Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Annual Estate Planning Newsletter: Part Three

Action Item: This is the third installment of our Annual Estate Planning Letter, and covers some topics of interest not discussed in our previous installments. We urge you to review this installment to ensure that your 2016...more

DOL’s Fiduciary Regulation – One Step Closer to Final

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) controversial fiduciary regulation, which will subject a multitude of new financial market participants to strict fiduciary requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of...more

EIOPA Publishes Consultation Paper on the Development of an EU Single Market for Person Pension Products

On February 1, the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (“EIOPA“) published a consultation paper on its advice on the development of an EU Single Market for personal pension products (“PPP“). This...more

Do Your Assignment of Benefits Clauses Need a Check-up? Recent Southern District of Florida Decision Highlights the Importance of...

A frequently litigated issue in reimbursement cases brought by in- and out-of-network healthcare providers against insurers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) is provider standing. Because...more

Form M-1 Filings Due March 1, 2016 for MEWAs

Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) must file a Form M-1 annually and shortly after inception. The annual Form M-1 filing deadline for the 2015 calendar year is March 1, 2016....more

How Does the Supreme Court’s Obergefell Decision Affect Your Employee Benefit Plans?

The short answer: No plan amendments are required, but certain plan amendments and operational changes are permitted, and certain operational changes may be required....more

Safe! Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor Plans Permitted

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued long-awaited relief to sponsors of safe harbor 401(k) plans. For years, many employers have relied on various safe harbor plans designs to avoid generally applicable...more

Update – Disapproving the Approval Process: IRS Provides Additional Guidance on the Curtailment of the Determination Letter...

The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) recently released Notice 2016-03, which provides additional details for plan sponsors on the curtailment of the determination letter process for individually designed tax-qualified...more

If Pain, Yes Gain -- Part XVI: Winter 2016 Brings Flurry of Paid Sick Leave Activity

One area of employment law that certainly isn’t hibernating this winter is mandatory paid sick leave. Since the start of 2016, mandatory paid sick leave developments have occurred from coast to coast and include: (1) an...more

Use The "Rolling" Method to Calculate FMLA Leave! This Employer Learned the Hard Way

Every once in awhile, I find myself counseling an employer with either no FMLA policy or one completely lacking in any meaningful details. Often, these policies fail to include key provisions to protect against liability....more

Retiree Health Benefits Case Remanded to District Court for Additional Fact Finding

On remand from the Supreme Court, the Sixth Circuit sent the parties in Tackett v. M&G Polymers USA, LLC back to the district court for additional factual determinations on whether the retirees who commenced the lawsuit had...more

Supreme Court Interprets ERISA to Limit Remedies Available to Plans to Subrogate and Recover Overpayments

Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan is the fourth decision by the U.S. Supreme Court addressing the subrogation rights of self-insured ERISA-covered health plans. Three...more

Employers’ Guide to the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (the ORPP), will be a provincially-managed plan that, like the Canada Pension Plan, will be funded by equal co-contributions from both employers and employees. It will come into effect as...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

February 2016 IRS Issues Notice on Midyear Changes to Safe Harbor Plans and Safe Harbor Notices

On January 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2016 - 16 , which provides, effective immediately, significant relief with respect to the ability of a plan sponsor to make midyear changes to a safe...more

IRS Provides Flexibility for Mid-Year Amendment of Safe Harbor 401(k)/403(b) Plans

On January 29, 2016, the IRS issued Notice 2016-16, which provides much-needed guidance and flexibility for mid-year amendments to safe harbor plans. The notice provides that a mid-year amendment either to a safe harbor...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

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies the Scope of ERISA Fiduciary Obligations in Recent Stock Drop Decision

In recent years, plaintiffs’ lawyers have brought numerous ERISA breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits against employers that offer employer stock funds in their 401(k) plans. These lawsuits are typically brought on behalf of...more

IRS Relaxes Rules for Mid-Year Changes

Since its availability, many 401(k) plan sponsors, particularly smaller employers have adopted a “Safe Harbor” plan design under Code Section 401(k)(12) or (13) and 401(m)(11) or (12). Safe Harbor plan designs include both a...more

The Supreme Court Meant What It Said On Employer Stock Funds

On January 25, 2016, in Amgen, Inc. v. Harris, 2016 WL 280886, the Supreme Court sent a strong message to the lower courts, plaintiffs and ERISA fiduciaries that pleading standards for breach of fiduciary duty prudence claims...more

Tacoma’s New Minimum Wage and Paid Leave Laws Now in Effect

As of February 1, 2016, employers with employees who work in Tacoma must comply with two new legal requirements. First, employers must pay employees who work in Tacoma a minimum wage of $10.35 per hour, rather than the state...more

What Amgen and Tackett Tell Us About ERISA Litigation Trend Lines

Two recent Supreme Court decisions, and a recent Sixth Circuit analysis on remand from the Supreme Court, offer a roadmap of sorts on ERISA litigation. In both decisions, the Supreme Court did away with presumptions, and at...more

Canadian Employment News Series - January 2016: Top 10 Canadian Employment Law Cases of 2015

With 2015 now behind us and our sights set on 2016, we have compiled the following list of ten significant Canadian employment law cases from 2015. This roundup is a cross-section of decisions from across the country,...more

Be Careful What You Wish For – Dudenhoeffer May Do “More Harm Than Good” For ERISA “Stock Drop” Plaintiffs

In its June 2014 decision in Dudenhoeffer v. Fifth Third Bank, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declined to recognize a “presumption of prudence” that had favored retirement-plan fiduciaries faced with allegations of...more

Recent Supreme Court Decision Limits ERISA Plans’ Ability to Recover Benefits Paid to Injured Employees Who Later Receive...

It’s a common scenario when dealing with a benefit plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA): an employee participating in the plan is injured by a third-party, the plan pays covered medical...more

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