Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

New Projects and Updates From the IRS Employee Plans Compliance Unit

The IRS Employee Plans Compliance Unit (EPCU) recently announced two new projects and updated two others. In each case EPCU is using compliance checks as a tool to increase IRS enforcement presence and ensure compliance....more

NYC Affordable Transit Act: Employers Will Be Required to Offer Qualified Transportation Benefits in the New Year

Effective January 1, 2016, most employers with 20 or more full-time employees in New York City must offer those full-time employees the opportunity to use pre-tax earnings to purchase qualified transportation fringe benefits...more

Not all Plans can Establish a Shortened Limitations Period for Filing Lawsuit

I recently blogged about a case in which a plan had established a shorter period of time (one year deadline) for filing a lawsuit, rather than relying on the state statute of limitation (six years) which would otherwise have...more

Civil Unions in NJ – What you Need to Know.

Same-sex couples now have the right to marry, and neither the federal nor any state government can deny anyone that right. On June 26, 2013 – a watershed moment in the history of the law and our nation – the U.S. Supreme...more

Ruling on UK Executive’s Lawsuit Involving U.S.-Based Stock Option Plan

English executives employed by multinational companies often have a contract of employment with the company’s UK subsidiary, but may also participate in a separate bonus or share option plan that contains foreign (e.g., U.S.)...more

Is Your Severance Policy an ERISA Plan?

Severance plans are generally covered under ERISA, but it is not always easy to distinguish an ERISA-covered severance plan from a non-ERISA severance policy. There are advantages and disadvantages to being an ERISA-covered...more

City of Minneapolis Considering Dramatic Changes for Minneapolis Employers - Public Comment Period Underway

The City of Minneapolis is taking steps to develop an ordinance that, as now proposed, would impose dramatic new requirements for Minneapolis employers related to employee scheduling and earned sick leave. The City Council,...more

A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule, 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 fiduciary...more

Employee Benefits Developments - September 2015

IRS Issues New Draft Form 1095-C and Instructions. On August 6, 2015, the IRS published its most recent updates to Form 1095-C and the instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Beginning in early 2016, applicable large...more

More Withdrawal Liability for Unsuspecting Business Owners

I recently blogged about a Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision that tagged a buyer of the assets of a company contributing to a multiemployer plan with withdrawal liability that the seller had not paid. A recent Ninth...more

PBGC Report Shows Modest Improvements in Agency’s Long-Term Solvency

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recently released its annual projections report showing that its insurance programs, which back both multiemployer pension plans and single-employer pension plans, have...more

Participants in Top Hat Plans Must Exhaust Administrative Remedies

So-called “Top Hat” plans are nonqualified deferred compensation plans for a select group of management or highly compensated employees. These executive compensation arrangements are exempt from many ERISA provisions, but are...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - September 2015

The National Labor Relations Board’s (the Board) Democratic majority handed the organized labor movement one of its biggest legal victories in recent years. The decision radically redefines the concept of “joint employment”...more

Payment of Accrued But Unused Vacation Pay

The Connecticut rules for payment of accrued but unused vacation pay when employment terminates are fairly simple, but a brief refresher may be helpful to employers. Connecticut General Statutes § 31-71f requires...more

Executive Order Requires Federal Contractors to Provide Paid Sick Leave

On Labor Day, President Obama unveiled the latest executive branch action taking aim at federal government contractors. As labor and employment legislation has stalled in a divided Congress, the White House has again turned...more

Don’t Play Hide the Ball with Your Claims Procedure

ERISA does not have a statute of limitations for lawsuits brought by participants to check claim benefits under the plan. Instead, courts borrow from similar state statutes of limitations. In a decision two years ago, the US...more

HHS Proposes Rules for Nondiscrimination in Health Care

On September 8, 2015, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) proposed new regulations implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”). Section 1557 prohibits...more

Eid: A guide for UAE and KSA private sector employers

With the upcoming festival of Eid Al-Adha, employers in the region need to be mindful of the requirements around holidays, whilst also managing employee expectations and balancing the needs of the business. This article...more

A Summary Plan Description Can be a Plan Document

In a decision issued a couple of years ago, the United States Supreme Court held that a summary plan description that differed from the plan document could not be enforced as the plan document. The Court said that the summary...more

Department of Treasury Issues 2015-2016 Priority Planning Guide

The Department of the Treasury issued its 2015-2016 Priority Guidance Plan detailing projects that it intends on dedicating resources to in the coming year. There are numerous employee benefits-related items in the plan....more

Court of Appeals to Plan Administrators: Inform Claimants of Time Limits on Front End of Discussions

Recently, in Mirza v. Insurance Administrator of Am., Inc., __ F.3d__ (3d. Cir. 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was asked to determine whether plan administrators are required to include a...more

DOL Provides Guidance Regarding Monitoring Annuity Providers

The DOL issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2015-02, which provides clarity regarding selection and monitoring of annuity providers for fiduciaries of defined contribution retirement plans. There is a safe harbor regulation...more

DOL to Provide Guidance Regarding State-Based Retirement Programs

In recent years, several states, including Illinois, have passed laws that would require employers who do not offer retirement plans to automatically enroll employees into IRAs. However, there has been concern regarding...more

Final Rule Regarding Preventive Services Under ACA

The Department of the Treasury, DOL, and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued final rules regarding coverage of certain preventive services required to be provided under ACA without cost sharing by...more

IRS Issues Second Notice on Cadillac Tax

On July 30, the IRS issued Notice 2015-52, which provides guidance regarding the “Cadillac Tax” provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Earlier this year, the IRS issued Notice 2015- 16, which represented the first...more

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