News & Analysis as of

Two law school professors and their 401(k) study

There is a tendency to shoot the messenger because folks don’t like the message. I ought to know. Whether it was in college, law school, or working at a third party administrator, I was the messenger of some terrible news....more

Advisors Advantage - January 2014

Things They Never Tell You as a Retirement Plan Provider. Stuff plan providers should avoid. I always say that whatever I learned as an ERISA attorney and the retirement plan business; I couldn't have learned...more

New DOL Fiduciary Rule delayed again

If you were busy like I was the last week of December (mainly with my kids being homes), you might have missed articles concerning the Department of Labor (DOL) and the proposed fiduciary rule. The DOL, for years, has been...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2013

This month we return to the age-old question – "What makes someone a fiduciary?" As Nicole Eichberger explains, the Seventh Circuit reminded us that the meaning of a "functional fiduciary" depends on exercise/conduct in...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

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

DOL Issues Advisory Opinion Regarding Use of a Mutual Fund “Summary Prospectus” under PTE 77-4

The Department of Labor (the “DOL”) recently issued Advisory Opinion 2013-04A clarifying mutual fund prospectus delivery requirements under section II(d) of Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 77-4 (“PTE 77-4”). PTE 77-4...more

DOL Issues Advisory Opinion Regarding Use of a Mutual Fund “Summary Prospectus” under PTE 77-4

The Department of Labor (the “DOL”) recently issued Advisory Opinion 2013-04A clarifying mutual fund prospectus delivery requirements under section II(d) of Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 77-4 (“PTE 77-4”). PTE 77-4...more

DOL Issues Guidance on Plan Asset Status of Revenue Sharing Payments

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance on whether accounts holding revenue sharing payments constitute “plan assets” under ERISA. Prior to the issuance of the DOL guidance, it was unclear whether these...more

U.S. Department of Labor Provides a Reminder to Plan Sponsors and Committees of Certain Fiduciary Responsibilities

Some mutual funds (and possibly other funds) that are made available by a 401k plan for investment by its participants may make payments to the plan's record-keeper (and perhaps other service providers) for certain services...more

New 401(k) Fee Controversy Goes Viral: What Should Fiduciaries Really Be Looking At?

The web was on fire this past week with reports from advisers whose clients had received some very unusual letters from a Yale law professor who doesn’t teach an ERISA course....more

DOL Proposed Regulation Sent to OMB

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has posted that it received a proposed regulation from the Department of Labor. Unfortunately, it is not the much-anticipated proposed regulation on fiduciary advice. Instead, it is a...more

DOL Clarifies Revenue Sharing Fiduciary Responsibility Issues

Advisory opinion on "plan asset" issue lays out factors for fiduciary consideration. On July 3, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Advisory Opinion 2013-03A, which discusses whether a bookkeeping account for...more

View From Proskauer: Top 10 Summary Plan Description Issues Not Addressed in the ERISA Regulations

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requires employee benefit plans to provide a summary plan description (SPD) to participants and beneficiaries and also sets forth the minimum required information...more

Current Fiduciary & ERISA Issues in Qualified Plans

Topics we will cover: • Introduction • Issues with Control Groups • Issues with Prohibited Transactions • Fee Disclosure - Excerpt from Who is in the Control Group? • Aggregation Rules (Section...more

DOL Releases Fiduciary Tips for Selecting Target Date Funds

In recent years, target date funds (TDFs) have become a popular investment option for many 401(k) plan participants. By investing in a mix of stocks, bonds and other investments, often through investments in other mutual...more

Monthly Benefits Update - March 2013

Health Care Reform: Agencies Issue Proposed Regulations on 90-Day Waiting Period Limitation - On March 21, the IRS, DOL, and Department of Health and Human Services issued proposed regulations on the 90-day waiting...more

DOL Releases Informal Guidance Addressing Fiduciary Responsibilities With Respect to Target Date Funds

Recent U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) guidance underscores the need for plan fiduciaries to rigorously examine and monitor target date fund (TDFs), and potentially explore the use of custom or non-proprietary TDFs....more

Retirement Plan Sponsors Have More to Fear Than Fear Itself

In his inaugural address in 1933 amidst the Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that the only thing we had to fear was “fear itself”. 1933 predates ERISA by 40+ years, so FDR clearly didn’t understand the dilemmas of...more

DOL Clarifies Application of ERISA Rules to Cleared Swaps

New guidance defers to the Dodd-Frank/CFTC framework for regulating the swaps clearing process. On February 7, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued an advisory opinion on the application of the ERISA fiduciary rules...more

Swapping Uncertainty for Clarity – U.S. Department of Labor Issues ERISA Opinion on Swaps

Much of the investment capital in the U.S. market is in retirement plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). Over the years, an important element of a number of plans’ investment...more

2012 in Review: ERISA Individual Prohibited Transaction Exemptions

In 2012, the Department of Labor (DOL) continued a fairly active program of issuing individual exemptions from the prohibited transaction rules of ERISA. These rules generally prohibit, among other things: - Sale and...more

Where’s My Fee Disclosure Information?

As we discussed in our previous Benefits eAuthority regarding the final rules on service provider fee disclosures, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued final regulations setting forth the fee disclosure obligations for...more

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