Employee Retirement Income Security Act 401k

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

Advisors have to offer Investment Education

Advisors ask me all the time of the role of education in participant directed 401(k) plans. Participant directed 401(k) plans that are governed under ERISA §404(c) offer the plan sponsors liability protection based on a...more

Eleventh Circuit Joins Fourth Circuit in Rejecting Continuing Breach Approach to ERISA's Statute of Limitation

When a participant of a defined contribution plan complains that the plan fiduciaries breached their duties in failing to remove poor performing funds from the 401(k)’s investment options, is the date of the breach when the...more

Fiduciary Breach Claims Barred by ERISA’s Six-Year Statute of Limitations

The Eleventh Circuit recently dismissed a participant’s fiduciary breach claims against SunTrust’s 401(k) plan fiduciary committee members on the ground that the claims for imprudently selecting certain investment options was...more

Your 401(k) Plan and the Shape of the Earth

I used to work with a very smart lawyer who said that he could give a legal opinion that the world was flat if his qualifying language was not limited. In that case, he would have stated something on the order of: this...more

“Toxic” TPAs a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Avoid Hiring

While most of the news about 401(k) plan fiduciaries and their responsibilities is about plan expenses, plan investments, and participant education, there is very little topic about the one issue that is important that most...more

The Wild Wild West of non-ERISA 403(b) Plans

I always say that as bad as 401(k) plans may be, 403(b) plans are in much worse shape. It didn’t help that the Internal Revenue Service only issued regulations that governed them only 30 years too late, back in 2008. It also...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2014

The employee benefits issues to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court continue to be of great significance to plan sponsors and fiduciaries. This month we review the Court's employee benefit decisions from 2013 and also...more

Is There An Elephant In The Room?

401(k) Plan documents can read like Russian novels. They are often long and difficult to understand, so it’s no surprise that administrative errors in operating such plans happen frequently. Common errors include omitting or...more

Who's Checking The Person Who Checked The Boxes?

A Lesson In 401(k) Prototype Documents - Most small to mid-size employers sponsoring a 401(k) plan maintain their plan on a pre-approved prototype document. If you’re not familiar with the term pre-approved prototype...more

And still the #1 issue with 401(k) Plans

The fixation and discussion about plan expenses usually flares up when the stock market isn’t doing well. Two major corrections within a 10-year period (2000-2010) made fee disclosure regulations inevitable. With the way the...more

The Law Firm Review - January 2014

Future Threats That a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of. What might be good today, may not be good tomorrow. What was good yesterday might not be a good today. Asbestos was a great fireproof building...more

Future Threats That a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of

What was good yesterday might not be a good today. Asbestos was a great fireproof building material until it was found to cause asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma Thalidomide was a great drug for morning sickness until it...more

Supreme Court to Decide Applicability of the “Prudence Presumption” in ERISA Stock Cases: ESOP and 401(k) Plan Sponsors and...

Introduction - In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether investments in employer stock are entitled to a “prudence presumption” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act...more

Supreme Court to Address Presumption of Prudence for ERISA “Stock Drop” Cases

The Supreme Court agreed on December 13, 2013 to review an issue critical to ERISA “stock drop” cases and important more generally for ERISA individual-account plans that invest in employer stock....more

Things They Never Tell You as a 401(k) Plan Sponsor

When my wife and I bought our house, there were quite a few things that the previous owner forgot to tell us such as the fact they never bothered to pull the pipes from the dental office run by a previous owner 20 years...more

Offering Self Directed Brokerage Accounts in a 401(k) Plan is a Bad Bet

I love Las Vegas and I hate to gamble, which explains why I haven’t been to Atlantic City since 1995. I love the sights, sounds, the entertainment, the food, and everything but gambling. I hate gambling because I don’t like...more

December 2013 and January 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

The Great Bundled vs. Unbundled 401(k) Provider Debate

In our lives, there are times when we have two important choices. It’s Coke vs. Pepsi, Mac vs. PC, Xbox vs. PlayStation (sorry Nintendo), Star Wars vs. Star Trek, and Marvel vs. DC. In the 401(k) space, it’s always bundled...more

The Smaller Stuff Creates the Biggest Liability Pitfalls for 401(k) Plan Sponsors

When I was a kid, I had an Intellivision. For those people born after 1980, Intelliivision was video game console that had better graphics than an Atari 2600 but people didn’t buy. One of my favorite games on Intellivision...more

Seventh Circuit Again Grants Class Certification In Excessive Fee Case

On remand from the Seventh Circuit, a federal district court in Illinois granted class certification in a case where participants in a Boeing 401(k) plan alleged that Boeing breached its fiduciary duties under ERISA by: (i)...more

10 Concepts That Every Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Know

Unless they are involved in the retirement plan industry a plan sponsor must delegate much of their duties to retirement plan providers that may include third party administrators (TPAs), financial advisors, and ERISA...more

Another Participant Challenge to Defined Benefit Plan Investments: Could Your Plan Defend its Investment Program?

The focus of U.S. litigation challenging plan investments has been 401(k) plans, but that may be changing. Defined benefit plan sponsors may have felt that they were immune to these types of claims because the funding rules...more

Fiduciary Implications of Revenue Sharing Arrangements

For years, 401(k) plan service providers have utilized revenue sharing arrangements to "share" in the revenue earned from plan investments as a source of compensation. Until recently, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") had...more

In Abbott, Seventh Circuit Refines Applicability of Class Action Device in Defined Contribution Challenge

In its continuing analysis of when a class may be certified in a case alleging breach of fiduciary duties with respect to a defined contribution plan, the Seventh Circuit, in Abbott v. Lockheed Martin Corporation, reversed...more

Treasury and IRS Issue Initial Guidance in Response to DOMA Decision

What you need to know: In response to the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor that restricting the federal definition of marriage to heterosexual marriage is unconstitutional, the Department of the...more

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