Employee Benefits Retirement

News & Analysis as of

Multiemployer Pension Plans - Withdrawal Liability is Mounting

There are approximately 1,400 multiemployer pension plans and nearly 10 percent are projected to become insolvent within the next 15 years. Plan insolvency will trigger a termination and the assessment of withdrawal...more

Employee Benefits: A Major Curtailment of the IRS Determination Letter Program Will Impose New Compliance Burdens on Sponsoring...

The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") announced, on July 21, 2015, a major curtailment of its determination letter program for individually designed qualified retirement plans ("Individually Designed Plans") that will impose...more

GASB Changes Governmental Entity Accounting Disclosure Rules for Retiree Health Benefits

The General Accountability Standards Board (GASB) recently issued new standards that govern the disclosure of post-employment benefits in financial statements. Specifically, new GASB standards require state and municipal...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

Appellate Court Notes

- Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: - SC19422 - Awdziewicz v. Meriden Certain police officers retired, entitling them to pension benefits under the City Charter as previously modified in a separate lawsuit...more

House and Senate Appropriations Committees Approve Funding Bills with Riders Targeting DOL, NLRB Initiatives

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees advanced bills this week to fund various federal agencies for FY 2016. Each chamber approved versions of spending measures that include riders prohibiting funding for a...more

For Life Insurers and Agents – A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule (the “Proposal”), 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...more

DOL Proposal Would Fundamentally Alter Fiduciary Relationship

Nearly five years after proposing a failed rule that would have dramatically expanded the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Department of Labor has decided to try...more

Federal Agencies Issue Regulations Governing Benefit Reductions and Partitions for Underfunded Multiemployer Pension Plans

On June 17, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) released several regulatory measures implementing the multiemployer pension plan amendments that were enacted in...more

SEC Extends Rule 482 Relief to Non-ERISA Retirement Plans

The SEC staff issued a no-action letter on February 18 that is important for many participant-directed individual account retirement plans (including some established under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code) that...more

Sixth Circuit Holds No Disgorgement of Profits Based on Wrongfully Denied ERISA Disability Benefits

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, recently decided a closely-watched case regarding the scope of "other appropriate equitable relief" under ERISA Section 502(a)(3). In Rochow v. LINA, the court held that...more

Employee Benefits Developments May 2015

Several years ago, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a regulation that would have redefined the term “fiduciary.” The proposed regulation received a great deal of criticism, prompting the DOL to withdraw its proposal. In...more

Mandatory Provident Fund in Hong Kong: What is on the Horizon?

The Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes (Amendment) Bill 2014 (“Bill”) was passed by the Legislative Council in January 2015 to amend the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (“MPFSO”) and its subsidiary legislation. Some...more

From Hiring To Firing: A Basic Guide To The Singapore Employment Law Life Cycle

In Singapore, we are restricted for regulatory reasons (as are most international/foreign registered law firms) from practising local law. This means that if a matter needs advice on any Singapore law issues we will arrange...more

Be Careful What You Promise Employees Who Leave Your Employment

Clients sometimes like to ease the transition for employees who are retiring or whom the client would like to encourage to leave. One strategy is to continue the employee “on payroll” for a period of time with the expectation...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2015

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Notice 2015-16, intending to initiate and inform the process of developing regulatory guidance regarding the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage. The...more

Employee Benefits Developments - February 2015

ERISA § 4062(e) Liability Enforcement Returns--Applicable to Defined Benefit Plans and Succession of Operations at Facility. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) § 4062(e) originally imposed liability...more

Employee Benefits Developments - January 2015

IRS Publishes FAQs Regarding Rollovers of After-Tax Contributions. In the December 2014 issue of Employee Benefits Developments, we reported on IRS Notice 2014-54, which allows participants to direct and allocate after-tax...more

Supreme Court Rejects Analysis of Duration of Retiree Benefits As Contrary to Contract Law

On January 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States resolved a long-standing dispute between the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the remainder of the federal judiciary in a case concerning the extent to which...more

Supreme Court Rejects Yard-Man: Ordinary Contract Principles Apply When Interpreting Retiree Medical Promises

The Supreme Court has unanimously vacated a Sixth Circuit ruling that a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) vested retirees with lifetime medical benefits. M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 759...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rebukes Reliance on Yard-Man In Retiree Health Benefit Dispute

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Sixth Circuit’s reliance on retiree-friendly inferences set forth in UAW v. Yard-Man are incompatible with ordinary principles of contract interpretation and should not be used when...more

Supreme Court Decides M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, holding that ordinary principles of contract law govern the interpretation of pension and insurance provisions of...more

November and December 2014 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties and excise taxes. To...more

Retirement Plan Sponsors Should Know Their Role as Plan Fiduciaries

I love professional wrestling and I’m not afraid to admit. Yes, I know it’s not real just like I know the Ewings don’t live on Southfork Ranch. Maybe it’s in my blood since both of my grandfathers watch it, but I find the...more

Does your Company’s Retirement Plan Need to be Restated?

Between May 1, 2014 and April 30, 2016, all pre-approved defined contribution plans (e.g. most 401(k), profit sharing, money purchase and other qualified plans) must be restated to reflect the provisions of the Pension...more

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