Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

U.S. Supreme Court Abolishes the Presumption of Prudence in ERISA Stock Drop Cases

A recurring scenario in ERISA litigation involves claims against fiduciaries of 401(k) retirement plans who are alleged to have breached their fiduciary duty by failing to discontinue investment in employer stock following a...more

Health Care Alert: Supreme Court Limits Agency Fees to Full-Fledged Public Employees

In a decision that could have a significant financial impact on many labor unions, the U.S. Supreme Court has held that personal care providers, who are considered state employees only for limited collective bargaining...more

Recent Employee Benefits Developments

Amending Retirement Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Plan sponsors need to review retirement plan documents and operations to determine whether changes are needed in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S....more

Supreme Court Issues Decisions that Change Employment Law Landscape

The U.S. Supreme Court wrapped up its 2013 session by handing down three decisions that may significantly affect recent controversial rulings by the National Labor Relations Board, Affordable Care Act mandates on employer...more

Employment Law - July 2014

Recess Is Over: Supreme Court Strikes NLRB Appointments - Why it matters: Striking a blow to the President and the National Labor Relations Board, the U.S. Supreme Court held that three recess appointments made by...more

Updated Model COBRA and CHIPRA Notices

Since January 1, 2014, individuals and employees have been able to purchase medical health insurance coverage through federal and state exchanges (the “Exchanges”). Questions have remained, however, as to how health coverage...more

Employee Benefits: Important Wellness Plan and Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder Parity Effective Dates Have Arrived!

Employers and insurers offering medical plans: take note! Two important final regulations issued jointly by the IRS, DOL and HHS (the “Departments”) apply to plan years (or, in the individual market, policy years) beginning...more

PBGC Supports Lifetime Income

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recently issued a proposed regulation designed to encourage participants in defined contribution plans (e.g., 401(k) plans) to roll over their account balances to their...more

De Facto Plan Administrator Claims in the First Circuit

According to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(c)(1)(B) of ERISA, it is within a court’s discretion to award a penalty of up to $110 per day based on an administrator’s failure to comply with a plan participant’s or beneficiary’s request for...more

Plan Sponsors Should Avoid Using Their Payroll Provider as Their 401(k) TPA

I stick to what I know, so I venture very little outside the retirement plan space. I do that because I believe it is less likely to cause trouble. The two largest payroll providers don’t follow that philosophy -- they are...more

Supreme Court Rejects “Presumption of Prudence,” Adopts New Pleading Standards in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued its highly anticipated decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, No. 12-751. In an opinion written by Justice Breyer for a unanimous court, the Supreme Court held...more

Healthcare Ethics and Compliance Program Requirements

The Affordable Care Act included a mandate that medical service providers and suppliers enact compliance programs as a condition of participating in federal health care programs. (The ACA also set a deadline of March 23,...more

No Return Date, No Problem: Seventh Circuit Reverses FMLA Summary Judgment for Employer

On June 24, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that an employee did not forfeit her right to leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to care for her seriously ill adult daughter by...more

D.C. Circuit Rules That "Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies" Is Not Required For Violations of ERISA’S Statutory Guarantees:...

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has joined five other federal circuits to rule that pension plan participants need not exhaust a plan’s internal remedial procedures before they file suit in...more

ESOP Fiduciaries Not Entitled to Presumption of Prudence

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that there is no presumption of prudence for fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) who invest in employer securities. The case...more

Single Act of Disobedience Does Not Disqualify Employee From Unemployment Benefits, California High Court Rules

On July 3, 2014, the California Supreme Court decided whether a single act of disobedience by an employee constitutes misconduct within the meaning of section 1256 of California’s Unemployment Insurance Code, thereby...more

ESOPs’ Fables: On Winning Wars but Losing Battles

As the end of the Supreme Court term approached, decisions came down fast and furious. Last week’s big decisions, at least around our nerdish water cooler, were Halliburton and Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer. (Yes, we...more

Monthly Benefits Update

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court held that regulations under the Affordable Care Act that require employer group health plans to provide contraceptive coverage violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)....more

Money purchase deconstructed: Working with the new definition – a checklist for trustees and administrators

The definition of money purchase benefits is changing, and with it the rules on how schemes are required to deal with any benefit which becomes classified as ‘non-money purchase’. More information about these affected...more

Executive Briefing

In its decision on Templemire v. W&M Welding, Inc., the Missouri Supreme Court imposed a minimalist “contributing factor” causation standard on workers’ compensation retaliation claims. The decision overrules two precedents,...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2014

In This Issue: - Rulings, Opinions, Etc. ..Validating Rollover Contributions: New Guidance - Case ..Stock Drop Case Development: The Supreme Court Rejects The Presumption Of Prudence ..Dividend...more

Flexible Working Extended to All Employees in the United Kingdom

As of yesterday, 30 June 2014, any employee with at least 26 weeks’ service will enjoy a statutory right to request a flexible working arrangement (usually part-time or changed hours or working from home). This replaces the...more

Various Changes To The Law On Occupational Pensions

Yesterday an act has entered into force which makes various changes to the legal framework of occupational pensions for employees, self-employed individuals and self-employed company leaders. You will need to assess...more

EEOC Sues Employer for Imposing "Onionhead" Religious Beliefs

Within the next several days, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to release its decision regarding the government’s authority under the Affordable Care Act to require private employers to provide contraceptive care to...more

Supreme Court Decides ESOP Fiduciary Duty Case: Fifth Third Bancorp et al. v. Dudenhoeffer et al.

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Fifth Third Bancorp et al. v. Dudenhoeffer et al., No. 12-751, holding that a fiduciary of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is subject to the same duty of prudence that...more

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