Employee Benefits Employee Retirement Income Security Act

News & Analysis as of

ERISA Preempts State Law Requiring Insurer “Prompt Payment”

Alaska’s prompt pay statute—which requires insurers to pay benefit claims within 30 days of submission—is preempted by federal laws governing employer-provided benefits and benefits for government workers, a federal judge...more

Universities: Growing Concern With Explosion of Retirement Plan Fee-Related Lawsuits

In a concerning development for universities and other institutions of higher learning nationwide, a growing number of schools, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Yale University, Johns...more

Multiple Universities Sued Over 403(b) Retirement Plan Investment Fees

In the last several days, a number of large private universities have been sued regarding the investment fees in their 403(b) retirement plans. The lawsuits claim that these universities breached their fiduciary duties under...more

Religious Institutions Update: August 2016

When was the last time your organization reviewed your insurance policies? Not all policies are equal. Many religious organizations are underinsured. Most should have general liability, property, professional liability,...more

Under Attack: ERISA Class-Action Lawyers Target Colleges and Universities

Class-action lawyers have begun targeting retirement savings plans offered by a number of colleges and universities across the country. These lawsuits are founded in claims of ERISA breaches of fiduciary duty - alleging the...more

ERISA Class Actions Filed Against Higher Education Institutions

Several ERISA breach of fiduciary duty class actions involving allegedly excessive retirement plan fees were filed this week against higher education institutions including colleges, universities, and medical schools. The...more

Case Note: Public-Private Partnership and ERISA’s Governmental Plan Exception

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit used the 6 factor test in Revenue Ruling 57-128 to determine that a group of retirees could not bring their welfare benefit plan claims under ERISA. ...more

Proposed Changes to Form 5500 Would Significantly Increase Reporting Obligations for Health and Welfare Plan Sponsors

Summary - On July 11, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a proposal to implement significant changes to the forms and regulations that govern annual employee benefit plan...more

ERISA: 2nd Circuit — Mental Health Provider Lacks Standing to Challenge ERISA Benefit Denial

Who can challenge an ERISA benefit denial? Does a physician have standing to challenge the denial of a patient’s coverage? It depends....more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2016

Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (“Section 409A”) generally provides that, if a plan providing for deferred compensation fails to comply with Section 409A, either in form or in operation, then all amounts deferred...more

Ten Questions to Consider Before Granting Equity to Employees

Granting employees equity can be a great way to reward and motivate employees. Most employees will work harder once they have some skin in the game. However, granting equity can be complicated and it's easy to make mistakes....more

Does Your Severance Trigger ERISA? Why You Should Care and What You Should Do

Generally speaking, many employers do not think about the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) when it comes to severance, whether at the front end, when employment agreements or policies are negotiated and...more

Department of Labor Updates ERISA’s Civil Penalties

Pursuant to recently amended federal legislation, the Department of Labor (DOL), among several other federal agencies, is increasing its civil monetary penalties to adjust for inflation. Among the penalties to be increased...more

Regulatory and Legislative Changes: No Summer Holiday Break

While you may have thought that the major party conventions and Olympic Games in Rio would have resulted in a break from significant legislative and regulatory changes, that simply does not seem to be the case. ...more

Proposed Form 5500 Changes & the new Schedule J: Big Changes for Small Group Health Plans

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed changes to the Form 5500 and schedules that will affect ERISA Title I group health plans of all sizes, but small group health plans should be especially aware of the changes....more

Pension Consultant Found Not to be an ERISA Fiduciary

The Tenth Circuit held that a pension plan consultant, who misstated the amount of monthly pension payments that a pension plan participant would receive in retirement, was not a fiduciary under ERISA. Plaintiffs Trent...more

Waves of Guidance and Benefit Plan Developments Worth Watching

Notices on Second Round of Privacy and Security Audits are Out, Expat Plans, OON Surgery Center Billing Issues, and New Nondiscrimination Rules for Federal Contractors, New ERISA Civil Monetary Penalties, COBRA Notices and...more

Benefits Litigation Update – Summer 2016

Epstein Becker Green and The ERISA Industry Committee (“ERIC”) are pleased to release the current issue of the Benefits Litigation Update (“Update”). The Update is a publication which provides four primary...more

Department of Labor Increases Penalties for Certain ERISA Violations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published on July 1, 2016, an interim final rule adjusting the civil monetary penalties that it can enforce. These adjustments are the result of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation...more

Penalty Amounts Get Adjustment (Upward, of Course)

The Department of Labor (DOL), along with several other federal agencies, recently released adjusted penalty amounts for various violations. The amounts had not been adjusted since 2003, so there was some catching up to do,...more

DOL Rule Imposes Significant Increases in Penalties for Employee Benefit Plan Violations

On June 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued an interim final rule that significantly increases various penalties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). The interim rule is the...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

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final regulations describing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to employer wellness...more

Why Should Hospitals with “Church Plans” Be Concerned Now? - Hospital Industry Viewpoint

Religiously affiliated hospitals and health systems have recently come under attack by private litigants for exercising the right to remain exempt from ERISA requirements. Such hospitals and health systems should assess their...more

The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Regulations: The Principal Transactions Exemption

This post continues our examination of the Department of Labor’s suite of final fiduciary and conflict of interest regulations. Our prior posts discussed the newly expanded definition of “investment advice fiduciary” and the...more

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