Pensions

News & Analysis as of

Penalties Increased for Employee Benefit Plan Violations

Recently-enacted legislation has increased many penalty amounts for certain employee benefit plan violations. The new penalties – some of which are more than double previous amounts – were adjusted to catch up with inflation...more

Avoid The Norma Principle

The Peter Principle is a management theory concept in which the selection of a candidate for a position is based on the candidate’s performance in their current role, rather than on abilities relevant to the intended role. So...more

Government Set to Overhaul Taxation on Termination Payments

Currently, non-contractual compensation payments made solely on account of termination of an individual’s employment enjoy a favourable tax treatment in two respects – the payment can be made without deduction of income tax...more

"Employment Flash - August 2016"

The August 2016 edition of Employment Flash covers a number of developments, including the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling on when the clock starts ticking on the filing period for constructive discharge claims; the Department of...more

Environmental, Social and Governance Factors: Does Failure to Consider ESG Issues Constitute a Breach of Fiduciary Duty?

Changes made to the Ontario Pension Benefits Act and Regulation (the “Ontario PBA”), which came into force on January 1, 2016, now require a pension plan’s statement of investment policies and procedures (“SIPP”) to include...more

Teamsters’ Central States Pension Plan: A Saga Becomes a Nightmare?

Created in 1955, the CSPP remains one of the largest and oldest multiemployer pension plans in the United States, funding the pensions of 400,000 active and retired Teamsters. Shockingly, with the decline in the unionized...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review

Agencies Issue Proposal on Method to Adjust Threshold for Exempting Small Loans from Special Appraisal Requirements - On July 22, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Reserve Board and the Office...more

The Financial Report, Volume 5, Number 15 (Global)

Discussion and Analysis - I’ve been glued to my TV and my computer watching the “Games of the Thirty-First Olympiad in Rio de Janeiro.” Although the coverage, of course, focuses substantially on US athletes, NBC and...more

U.S. employers targeted by lawsuits claiming excessive fees in employee retirement and savings plans: Could it happen in Canada?

I recently wrote about the legal risks regarding plan fees that should be considered by Canadian employers who sponsor group registered retirement savings plans and defined contribution pension plans....more

Challenge to Pension Fund Investment Decision Time Barred

A federal district court in California held that a complaint filed by members of the International Union of Operating Engineers that challenged pension plan trustees’ decision to make certain investments was filed five days...more

Military Pensions Could See Significant Changes

Pending Federal legislation could have a huge impact on how judges will divide military pensions during a divorce. In a previous post, I discussed at length how military pension plans currently could be divided in the context...more

Case Note: The Underfunded Union Pension Plan and Asset Purchase Agreements

In a decision handed down by the Seventh Circuit on June 24, 2016, the court warned that a lack of familiarity with the concept of withdrawal liability cannot be used by a buyer of business assets as an excuse to avoid...more

How should employers deal with pensions in a severance package?

HR professionals often ask us how to deal with pension issues when they structure severance packages for non-union employees. Should employees continue to earn pension benefits after termination of employment?  If so, for how...more

Case Note: Fifth Circuit Interprets "Vested" and "Accrued" For Governmental Pension Benefits

Jim Griffin In a decision issued on July 1, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit considered whether changes that were made to the City of Fort Worth pension plan violated the Texas constitution’s...more

ERISA Litigation Newsletter - July 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we take a look at the plaintiffs' past successes in fee litigations, and the influx of such lawsuits seeking to impose heightened fiduciary standards for 401(k) plans. Regardless of the...more

New Court Decisions Reinforce Need for Benefit Communications Policy

In my last post to this blog I extolled the virtues of a benefit communications policy for HR professionals who communicate pensions and benefits to fellow employees. I pointed out that years of benefit miscommunication has...more

Under Review: Solvency Funding Reform for Ontario Sponsors of Single Employer Pension Plans

On July 26, 2016, Ontario released a consultation paper, “Review of Ontario’s Solvency Funding Framework for Defined Benefit Pension Plans” (Consultation Paper). The Consultation Paper is open for comment until September 30,...more

Prevailing in an Era of Regulatory Enforcement – Balancing Risk and Compliance [Expect Focus – Vol. II, July 2016]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT - - SEC Sanctions Unregistered EB-5 Investments Broker SECURITIES - - FINRA to Assess Member Firms’ Culture - SEC Seeks Fund Responses to Distribution-In-Guise Guidance...more

Pension Income Stream Products Worry FINRA

Some SEC-registered broker-dealers connect individuals wishing to cash in on their future pension payments with potential investors in such income streams. In April, the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (FINRA)...more

Pension Consultant Found Not to be an ERISA Fiduciary

The Tenth Circuit held that a pension plan consultant, who misstated the amount of monthly pension payments that a pension plan participant would receive in retirement, was not a fiduciary under ERISA. Plaintiffs Trent...more

Private Investment Fund Managers and Other Investment Advisers May Be Affected by the U.S. Department of Labor’s New Fiduciary...

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its highly anticipated final rule addressing when a person is considered to be a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the...more

Pensions Round-Up: June 2016 (UK)

Welcome to the latest edition of Pensions Round-Up which provides an overview of developments in pension legislation, case law and regulatory guidance. In this edition we look at key developments from June 2016 including...more

Appellate Division Finds c.78 Health Benefits Contributions Requirements Do Not Apply to Public Sector Disability Retirees

Last month, in Brick Twp. PBA Local 230 v. Twp. of Brick, the Appellate Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey confirmed that N.J.S.A. 40A:10-21.1, P.L. 2011, c. 78, § 42, more commonly known as Chapter 78, does not...more

Pension Fund Health-Check Required

The recent furore over the collapse of high street retailer BHS has caused fierce debate over whether companies, or their ultimate owners, are responsible for the upkeep of a pension plan. For private equity, the debate has...more

Department of Labor Increases Penalties for Certain ERISA Violations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published on July 1, 2016, an interim final rule adjusting the civil monetary penalties that it can enforce. These adjustments are the result of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation...more

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