Employee Retirement Income Security Act

Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1974 to set minimum standards for pension and health plans in the private sector and to protect participants in those plans.... more +
Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1974 to set minimum standards for pension and health plans in the private sector and to protect participants in those plans.  ERISA requires plans to provide information to participants, establishes a grievance process,  and allows participants to sue for benefits or breach of fiduciary duties.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Why a Plan Sponsor Shold Seek Out a Retirement Plan "Dentist"

More than a dozen years ago, there was a medical report that dental plaque could cause heart disease. I thought it was some sort of dental conspiracy to increase revenue as fluoridated water and other dental hygiene has had...more

The Brave New Fiduciary World Has Arrived – The DOL Tries to Find a More Ideal Balance in the Final “Investment Advice” Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) on April 6, 2016 released the final version of its “investment advice” regulation and accompanying prohibited transaction exemptions, a highly-anticipated milestone that is the...more

Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury Departments Release New Summary of Benefits and Coverage Templates and Accompanying...

The Departments of Health and Human Services (“HHS”), Labor (“DOL”), and Treasury (the “Departments”) have jointly released final changes to the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (“SBC”) template, the Uniform Glossary, and...more

Employee Benefits Developments - May 2016

Agencies Issue New FAQs on the Affordable Care Act.The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (the agencies) issued another set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the implementation of...more

The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Rule: The Best Interest Contract Exemption

Last month the U.S. Department of Labor published a suite of final regulations governing the fiduciary status of, and prescribing conflict of interest rules that apply to, persons who provide investment advice to...more

DOL Fiduciary Rule Re-Makes Retail IRA Advice

Congress voted this week to de-rail the Department of Labor’s sweeping fiduciary-duty suite of rule-making, but doesn’t have the votes to override the President’s threatened veto....more

The DOL Script

I had a client who had been undergoing a Department of Labor (DOL) audit. Their mistake? Years ago, a former participant asked for a distribution from this trustee directed profit sharing plan (so no 401(k)) and my client...more

DOL’S New Fiduciary Conflicts of Interest Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced a new suite of Rules that are a game-changer for any Financial Institution that gives investment advice (including rollovers and distributions) to owners or beneficiaries of...more

ERISA — 9th Circuit: Plaintiffs Can Now Simultaneously Bring Benefit Payment and Equitable Claims

Lane Powell attorney Mike Baylous writes an excellent summary here on big changes to ERISA in the 9th Circuit. Remember that old argument that equitable claims should be dismissed because they are duplicative?...more

Ninth Circuit Finds That Purpose Of Stock Rights Plan Matters

Most equity award plans that I come across include a statement of the plan’s purposes. I haven’t tended to give these provisions a whole lot of thought, but an opinion issued yesterday by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal...more

It Happened, It Happened: Small 401(k) Plan Sued

I love boxing and one of my favorite fights is when George Foreman shocked the world and knocked out Michael Moorer to become heavyweight champion at age 45. Jim Lampley doing the HBO broadcast proclaimed: “it happened! It...more

Health Update - May 2016

Actions to Advance Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health - Editor's Note: Children's earliest experiences—both positive and negative—impact their brain formation and in turn their social and emotional, physical,...more

Spokeo and the Future of ERISA Litigation?

Seyfarth Synopsis: The Supreme Court’s Spokeo decision is sure to impact ERISA litigation. Expect ERISA plaintiffs to focus more on alleging a “concrete” injury, and ERISA defendants to argue more often that the claim cannot...more

ERISA Preemption: Don't Tread on my Uniform System of Plan Administration

On March 1 the U.S. Supreme Court again reinforced the broad preemptive scope of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C.A. §1001. In Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, the court...more

ERISA: Reviewing What Needs to Be Proved to Establish the Suicide Exclusion

For many reasons, some of the toughest cases to litigate involve the application of the suicide exclusion. There is a growing body of evidence challenging suicide exclusion determinations....more

The Bottom Line On What Retirement Plan Sponsors Need To Do

I worked for a third party administrator (TPA) for almost 5 years and one of my favorite things about the boss there was that he just wanted to cut to the chase. We had an actuary who developed a speech im- pediment when he...more

Second Circuit Applies Stricter Rules for a Plan Administrator’s Noncompliance with Benefit Claims Regulations

In Depth - On April 12, 2016, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Halo v. Yale Health Plan, 2016 WL 1426291 (2d Cir. Apr. 12, 2016), addressed various issues that could arise during a plan administrator’s...more

DOL Rules that Target Fiduciary Conflict of Interests May Impact Employee Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries

“Middle class economics means that Americans should be able to retire with dignity after a lifetime of hard work. But loopholes in the retirement advice rules have allowed some brokers and other advisers to recommend products...more

Health Care Providers Can Fight Back Against Insurer Recoupment Demands Using ERISA

In the daily skirmishes between health care providers and payors, this scenario is not uncommon: A health care provider renders services to a patient and submits a reimbursement claim to the patient’s insurer. The insurer...more

EEOC Issues Final Rules On Wellness Programs

Concluding many years of uncertainty regarding the EEOC’s official enforcement position, on May 16, 2016, the agency issued two sets of final regulations affecting employer-sponsored wellness programs. The EEOC’s proposed...more

EEOC Issues Final Regulations on Wellness Programs

Employers who provide employees with incentives to encourage healthy behavior must contend with an alphabet soup of federal law--ERISA, GINA, HIPAA, the ACA, the ADA, just to name a few. Earlier this week, the EEOC weighed...more

Department of Labor Fiduciary Rule: Employers Should Not Overlook Impact on HSAs

The new Department of Labor rule defining the scope of who is an ERISA fiduciary has caused much consternation among investment professionals. Much of the new rule is focused on reworking the outer fringes of the ERISA...more

Might You Be Stumbling Into Being Subject to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest Regulatory World?

The U. S. Department of Labor’s Conflict of Interest regulatory package (the “COI Rules”) reaches far more than traditional trustees named in retirement plan documents. Many financial advisors, tax advisors, investment...more

You can say no

I always believe that regardless of whether it’s business or in regular day-to-day life, that you can’t be everything for everybody. Being honest with that is only half the battle. A lot of times, I met folks who are...more

New Fiduciary Rule for Retirement Plans

On April 6, 2016 the Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration ("EBSA") issued its long awaited final rule redefining a fiduciary investment advisor (also known as the "conflict of interest rule"),...more

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