Employee Benefits 401k

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

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

ERISA Claim Knocked Off the Pedestal - Provider of 401(k) Investment Platform Held Not to Have Fiduciary Liability

Over the years, U.S. employers that sponsor “401(k)” and other retirement plans, and plan fiduciaries, have increasingly become the subject of significant and potentially expensive litigation under the Employee Retirement...more

Reduce Fiduciary Risk With An Effective Investment Policy

Human resource officers and managers are often asked to chair or sit on a retirement plan committee responsible for administrative tasks. In this role, a committee member takes on fiduciary responsibilities to plan...more

Individual Inquiries Predominate in 401(k) Litigation

In denying class certification in an action against Transamerica Life Insurance Company (TLIC), the Central District of California noted that the “sheer number of participants and plans” potentially involved in this...more

How to Deal with Employees

I always say that the main reason that I don’t want to have employees is because I was an employee once too. The union lawyers I worked with just didn’t understand the whole dynamic of the employer-employee relationship. They...more

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation: Do You Need to Send an Annual Notice to Plan Participants?

Plan sponsors of defined contribution qualified plans may need to issue one or more annual notices to participants before the end of each plan year. Failure to issue a required annual notice can have significant consequences....more

IRS Retirement Plan Limitations for 2016

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued the new 2016 retirement plan limitations. In this announcement, the IRS sets forth the limits of the amounts that can be deferred under 401 (k) plans, 457 (b) plans and the...more

Employee Benefits Developments - October 2015

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), consistent with prior regulations from the Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS), issued supplemental proposed regulations requiring employer sponsored health plans to provide...more

IRS Announces 2016 Retirement Plan Limitations – Most Limits Remain Unchanged

The Internal Revenue Service announced the 2016 cost-of-living adjustments to the dollar limitations for qualified retirement plans and other benefits, and the Social Security Administration announced its own cost-of-living...more

2016 Cost of Living Increases are Rare

On October 21, 2015, in Information Release 2015-118, the IRS announced cost-of-living adjustments to various dollar limitations under the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code") for pension plans and other related items for the...more

2016 Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Retirement and Other Benefit Plans

The IRS recently announced the 2016 cost-of-living adjustments to various benefit and contribution limits applicable to retirement plans and welfare plans. Most retirement plan limits have not changed because increases in the...more

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released the 2016 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans and health savings accounts, which are largely...more

IRS Releases Inflation Adjustments for 2016

Each year, the IRS calculates cost of living and inflation adjustments and determines how much certain limits and thresholds should be adjusted, if at all, for the upcoming tax year. The IRS released Revenue Procedure 2015-53...more

Benefit and Contribution Limits for 2016

The Commissioner of Internal Revenue announced yesterday that the dollar limitations for benefits and contributions that apply to retirement plans generally will not change for 2016 because the increase in the cost-of-living...more

2016 Benefit Plan Limits and Thresholds: Few Changes from 2015

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced various 2016 benefit plan limits and thresholds. In most cases, there are no changes from 2015. According to the IRS, in general, the retirement plan limitations will not...more

Employee Benefits – Do Employers Owe a 401(k) Fiduciary Duty?

Back in July, we discussed how Jed Clampett of Mama’s Fried Pies caused his VP of marketing Elly May to suffer exorbitant taxes due to a deferred bonus that he offered.  This month, Jed finds himself again in the grease with...more

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

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

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

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