Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Plan Prospecting Tools only show you part of a Plan’s problem

As a retirement plan provider, tools like Brightscope, fi360, Fiduciary Benchmarks, and FRA Plan Tools among others, are great resources to prospect prospective clients....more

EEOC Sues Employer for Allegedly Coercing Employee to Participate in Wellness Program

Employers continue to struggle to understand the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s position with regard to their wellness programs. While conceding the lawful use of such programs and the benefits achieved in terms of...more

District Court in 11th Circuit Deems Claim for Equitable Relief Appropriate under Amara and Varity

Yet again, the Court has been called upon to negotiate the juxtaposition between Varity and Amara. According to the Complaint in Biller v. Prudential Ins. Co. and Six Continents Hotels, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 118577,...more

ERISA Applied to Deferred Compensation Plan

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found in Tolbert v. RBC Capital Markets that a nonqualified deferred compensation plan was an "employee pension benefit plan" under the Employee Retirement Income...more

Update on Same-Sex Employee Benefits

In recent months employers around the country, have been scrambling to keep up with developments with respect to the evolving rights of employees in same-sex relationships. This articles touches on some recent guidance in...more

How to Structure an Employee Severance Package Regarding COBRA and the ACA

Often, when parting ways with an employee, an employer may offer to pay for some months of COBRA continuation coverage so that the employee can remain covered without having to pay the substantial premiums associated with...more

First Circuit Confirms No Fiduciary Breach in Use of a Retained Asset Account

For the second time this summer, the First Circuit Court of Appeals addressed whether an ERISA fiduciary’s use of a retained asset account (“RAA”) to pay death benefits is a breach of fiduciary duty. In Merrimon v. Unum Life...more

Alberta Pension Reform: Getting Started on Plan Compliance Amendments

Effective September 1, 2014, the new Alberta Employment Pension Plans Act (New EPPA) and Employment Pension Plans Regulation (New Regulation) came into force. Pension plans registered in Alberta, as well as plans registered...more

Top 3 Employment Issues in the United Arab Emirates

The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has reported a 24 percent increase in newly registered companies since last year; in part due to the recent successful World Expo 2020 bid, among other positive economic forces....more

Arrogance is a bad trait for a 401(k) plan decision maker

Regardless of the business you’re in, one of the worst thing you can do in being the decision maker for your retirement plan is that you know better than most retirement plan professionals. No plan sponsor likes to get...more

Plan Administration Changes in New Alberta Pension Legislation: Make Sure You Are in Compliance (Part II of II)

In this post, we discuss the amendments in the new Employment Pension Plans Act (EPPA) and the accompanying Employment Pension Plans Regulation (EPPR), which came into force on September 1, 2014, with respect to plan...more

City of Passaic Latest to Pass Paid Sick Leave Policy

Passaic’s new law requires private employers to allow employees to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every thirty hours worked. Employers with ten or more employees must allow their workers up to forty hours of paid sick...more

Monthly Benefits Update

On August 8, President Obama signed legislation that extends certain “pension smoothing” provisions in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act that was signed in 2012. This pension funding relief will...more

Happy 40th Birthday, ERISA!

Today, ERISA turns 40! It is hard to believe that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the law that ignited pension reform in the United States, has been around for four decades. To celebrate the law’s long,...more

Employee Benefits Developments - August 2014

The Departments of the Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services issued final regulations addressing the rule in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that prohibits a group health plan from having a waiting period that exceeds...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - This month's newsletter focuses on repayment of pension plan overpayments. Our issue discusses pension plan overpayments to participants, a plan administrator's duties to seek repayment, corrections...more

DOL Updates Procedures for Locating Missing Participants in Defined Contribution Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor recently released Field Assistance Bulletin 2014-01 (the “FAB”), which updates DOL’s guidance on locating missing participants when a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) plan, is...more

Global HR Hot Topic—August 2014: How to Launch an International HR Policy, Code of Conduct or Benefits Plan

In this era of internationally aligned business operations, multinationals roll out cross-border human resources policies, global codes of conduct and international benefits offerings. But launching these cross-border...more

Insurance Industry Sweeps Retained Asset Account Doubleheader

On August 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held in Vander Luitgaren v. Sun Life Ass. Co. of Canada, No. 13–2090, 2014 WL 4197947 (1st Cir. Aug. 26, 2014), that an insurer, acting as a claims administrator,...more

Healthcare Reform in the U.S. Territories; Prepayment of Taxes for Puerto Rico Retirement Plans

The summer of 2014 has brought further guidance for health plan coverage in the U.S. territories and for retirement plan coverage in Puerto Rico. Issuers and employer sponsors of Puerto Rico group health plans and employer...more

Developments Impacting Benefits for Same-Sex Spouses

As federal and state agencies and courts further examine the implications of the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling on same-sex marriage in U.S. v. Windsor, the laws and regulations governing employee benefits for...more

ERISA: Plaintiff’s Attorney Fees Denied — Filing Of Lawsuit Was Not Reason Why Benefits Were Granted

You already know that in ERISA cases a court may, in its discretion, award attorney fees if a party achieved “some degree of success on the merits.”...more

Is The EEOC Off The Rails With This New “Wellness” Lawsuit? Don’t Think So.

Last week, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against Wisconsin-based Orion Energy Systems, Inc., over its wellness program and its treatment of ex-employee Wendy Schobert, who was not a fan of the...more

District Courts Reviewing ERISA Cases Under the Arbitrary and Capricious Review Standard Serve Only in an Appellate Role

In McCorkle v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 13-30745, 2014 WL 2983360 (5th Cir. 2014), the Fifth Circuit reversed the district court’s holding that MetLife’s adverse determination regarding the plaintiff’s claim for benefits due to...more

Employers Should Monitor Closely Group Term Life Insurance Enrollments

Many employers offer group term life insurance, including supplemental life. Often an employee who wants to buy coverage above a particular level after an initial open enrollment period must show evidence of insurability....more

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