Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

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

Reminder: Employers Must Use Extreme Caution When Considering Reimbursing an Employee’s Individual Health Insurance Premium

In follow up to IRS Notices 2013-54 and 2015-17, the IRS Office of Chief Counsel has issued 4 information letters thus far in 2016 regarding employer reimbursement of employee individual health insurance premiums and related...more

Watching SCOTUS – ERISA Church-Plan Exemption Revisited

Seyfarth Synopsis: Currently before the Supreme Court are two petitions regarding the thorny legal question of which organizations can qualify for ERISA’s Church-plan exemption. If the Supreme Court grants certiorari and...more

Employee Benefit Plan Filing Deadlines for October and November

This alert follows up on our August 4, 2016, alert titled, “Upcoming Employee Benefit Plan Deadlines.” The following are the most common applicable filing deadlines for calendar year plans for October and November....more

Navigating the Winding Highway of Wellness Program Compliance - Part I: A GPS for the EEOC’s Wellness Program Rules

The road to health plan compliance has never been straight and narrow, but it has become more winding over the years, due in large part to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The road to compliance just became even more difficult...more

Canada Pension Plan enhancements: it’s happening

Yesterday the federal government tabled Bill C-26, which will implement changes to the Canada Pension Plan that were announced in June, 2016.  All provinces other than Quebec are now on board, in support of increased employer...more

IRS Updates Correction Program for Retirement Plans

The IRS recently issued Revenue Procedure 2016-51 (the 2016 RP) to provide revised procedures for its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) – the system through which plan sponsors can correct errors in the form...more

Eighth Circuit Affirms Enforcement of ERISA Plan Forum Selection Clause

The Eighth Circuit enforced an ERISA plan’s forum selection clause and denied plaintiff’s appeal to have her lawsuit for disability benefits transferred back to the District of Arizona. Plaintiff Lorna Clause, who lives in...more

IRS Issues New EPCRS Guidelines to Coordinate with Limited Determination Letter Program

On September 29, 2016, the IRS released new guidelines under its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). EPCRS consists of three programs by which plan sponsors can correct plan documentation or operational...more

401(k) Plan Sponsor ERISA Fiduciary Litigation Update: White v. Chevron Corporation

On August 29, 2016, the District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the lawsuit filed against Chevron Corporation by several participants in the Chevron Employee Savings Investment Plan (the “Plan”). ...more

The Road to Higher Out-of-Pocket Medical Costs is Paved with Good Intentions: The Unintended Consequences of High Deductible...

High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) are among the fastest growing health plans in both the individual and group markets. For calendar year 2017, the IRS defines an HDHP as any health plan with a minimum deductible of $1300...more

EEOC Resuelve Caso de Robo de Salario Discriminatorio

Steamboat Springs restaurante que pagar $50,000 (50 mil dolares) por falta de pago de salarios adecuados a Los trabajadores latinos debido a su raza u origen nacional - DENVER - En Steamboat Springs, Colorado, el...more

EEOC Conciliates Discriminatory Wage Theft Case

Steamboat Springs Restaurant to Pay $50,000 for Failing to Pay Proper Wages to Latino Workers Because of Race or National Origin - DENVER - A Steamboat Springs, Colo., restaurant has agreed to pay $50,000 to resolve race...more

How Secure is Your Retirement Plan?

Most employers are generally aware of their fiduciary status as a “plan sponsor” of an ERISA-governed retirement plan (e.g., 401(k) and 403(b) plans). In fact, the employer’s hiring of a service provider is in and of itself a...more

EEOC Sues Work Services, Inc. For Disability Discrimination

Turkey Processing Workers Denied Years of Pay and Simple Freedoms Because of Intellectual Disability, Federal Agency Charges - COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced...more

Employee Benefits Developments - September 2016

Final IRS Regulations Eliminate Requirement to File 83(b) Election with Tax Return - Under Section 83(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”), if property is transferred in connection with the performance of...more

DOL Issues Final Rule Implementing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors

On September 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its long-awaited final rule to implement Executive Order 13706, which requires covered federal contractors to provide employees with up to seven days (56 hours)...more

California Legislative Update: Which Bills Made the Final Cut?

Although the California Legislature sent Governor Jerry Brown bills on bed bugs, powdered alcohol, and making denim the official state fabric, the laws enacted in 2016 affecting the state’s private-sector employers were...more

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