Employee Retirement Income Security Act Employee Benefits

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

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

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2015

Supreme Court: Plan Fiduciaries Have a Continuing Duty to Monitor Plan Investments. In 2007, participants and beneficiaries under a 401(k) plan sued the plan fiduciaries and the plan sponsor to recover damages for alleged...more

The Supreme Court Addresses Federal Health Care Subsidies and Same-Sex Marriage

Two recent Supreme Court decisions have implications for employee benefit plan sponsors: King v. Burwell, decided June 25, 2015, and Obergefell v. Hodges, decided June 26, 2015....more

Reminder: Non-Grandfathered Plans Must Implement Embedded Out-of-Pocket Maximums

As employers and plans prepare for 2016 open enrollment, they must be sure to address in their benefit design and with their third party vendors the new embedded out-of-pocket maximum limitations on individuals that were...more

So Same-Sex Marriage Is Legal … Now What? Important Decisions Employers Face Now

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution requires all 50 states to license marriages between same-sex couples and to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state....more

New Oregon Laws: Criminal Background Checks and State Retirement Savings Plan - “Ban the Box” and Oregon Retirement Savings Plan...

Two new Oregon laws establish policies regarding employer criminal background checks and questions for applicants and a state-run retirement savings plan. In part, Enrolled House Bill 3025 (HB 3025) bans the practice by some...more

Monthly Benefits Alert - June 2015

Supreme Court - As explained in more detail in separate alerts we issued over the past several days, the Supreme Court decided two major cases involving the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage. First, as described...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

The U.S. Supreme Court Finds a Constitutional Right to Same-Sex Marriage: Implications for Employee Benefit Plan Sponsors

On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a historic decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses require states to allow same-sex marriage and to...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

Class Action Suit Alleges Dave & Buster’s Cut Employee Work Hours to Skirt ACA Obligation to Offer Health Coverage

In the first lawsuit of its kind, a purported class of approximately 10,000 workers at Dave & Buster’s, the restaurant chain, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York (Marin v. Dave & Buster’s, Inc., S.D.N.Y., No....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

What does "will be insured" actually mean?

Balancing obligations to provide health and life insurance benefits to retirees with other legitimate business needs can be tricky. Although retirees depend on the benefits, employers may need to modify benefit plans for...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

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