Employee Benefits 401k

News & Analysis as of

Penalties Increased for Employee Benefit Plan Violations

Recently-enacted legislation has increased many penalty amounts for certain employee benefit plan violations. The new penalties – some of which are more than double previous amounts – were adjusted to catch up with inflation...more

Higher ed braces for flood of lawsuits over retirement plans

Numerous colleges and universities sponsor retirement plans—both defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC)—to provide retirement income security for their employees. But recently a number of higher education...more

….And 403(b) Plans are next on the litigation hit parade

It should be no surprise that the rampant uptick in 401(k) litigation is also going to venture into the 403(b) world. Four class action lawsuits were filed against MIT, New York University, and Yale University. The cases...more

Harvey Berman, R.I.P.

People often ask me how I got into ERISA/retirement plan law and I tell them the truth: it’s because it’s the first job I got. The person that gave me that first job was an ERISA attorney named Harvey Berman. I’m sad to...more

Small Plan Faces Excessive Fee Challenge

On May 18, 2016, a lawsuit was filed in the Federal District Court in Minnesota alleging various claims arising out of investment and record keeping fees in an employer’s 401(K) plan. The plaintiffs are seeking for the case...more

Inside Trustees for Small Minnesota 401(k) Plan Face Class Action Over Excessive Fees

A Minneapolis law firm recently filed a class action complaint against Lamettry’s Collision, Inc. and the Trustees of its 401(k) Plan, CFO Stephen Daniel and President Joan Lamettry for various breaches of fiduciary duty with...more

Employee Benefits: ERISA Spring Cleaning - Have You Properly Identified All of Your ERISA Benefits? (5/16)

Why Is It Important To Properly Identify All of Your ERISA Benefits? The Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") imposes numerous requirements on covered employee benefit plans, including annual report...more

More DB DC Plan Design Flexibility in Maximizing Benefits for Highly Compensated Employees

Given the subject matter involved, this Alert is very technical and specialized. If your company offers both an active pension plan and a 401(k) or profit sharing plan and performs the general test to satisfy the...more

New Treasury Regulations Impose Heightened Standards for Retirement Fund Advisors

Financial advisors and financial services firms are facing new scrutiny, as indicated by a recent rule change by the U.S. Labor Department. In early April 2016, the U.S. Labor Department issued new regulations requiring that...more

DOL Finalizes The ERISA Fiduciary Regulation -- What It Means For Your Business

In the face of controversy and following thousands of comments from market participants and lawmakers, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has finalized sweeping changes to the definition of “fiduciary” under the Employee...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we feature three key developments. First, we review the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, 947 (2016) wherein the Supreme Court held that a...more

News Alert – Employer Action Required Following Issuance of Final Rule

On April 8, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) released the much anticipated final regulation to broaden the scope of fiduciary status under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal...more

Much-Anticipated Fiduciary Rule Presents New Challenges to Financial Services Industry

The U.S. Department of Labor released its long anticipated "fiduciary rule" on April 6, 2016. The rule requires brokers and financial advisers to put their clients' interests ahead of their own when recommending retirement...more

Massachusetts Court Finds Private Equity Funds Liable for Portfolio Company’s Pension Obligations

In a decision that will have significant repercussions for private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts has found a private equity sponsor liable...more

IRS Requests Comments on New Compliance Questions in Form 5500

The IRS added new compliance questions to the 2015 IRS Form 5500/5500-SF, which is the annual report filed by retirement plans with the Department of Labor and the IRS.  The Form 5500 instructions, however, specifically...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2016

Previously, many advisors had been concerned that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations on safe harbor plan designs covering 401(k) and 403(b) plans may have severely limited the abilities of plan sponsors to adopt...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - March 2016

Editor’s Overview - This month we review the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of National Elevator Industries Health Benefit Plan where the Supreme Court considered the scope of...more

New Compliance Questions in IRS Form 5500 Warrant Screening Reviews of 401(K) Plans During 2016

The IRS recently added new questions to the 2015 Form 5500/5500-SF annual retirement plan returns. The Form 5500-Series returns are used by retirement plans to report the financial condition, investments, and operations of...more

March and April 2016 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties. To avoid such...more

Is Your 401(k) Safe Harbor Plan Amendment Really Safe?

Finally, the IRS has made it clear that a 401(k) safe harbor plan may be amended during a plan year, with certain restrictions, and not lose its safe harbor status, in IRS Notice 2016-16 (the "Notice")....more

New Guidance From IRS Provides Mid-Year Changes To Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans

Prior to the Internal Revenue Services' (IRS) recent issuance of Notice 2016-16 (the Notice), employers that sponsored safe harbor 401(k) retirement plans were uncertain about whether any mid-year changes to their plans would...more

Good News from the IRS on 401(K) Safe Harbor Plans

Safe harbor 401(k) plans are attractive because they are not required to perform annual nondiscrimination testing. In the past, one of the biggest reasons not to offer a safe harbor 401k) plan was the prohibition on changing...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2016

Editor's Overview - This month's article reviews a few non-ERISA cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, which may, depending on the breadth of the decisions, impact ERISA litigation. First, in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, the...more

IRS Allows Mid-Year Changes, Further Encouraging Safe Harbor Plans

The IRS has issued new guidance giving sponsors of Safe Harbor 401(k) plans much greater flexibility to amend their plans during a plan year. This is welcome relief from the previous IRS position that had hobbled such plans....more

Employee Benefits: IRS Issues Helpful Guidance Regarding Mid-Year Amendments To Safe Harbor Plans (2/16)

In Notice 2016-16, the Internal Revenue Service issued helpful guidance to employers that sponsor so-called safe harbor 401(k) and 403(b) plans. The guidance significantly expands the types of amendments that may be made to a...more

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