Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Are Top Hat Plans Entitled to a Discretionary Standard of Review?

Many years ago the Supreme Court decided that qualified retirement plans that gave their fiduciaries discretion to determine plan benefits were entitled to have their decisions, reviewed by a court under a generous “abuse of...more

Internet Posting of SPD is Insufficient

Employers know that they must prepare and distribute a summary plan description (SPD) for their ERISA benefit plans, including retirement benefits, health insurance, life insurance and disability insurance. Because of the...more

New GAO Report on Contingent Workforce Shows 85% of Independent Contractors Are “Content with Their Employment Type”

A comprehensive government report on the contingent workforce made public two days ago revealed surprising data about independent contractors, finding that 85% of independent contractors “appeared content with their...more

Supreme Court: 401(k) Plan Fiduciaries Have An Ongoing Duty To Monitor

In April 2013 I reported on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Tibble v. Edison International which involved an alleged breach of fiduciary duty by the Edison 401(k) Savings Plan committee selecting six retail...more

Bill Introduced to Repeal Cadillac Tax

A bill has been introduced in the House of Representatives that would repeal the “Cadillac Tax” provision of the Affordable Care Act (codified in Internal Revenue Code Section 4980I). The Cadillac Tax provision imposes an...more

Central States Pension Fund Developing Rescue Plan

The Central States Pension Fund has announced that it will adopt a “rescue plan” under which certain participant benefits will be reduced. The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA), which was signed into law on...more

More and Less Expensive Options for Retirement Plan Corrections: New IRS Guidance on EPCRS

In This Issue: - Rev. Proc. 2015-27 - Rev. Proc. 2015-28 - For More Information - Excerpt from Rev. Proc. 2015-27: Rev. Proc. 2015-27 may be used beginning March 27, 2015 and is effective July 1,...more

EEOC Officials Field Pointed Questions During Senate Committee Hearing

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's enforcement strategies and ligation history came under fire from Republican members of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions on Tuesday. During the hearing...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Scope of Fiduciary Duty Under ERISA

On May 18, the Supreme Court held, in Tibble v. Edison International that a fiduciary “has a continuing duty to monitor trust investments and remove imprudent ones. This continuing duty exists separate and apart from the...more

DOL Files Complaint Against Plan Fiduciaries for Using 401(k) Contributions and Loan Repayments to Fund Plan Sponsor’s General...

On April 10, 2015, the DOL filed a complaint against Enterworks, Inc., the Enterworks, Incorporated Shared Savings Plan, and two individual fiduciaries of the Savings Plan (the Defendants). In the complaint, the DOL alleges...more

Senators Urge President to issue "Model Employer" Executive Order

On Friday, May 15, 18 Democratic Senators sent a letter to President Obama calling for him to issue an executive order that would make the federal government a "model employer." The letter is an updated version of letters the...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

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

The Latest on Wellness Programs: EEOC Proposes Rule to Address Legal Hurdles Under the ADA

Wait a minute. You mean to tell me that, even if I follow the guidance issued under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, as amended (HIPAA), in implementing a “legally-compliant” wellness program,...more

Some Wellness Benefits are Taxable

My colleagues blogged on recent wellness guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the three agencies charged with enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Department of Treasury, the Department...more

Multiple Departments Issue Guidance on Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) made headlines during the second half of 2014 by attacking employers' wellness programs that require employees to undergo certain medical testing or be penalized. In three...more

A Bad Deed is Not Entirely Unpunished

Richard Thomas embezzled nearly $20,000,000 from his employer. The employer then kept Thomas’s profit sharing account of about $21,000 as an offset against the embezzled amount. Of course, this violated ERISA’s...more

Incorporation Of AAA Rules “Clearly And Unmistakably” Delegates Questions Of Arbitrability To Arbitrator

In a putative class action for denial of employment benefits brought by security contractors against their hiring firm, Blackwater Security Consulting, the court found that the governing agreements delegated the issue of...more

Multiemployer Pension Reform

Too Little, Too Late? - Employers and unions locked into failing multiemployer pension plans received an 11th-hour reprieve in late December when Congress passed legislation revising laws that had hobbled these plans...more

Reminder: Paid Sick Leave Required As Of July 1, 2015

As of July 1, 2015, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 requires California employers to provide paid sick leave benefits to their employees, including all full-time, part-time, temporary, migrant and...more

Five Ways the EEOC Proposed Wellness Regulations Would Change Workplace Health Initiatives

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) generally prohibits employers from requiring current employees to submit to medical examinations or medical inquiries unless the exam or inquiry is “job-related and consistent with...more

[Event] Sheppard Mullin's Spring 2015 Labor & Employment Law Update - May 5, New York, NY

Please join our experienced attorneys for an informative and lively discussion on a variety of timely topics, including: - Leading Court Decisions and Key Legislative Developments in 2015 - Psychological Disabilities...more

ERISA: Public School Teacher’s Employee Benefits Governed by ERISA? Yes!

When you see a claim for disability or life insurance benefits by a public school teacher, you might assume the claim is not governed by ERISA because of the governmental plan exception....more

Department of Labor Proposes New Fiduciary Regulation and Prohibited Transaction Exemption Relief for Investment Advice...

On April 20, 2015, more than three years after withdrawing a similar proposal that was staunchly opposed by the financial services industry, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published in the Federal Register a proposed...more

Practical Advice for Compliance with Recent Amendments to the Internal Revenue Code Section 162(m) Regulations

The recent amendments to the Section 162(m) regulations largely follow the changes set forth in the proposed regulations issued in 2011, clarifying two exceptions from the Section 162(m) tax deductibility limit...more

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