Employee Stock Ownership Plans

News & Analysis as of

Department of Treasury Issues 2015-2016 Priority Planning Guide

The Department of the Treasury issued its 2015-2016 Priority Guidance Plan detailing projects that it intends on dedicating resources to in the coming year. There are numerous employee benefits-related items in the plan....more

Craft Beer Industry Update: M&A ESOPs and Liquidity Transactions over the past 12 Months

Craft beer is at a turning point in the history of the industry. Craft beer has grown dramatically (about 20% in 2014) during a time when overall beer consumption has increased only 0.5%.1 This has changed everything -- from...more

Government Contractors Beware: Trying to Fit A Square Peg into A Round Hole

What may be standard in the corporate world can severely disrupt set-aside status in the highly-regulated government contract space. Take the recently-decided case of Precise Systems. ...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

Three Simple QDRO Tips to Make Your Agreements More Enforceable

The purpose of a settlement agreement is to resolve some or all of the outstanding issues in a pending case. In the divorce context, it is common for attorneys to use broad language in their agreements related to the...more

Declaration of Independence: Preserving the Role of the Independent Fiduciary Post-Dudenhoeffer

In the wake of Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer, a complaint that seeks to hold an ERISA fiduciary liable for failing to divest a plan of employer stock based solely upon publicly available information fails to state a plausible...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - June 2015

In This Issue: - Debruge and Childs Alabama Law Survey on Employee Privacy Laws Published to Practical Law - "WTF", Under the NLRB, Employers Should "Cut the Crap?" - Tom Brady, Deflategate, and Florida...more

Court Of Appeals Holds No ERISA Preemption Of Section 419(b)

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent holding in Sender v. Franklin Res., Inc., 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 10113 (9th Cir. Cal. June 16, 2015) is reasonably clear and yet there is much about the case that puzzles...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: 1,462. The total number of comments received by the Senate Finance Committee’s five bipartisan tax reform working groups in response to the committee’s request for public input on overhauling the nation’s...more

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes New Fiduciary Standard

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its highly anticipated, re-proposed regulation addressing when a person providing investment advice with respect to an employee benefit plan or individual retirement...more

The Times are Changing: A First Look at the DOL’s New Fiduciary Paradigm

On April 14, 2015, the US Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued its proposed rule clarifying when individuals and institutions providing advice to employee benefit plans and individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”) will be...more

New Fiduciary Regulations Require Retirement Investment Advisers to Act in Clients’ Best Interests

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued new proposed regulations that changed the definition of “fiduciary investment advice” as currently found in DOL Regulation 2510.3-21(c). These proposed rules also...more

DOL Reproposes Expanded ERISA Fiduciary Definition and Revised Complex of Exemptions

On April 14, 2015, after 43 months in development, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its reproposal to expand the “investment advice fiduciary” definition under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974,...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

"Dudenhoeffer: An Effective Tool to 'Weed Out Meritless' Employer Stock-Drop Claims?"

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 573 U.S. __, 134 S. Ct. 2459 (2014), a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held that fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) are not entitled to a special presumption that their...more

The Directed Trustee in the Post-Dudenhoeffer World

Overview - Court cases challenging the actions of Employee Retirement Income Security Act fiduciaries have continued unabated since the scandal of Enron in 2002. Since then, a large number of cases are in the ‘‘stock...more

Employee Share Schemes: ED

The Government has released the Exposure Draft for the proposed changes to the taxation of employee share and option plans (ESOPs). The Exposure Draft generally follows the Government’s announcement on 14 October 2014, but...more

Employers: 2015 deadlines approach to furnish incentive stock option and employee stock purchase plan information statements and...

Section 6039 of the Internal Revenue Code requires a corporation to furnish a written statement to any employee or former employee who either (i) exercised an incentive stock option within the meaning of Section 422 of the...more

In Post-Dudenhoeffer Decision, Class Action Plaintiffs Are Allowed to Pursue Their Claims For Fiduciary Breach Against Eastman...

A federal district court has permitted plaintiffs to pursue class actions against the fiduciaries of two Eastman Kodak defined contribution plans on the ground that those fiduciaries failed to prudently manage the plan funds....more

Ninth Circuit Applies Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer to Reverse Dismissal of Stock Drop Case

Speed Read - The Ninth Circuit becomes the first appellate court to interpret the Supreme Court’s Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer holding. In its ruling, the Ninth Circuit held that participants can maintain a claim...more

Labor & Employment E- Note - December 2014

In This Issue: - SCOTUS Says Firms Don't Have to Pay for Security Screening Time - EEOC Saw Decline in Discrimination Settlements, Number of Cases - HHS Closes Loophole Allowing Employers to Cut Hospital...more

Employee Benefits Developments - November 2014

Health Care Cost Consideration May Support Age Discrimination Claim. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturned a lower court’s summary judgment ruling against a plaintiff’s age discrimination...more

Australian government commits to reform tax treatment of employee stock awards: 5 takeaways for US-based companies

The Australian government has committed to reform the tax treatment of employee stock awards as part of its Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, in an effort to retain top talent and boost entrepreneurship in...more

Function over Form: The Impact of Separate Stock Classes on Veteran-Owned Firms

In my recent blog post about Employee Stock Ownership Plans (“ESOPS”), I discussed how the plans are treated differently under the Department of Veterans Affairs’ program (the “VA Program”) for Veteran-Owned and...more

Expect Focus - Regulators Are Watching: New Products, New Opportunities, New Risks - Volume III, Summer 2014

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT ..Standard CGL Policy Form Adds Data Breach Coverage Exclusion - LIFE INSURANCE ..Class Claims Against Lincoln National Barred in Section 419 Action – Again ...more

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