Pensions Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 Includes Pension and ACA Provisions

On November 2nd, the President signed legislation that will raise the debt ceiling through March 2017. The legislation includes important provisions relating to pension funding, PBGC premiums, and the Affordable Care...more

Employee Benefits Provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

The Bipartisan Budget Act includes the following important employee-benefit related provisions: - It repeals the automatic enrollment mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Under the ACA, employers with more than 200...more

Pension Plan Investments: ERISA Fiduciaries May Consider Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors Related to Economic Value

Over the past two decades, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a number of advisory opinions and interpretive bulletins on “economically targeted investments” (ETIs). These investments are generally defined as...more

FOS responds to pensions consultation

FOS has responded to Treasury’s consultation on pension transfers and early exit charges (see FReD 7 August). FOS responds that it has not, to date, received many enquiries and complaints concerning exit charges and fees but...more

Employee Benefits Developments - October 2015

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), consistent with prior regulations from the Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS), issued supplemental proposed regulations requiring employer sponsored health plans to provide...more

What Does the Trust Requirement of ERISA Mean?

ERISA requires that plan assets be held in trust so that they are protected from claims of the employer. With pension plans, it is generally easy to determine when assets become plan assets and when they should be held in...more

Commons committee reports on pensions

In its first report of the session, the Work and Pensions Committee has reported that the “freedom to choose” reforms to pensions introduced in April 2015 are insufficient....more

ORPP: What’s next now that the election is over

With a new federal Liberal government coming into office on November 4, 2015, what does this mean for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP)?  That’s the question on the minds of many employers and workers in Ontario....more

Employee Benefits: IRS Announces 2016 Pension and Related Limitations (10/15)

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced the dollar limitations for pension plans and other items beginning January 1, 2016. Some of the limits, which are mostly unchanged from 2015, are listed below....more

A Troubling Future Part One:  Teamsters’ Pension Rescue Plan

Two significant developments in the multi-employer pension world emerged in September, developments which could give manufacturers concern.  While this is not the time to panic (we have plenty of time to panic), readers...more

New Legislation Extends Future Form 5500 and 990 Deadlines, Affects Veterans Health Benefits and Extends Excess Pension Asset...

On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, temporarily extending the Highway Trust Fund to provide continued funding for federal transportation...more

British Columbia: A guide to B.C.’s new pension legislation for HR professionals

On September 30, 2015, British Columbia’s new Pension Benefits Standards Act (PBSA) and Regulation came into effect. The PBSA has wide-ranging implications for HR Professionals who oversee BC-registered pension plans and...more

Central States Pension Fund Submits ‘Rescue Plan’ Seeking Approval to Reduce Benefits

On September 25, the Central States Pension Fund (one of the largest multiemployer/union pension funds in the country) submitted to the U.S. Department of Treasury a proposed “rescue plan,” which would allow the fund to...more

Civil Unions in NJ – What you Need to Know.

Same-sex couples now have the right to marry, and neither the federal nor any state government can deny anyone that right. On June 26, 2013 – a watershed moment in the history of the law and our nation – the U.S. Supreme...more

Employee Benefits Developments - September 2015

IRS Issues New Draft Form 1095-C and Instructions. On August 6, 2015, the IRS published its most recent updates to Form 1095-C and the instructions for Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Beginning in early 2016, applicable large...more

PBGC Report Shows Modest Improvements in Agency’s Long-Term Solvency

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recently released its annual projections report showing that its insurance programs, which back both multiemployer pension plans and single-employer pension plans, have...more

IRS to Prohibit Lump-Sum Cashout Windows for Pension Plan Retirees

As described in a prior alert, the IRS issued Notice 2015-49, which abruptly announces the IRS’s intention to prohibit lump-sum cashout windows for pension plan retirees already in pay status. The IRS intends to prohibit...more

PBGC Proposes Changes to Plan Reporting Requirements

Section 4010 of ERISA requires reporting to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) of actuarial and financial information by plan sponsors of certain underfunded single-employer defined benefit pension plans. The...more

Updated Static Mortality Tables Issued for Defined Benefit Pension Plans

In Notice 2015-53, the IRS provided updated static mortality tables for use by defined benefit pension plans under Section 430(h)(3)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code. The new tables apply for purposes of calculating the...more

More Ways to be Hit With Withdrawal Liability

I have blogged in the past about situations where employers unexpectedly found themselves liable for withdrawal liability imposed by a multiemployer plan. We can add a recent case from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals to...more

IRS Takes Aim at Pension Plans “De-Risking” Lump Sum Cash-outs

In recent years, many pension plan sponsors have sought to reduce pension liabilities by offering lump sum “window” programs. Such programs are one of several popular risk-reduction (or “de-risking”) strategies employed by...more

New details about the ORPP

On August 11, 2015, the Ontario government released long-awaited details about the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). Although there are design issues that need to be settled and many unanswered questions on how the ORPP...more

Alert: Ontario Government Releases Further Details about the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan

Employers and employees who participate in a comparable workplace pension plan will not be required to participate in the ORPP. “Comparable Plan” will be defined as a registered pension plan (registered under provincial or...more

IRS Overhauls Its Determination Letter Program For Individually-Designed Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that it will be significantly limiting the employee plan determination letter program for individually-designed qualified retirement plans. Prior to these new changes,...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

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