, participants and beneficiaries under a 401(k) plan sued the plan fiduciaries and the plan sponsor to recover damages for alleged...more

Reminder: Non-Grandfathered Plans Must Implement Embedded Out-of-Pocket Maximums

As employers and plans prepare for 2016 open enrollment, they must be sure to address in their benefit design and with their third party vendors the new embedded out-of-pocket maximum limitations on individuals that were...more

Agencies Issue Final Regulations on the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) Requirements

As promised in the FAQ issued on March 30, 2015, the U.S. Departments of the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services (the Departments) have issued final regulations regarding the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC)...more

DOL Proposes Broader ERISA Fiduciary Definition

In April, the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued controversial proposed regulations that would broaden the category of service providers who become fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974...more

Advisors Advantage - July 2015

In This Issue: - How Retirement Plan Advisors Can Benefit From Any New DOL Fiduciary Rule - Avoid Other Providers Who Are The Sticks in the Wheels of Progress - Sometimes It's Just Words - Never...more

Monthly Benefits Alert - June 2015

Supreme Court - As explained in more detail in separate alerts we issued over the past several days, the Supreme Court decided two major cases involving the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage. First, as described...more

DOL Weighs in on Top Hat Plan Dispute

For years courts have struggled with defining what qualifies as a “top hat plan.” The stakes in these cases are often high, as top hat plans are exempt from most of ERISA’s substantive requirements, including from its funding...more

House and Senate Appropriations Committees Approve Funding Bills with Riders Targeting DOL, NLRB Initiatives

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees advanced bills this week to fund various federal agencies for FY 2016. Each chamber approved versions of spending measures that include riders prohibiting funding for a...more

For Life Insurers and Agents – A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule (the “Proposal”), which defines the term “fiduciary” as it applies to persons who provide “investment advice” to ERISA plans and IRAs, will impact the likelihood and severity of...more

DOL Proposal Would Fundamentally Alter Fiduciary Relationship

Nearly five years after proposing a failed rule that would have dramatically expanded the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Department of Labor has decided to try...more

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