Employee Benefits Employee Retirement Income Security Act

News & Analysis as of

Not all Plans can Establish a Shortened Limitations Period for Filing Lawsuit

I recently blogged about a case in which a plan had established a shorter period of time (one year deadline) for filing a lawsuit, rather than relying on the state statute of limitation (six years) which would otherwise have...more

Civil Unions in NJ – What you Need to Know.

Same-sex couples now have the right to marry, and neither the federal nor any state government can deny anyone that right. On June 26, 2013 – a watershed moment in the history of the law and our nation – the U.S. Supreme...more

Is Your Severance Policy an ERISA Plan?

Severance plans are generally covered under ERISA, but it is not always easy to distinguish an ERISA-covered severance plan from a non-ERISA severance policy. There are advantages and disadvantages to being an ERISA-covered...more

A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule, which defines the term "fiduciary" as it applies to persons who provide "investment advice" to ERISA plans and IRAs, will impact the likelihood and severity of fiduciary...more

Employee Benefits Developments - September 2015

IRS Issues New Draft Form 1095-C and Instructions. On August 6, 2015, the IRS published its most recent updates to Form 1095-C and the instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Beginning in early 2016, applicable large...more

Participants in Top Hat Plans Must Exhaust Administrative Remedies

So-called “Top Hat” plans are nonqualified deferred compensation plans for a select group of management or highly compensated employees. These executive compensation arrangements are exempt from many ERISA provisions, but are...more

Don’t Play Hide the Ball with Your Claims Procedure

ERISA does not have a statute of limitations for lawsuits brought by participants to check claim benefits under the plan. Instead, courts borrow from similar state statutes of limitations. In a decision two years ago, the US...more

Court of Appeals to Plan Administrators: Inform Claimants of Time Limits on Front End of Discussions

Recently, in Mirza v. Insurance Administrator of Am., Inc., __ F.3d__ (3d. Cir. 2015), the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit was asked to determine whether plan administrators are required to include a...more

DOL to Provide Guidance Regarding State-Based Retirement Programs

In recent years, several states, including Illinois, have passed laws that would require employers who do not offer retirement plans to automatically enroll employees into IRAs. However, there has been concern regarding...more

Major Revisions to Qualified Plan Determination Letter Process Announced

Effective January 1, 2017, the staggered five-year determination letter remedial amendment cycles for individually designed plans will be eliminated, the IRS announced in Announcement 2015-19. Additionally, according to the...more

PBGC Proposes Changes to Plan Reporting Requirements

Section 4010 of ERISA requires reporting to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) of actuarial and financial information by plan sponsors of certain underfunded single-employer defined benefit pension plans. The...more

Employee Benefits Alert - August 2015

Retirement Plans - IRS Issues Guidance on Benefit Suspension Voting under MPRA - As we have written in prior alerts, the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) permits trustees of financially troubled...more

Employee Benefits Developments August 2015

Certain Closely Held For-Profit Employers Need Not Provide Women’s Contraceptive Services. Under the ACA, non-grandfathered group health plans must cover specified preventive services, including certain women’s preventive...more

Employee Benefits Law Alert

Third Circuit Clamps Down On ERISA Notice Requirements - Plan administrators beware. The Third Circuit Court of Appeal’s recent decision in Mirza v. Insurance Administrator of America, Inc. may change the way that you...more

DOL Hearings Debate “Fiduciary Duty” not “Suitability” Standard for Retirement Accounts

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL“) recently heard public comment to its proposed regulatory changes implementing a fiduciary duty on any individual receiving compensation for advice tailored to a plan sponsor, participant...more

Impact of the Same-Sex Marriage Decision on Employee Benefit Plans

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court held that states may not deny same-sex couples the right to marry, finding that doing so violates the Fourteenth Amendment. Writing for the five-justice majority, Justice Kennedy...more

Limiting an Employee’s Hours to Avoid Offering Group Health Plan Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act: Evaluating the Risks...

Business leaders and human resources and employee benefits professionals are well aware of potential minefields for employer group health plan sponsors under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Large employer plan sponsors are...more

Employee Benefits Alert - July 2015

Major Revisions to Qualified Plan Determination Letter Process Announced - Effective January 1, 2017, the staggered five-year determination letter remedial amendment cycles for individually designed plans will be...more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2015

Second Circuit Holds That Posthumous QDROs Are Valid. Yale-New Haven Hospital brought an action in federal court to resolve competing claims by a former spouse of a deceased participant and the deceased participant’s...more

Benefits Litigation Update – July 2015

Welcome to the new, rejuvenated version of the Benefits Litigation Update, which we bring you jointly with the law firm of Epstein Becker Green. Our goal is to provide a concise and, we hope, insightful glimpse into recent...more

Obergefell v. Hodges – Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in all 50 States

Same-sex Marriage Now Legal in All 50 States - In 2013, the Supreme Court, in United States v. Windsor, struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) which defined marriage, for Federal purposes, as...more

Focus on Private Equity - July 2015

What Private Equity Funds Should Know About ERISA: Basics of ERISA Coverage - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) imposes numerous duties on fiduciaries holding employee benefit...more

ERISA’s Exhausting and Exasperating Exhaustion Requirement and the Exceptions Medical Providers Seeking Full Reimbursement From...

The first Alert in this two-part series discussed three common issues facing out-of-network medical providers in asserting reimbursement claims against employee benefits plan administrators (whether an insurance company or...more

IRS Moves to Prohibit Lump Sum Windows for Retirees

The IRS issued Notice 2015-49 (the "Notice") on July 9, 2015, effectively ending the ability of sponsors of qualified defined benefit pension plans ("DB Plan") to "de-risk" their plans by offering participants in pay status...more

The Obergefell Decision and Employers

The recent United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges significantly altered the legal landscape with respect to same-sex marriages, finding that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution...more

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