Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Three Reasons Millennials Need Interactive Compliance Training Courses

Ah, millennials. The “it” generation. Even compliance can’t stop talking about this generation. We’ve written a lot about how ethics and compliance professionals should learn how they think, learn and act because, as this...more

Fifth Circuit Denies Deferential Review for Fiduciary Actions

Many employee benefit professionals are aware of the deferential standard of review provided to plan fiduciaries in accordance with the 1989 United States Supreme Court ruling in Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. v. Bruch. That...more

Amendments to Alberta’s Proposed New Employment Pension Plans Act

Alberta appears to be moving forward with its pension reform agenda. As you may recall, on December 10, 2012, Alberta’s new Employment Pension Plans Act (the Proposed New EPPA) received royal assent, but it has not yet been...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 36: Hacking the Affordable Care Act’s $100/Day Penalties for...

Particularly with the issuance of final regulations under the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules, employers have been concerned—justifiably—with the pay-or-play penalties. ...more

Unpaid Employer Contributions as Plan Assets: Expansion Of Liability Under ERISA

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”), requires trustees of multiemployer pension and benefit funds to collect contributions required to be made by contributing employers under their...more

No Refunds: Supreme Court Settles Circuit Split over Severance Payment Taxation

In its ruling on United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., No. 12-1408 (U.S. Mar. 25, 2014), the United States Supreme Court put to rest a decade-old battle over whether severance payments made to employees are taxable as wages...more

Germany: When is a New Hire too old to join a Company Pension Scheme?

In Germany, all employees are mandatorily covered by the statutory pension insurance which provides the main source of income during retirement. In addition, many companies grant company pension benefits to their employees,...more

The Affordable Care Act - Understanding The Employer Mandate: An Overview

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (the “Affordable Care Act”) was enacted by Congress and signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010. The Affordable Care Act is a 2,409 page statute regulating virtually every...more

Can We Define "Full Time" To Mean Something Less Than 40 Hours Per Week?

Q. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), do we have to define “full time” to mean 40 hours per week, or is that left to employers’ discretion? Can we maintain a 40-hour standard for wage and hour purposes, but have a...more

Is It Time To Review, Retest, Or Amend Your Employee Benefit Plans? IRS Provides Same Sex Marriage Guidance For Retirement Plan...

On June 26, 2013, when the Supreme Court determined that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, the tax and benefit plan implications were unclear. Later, in Revenue Ruling 2013-17, the...more

The Headache of Plan Loans

They often say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I don’t know who said it first (I heard it was originated with St. Bernard, the saint, not the dog), but perhaps they were a 401(k) plan sponsor that had a...more

Oops, I Forgot To Distribute A Safe Harbor Notice For My Company's 401(k) Plan, Now What?

The Internal Revenue Service often publishes correction methods for common errors involving qualified retirement plan administration issues. One of the most common errors is failing to notify eligible employees of their safe...more

Paternity Leave Up To Bat: What Employers Should Know To Avoid Striking Out

Paternity leave is back in the spotlight after New York Mets second baseman, Daniel Murphy, decided to take his contractually guaranteed three days of paternity leave for the birth of his son—a decision which resulted in his...more

Washington Grants Public Employees Two Days Off Per Year for Reasons of Faith or Conscience or Organized Religious Activities

In recognition that the holiday calendar for many religions is based on the lunar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar, the Washington State Legislature recently amended the statutory definition of “Legal holidays and...more

Do Your Qualified Retirement Plans Recognize Same-Sex Spouses as of June 26, 2013?

The IRS has published Notice 2014-19 and related FAQs regarding the application of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor and Rev. Ruling 2013-17 to qualified retirement plans. All retirement plans should be...more

New York City's New Sick Time Law

General Provisions - Under the Act, private employers with five (5) or more employees must now provide paid sick time to their employees. Specifically, employers covered under the Act are now required to provide a...more

Filling In The Retirement Plan Gaps For Same-Sex Couples—What It Means For Your Retirement Plan

Employers and participants alike have been anxiously waiting for further guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) on how marriages of same-sex couples will be treated for purposes of qualified retirement plans....more

Hong Kong: Embracing The Best of the East, and The Best of the West

In continuation of my article on Globalizing in Hong Kong in December 2013, let's discuss some of the practical implications and recent developments in Hong Kong's employment arena. Hong Kong is not just a pivotal financial...more

Governance & Securities Law Focus: Europe Edition, April 2014

In this issue: - EU Developments - German Developments - UK Developments - Us Developments - Excerpt from EU Developments - European Commission Proposes to Introduce Shareholder "Say...more

ACA, HIPAA, COBRA and HSA Penalties: What Do They Mean?

What do all of these acronyms stand for and why do employers and human resource professionals care? These acronyms stand for statutory requirements which apply to employer-provided health plans and stiff penalties can apply...more

IRS Guidance on Treatment of Same-Sex Marriages by Qualified Retirement Plans

On April 4, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Notice 2014-19 (the “Notice”), which provides additional guidance on how qualified retirement plans should treat same-sex marriages following the Supreme Court’s...more

This is What a TPA Does and Why a Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Hire a Good One

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Deer Hunter. It’s a story about the Vietnam War and the post-traumatic stress disorder a group of friends from Western Pennsylvania who were drafted together and fought alongside...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 38: Congress Eliminates Separate Cap on Deductibles

In a rare display of bipartisanship, Congress voted to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s separate cap on deductibles that applies to individual and small group insurance products. (These limits never applied to large...more

The needs of the Plan outweigh the needs of the Plan Provider

A family member once said: “there are a lot of yous (sic) and only one me.” That may not be the nicest and most selfless thing to say, but that’s something retirement plan sponsors should think when it comes to the needs of...more

Retirement Benefits: Which Way Does the Whistle Blow?

The Issue: A terminated employee makes a claim against the employer for damages. The company says it fired him for stealing from the company. He says it was in retaliation for reporting law violations by the employer (that...more

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