Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2017

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2017 On October 27, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service released the 2017 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement...more

IRS Announces Year 2017 Retirement Plan Limits

On October 27, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) announced the following dollar limits applicable to tax-qualified plans for 2017: - The limit on the maximum amount of elective contributions that a person may...more

IRS Announces Benefit Plan Limits and Thresholds for 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced various 2017 benefit plan limits and thresholds. There are increases from 2016 in some cases, but in other instances the 2016 amounts will continue to apply. Benefit Plans...more

2017 Cost of Living Adjustments

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2017 cost of living adjustments to various limits. The adjusted amounts generally apply for plan years beginning in 2017. Some of the adjusted amounts, however, apply to calendar...more

Update on Lawsuits Challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

In this update on the litigation challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule, we note that there has been a sixth lawsuit filed and oral arguments in two other cases.  ...more

Religious Institutions Update: October 2016

Timely Topics - The final rule implementing Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) on May...more

AARP Files Suit to Block the EEOC’s Final Rules on Employee Wellness Programs

As we have previously discussed in detail in several blogs (New EEOC Regulations Provide Roadmap for Wellness Programs; EEOC Issues Final Rules On Employer-Sponsored Wellness Program Compliance Under the ADA and GINA; and...more

Investment Management Update - October 2016

Investment Adviser AXA Wins Excessive Fee Trial - A federal judge in New Jersey has ruled in favor of AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (AXA Equitable) and its wholly owned subsidiary, AXA Equitable Funds Management...more

Department of Labor Rule Paves the Way for State-Run Retirement Plans

On August 24, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule governing the exemption of state-run retirement plans from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Over 30 states have either...more

OSHA Issues Final Rule On Complaints Under Affordable Care Act's Anti-Retaliation Provision

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) added Section 18C to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to prohibit retaliation against employees who engage in certain activities protected by the ACA. Responsibility for receiving and...more

Owner/Trustee of 401(k) Plan Accused of Having Eyes Wide Shut on Fiduciary Duties

Last June I blogged about the trend of participant fee class actions moving down to smaller 401(k) Plans. Occasionally, class actions are brought based on other breaches of fiduciary duties, particularly those involving...more

Temporary Relief for Certain Student Health Plans Extended Indefinitely

In recently issued guidance, the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services indicated that they will indefinitely extend relief to colleges and universities that subsidize the cost of individual...more

Countries at a Glance 2016: Spain - Employee Stock Purchase Plans

EMPLOYEE STOCK PURCHASE PLANS - EMPLOYEE STOCK PURCHASE PLANS: EMPLOYMENT - Labor Concerns - Employers should distribute a hard-copy disclaimer which acknowledges the employees' receipt of the Plan documents as...more

Countries at a Glance 2016: United States - Employee Stock Purchase Plans

EMPLOYEE STOCK PURCHASE PLANS - EMPLOYEE STOCK PURCHASE PLANS: EMPLOYMENT - Labor Concerns - A claim for breach of contract could arise where a Plan is amended or discontinued. It is recommended that Plan...more

IRS Clarifies Benefit Coverage Requirements for Employees of Tax-Exempt Disregarded Entities

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued General Counsel Memorandum 201634021 (Memorandum), clarifying benefit coverage requirements for employees of a disregarded LLC wholly owned by a single member tax-exempt...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - October 2016

In an article published on October 6, 2016 by the Society for Human Resource Management, Bryance Metheny provides insight to the delay in the overtime rule and the lawsuits brought against the Department of Labor...more

Third Circuit Rejects Contractor’s Challenge To Arbitral Jurisdiction Based On Failure To Comply With Agreement’s Procedural...

The Third Circuit affirmed a lower court’s ruling against a contractor challenging an arbitrator’s authority in ordering payment of delinquent contributions to employee benefit funds. Plaintiff (“Nolt”) signed a Project Labor...more

If Pain, Yes Gain—Part XXV: Midwest Still Sick with Sick Leave Laws

Seyfarth Synopsis: Minneapolis, MN made four key amendments to its Sick and Safe Time Ordinance and Cook County, IL passed the Earned Sick Leave Ordinance - Minneapolis Sick and Safe Time Ordinance Updated - Nearly...more

Illinois Employees Hit the Sick Leave Trifecta: Important Changes to Take Effect in 2017

Three recently enacted laws expanding sick leave benefits within the state of Illinois will soon impact employers with operations in Illinois: the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act (effective in January of 2017); the Chicago...more

IRS Provides Guidance for the Post-Determination Letter Era

In July of 2015, the IRS announced that it would end its regular determination letter program for individually designed plans effective January 1, 2017. At the time of this announcement, many plan sponsors and other...more

California Employers with Qualified Plans Not Subject to New Secure Choice Program

On September 29, 2016, California Governor Brown approved significant amendments to the 2012 California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Trust Act ("Secure Choice"). Secure Choice is intended to provide Roth IRAs and...more

Treasury Makes it Easier for Pension Plans to Pay Partial Annuities

The Department of Treasury has issued final regulations that simplify the rules that allow retiring participants to simultaneously elect a partial lump sum and a partial annuity from a defined benefit pension plan. Under the...more

Now You Can Have Your Cake and Eat It Too: New Pension Distribution Rules Allow More Flexibility

If you are one of the lucky few employees who participate in an employer’s defined benefit retirement plan, you previously had to choose between receiving your benefits in a lump sum or in annuity payments. However, in the...more

Prohibited Transactions for Retirement Plans

A recent case reminds us that people need to be careful when dealing with their retirement plans, particularly if those accounts are used as investment vehicles to fund business activities relating to the plan participant or...more

The MPRA: One Size Fits No One

This is another in our series addressing the continuing deterioration of multi-employer defined benefit pension plans. Regardless of the identity of the next tenant of the White House, a major item on the new...more

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