Pensions Employee Benefits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

IRS Announces Major Qualified Plan Determination Letter Program Change

The Internal Revenue Service has published very important new guidance on assuring employer sponsored pension and profit sharing plans qualify for tax exemption. Revenue Procedure 201637, 2016-29 Internal Revenue Bulletin,...more

Penalty Amounts Get Adjustment (Upward, of Course)

The Department of Labor (DOL), along with several other federal agencies, recently released adjusted penalty amounts for various violations. The amounts had not been adjusted since 2003, so there was some catching up to do,...more

Pension Plan Governance Policies: Have You Reviewed Yours Lately?

When was the last time you thought about pension plan governance? Or reviewed your pension governance policies? It would be great if your answer is “recently”. However, if you’re like many organizations whose answer is “I...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2016

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued final regulations describing how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) apply to employer wellness...more

CPP Agreement in Principle Reached, ORPP Will Not Proceed if Deal is Finalized

The federal government and the provinces, except for Quebec and Manitoba, have reached an agreement in principle to a Canada Pension Plan (CPP) enhancement that will be phased in over seven years beginning January 1, 2019....more

Why Should Hospitals with “Church Plans” Be Concerned Now? - Hospital Industry Viewpoint

Religiously affiliated hospitals and health systems have recently come under attack by private litigants for exercising the right to remain exempt from ERISA requirements. Such hospitals and health systems should assess their...more

CPP Expansion

Retirement savings in this country has been a hot topic of late, and yesterday evening in Vancouver the federal government and (most of) the provinces announced that they have reached a deal to expand the Canada Pension Plan....more

PBGC Issues Proposed Rule on Mergers and Transfers Between Multiemployer Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recently released a proposed rule amending the agency’s regulations on mergers and transfers between multiemployer plans. The proposed rule would implement a section of the...more

Why HR Professionals Should Demand A Benefit Communications Policy

If your job description includes responsibility for communicating pensions and benefits to fellow employees, then you must already know that with each new communication comes increased potential legal liability for your...more

Workplace Policy Institute Insider Report — June 2016

Littler's Workplace Policy Institute Insider Report details key labor, employment, and benefits news and events at the federal, state, local, and global levels. The June edition of the Insider Report highlights recent federal...more

Is There A Difference Between Firing Because of Age vs. Salary?

Up on Fortune magazine’s column “Practically Speaking” is the following question: Frank has been with us for more than 20 years. He works in the warehouse and has done a good job for us. I like him. But, to be honest,...more

Employee Benefits Developments - May 2016

Agencies Issue New FAQs on the Affordable Care Act.The Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (the agencies) issued another set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the implementation of...more

UK Financial Regulatory Developments - May 2016 #13

Pensions guidance rules come into force - The second commencement order under the Bank of England and Financial Services Act 2016 brings into force from 13 May the provisions on pensions guidance, which extend the...more

Venezuela Announces New Minimum Wage and Meal Benefit Increases

On April 29, 2016, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro announced a 30% increase in the monthly minimum wage, effective May 1, 2016. President Maduro also announced an increase in the meal benefit, which will now be three and...more

Treasury Department Rejects Central States Pension Fund's Benefit Reduction Proposal

As we discussed in a prior alert, in September 2015 the Teamsters’ Central States Pension Fund submitted a proposed “rescue plan” to the U.S. Department of Treasury (Treasury). The Central States Pension Fund is severely...more

Important Information for 2015 Form 5500 Reporting: Pension Benefit Plans and Funded Welfare Benefit Plans

As you may know, there have been several new items added to the 2015 Form 5500 series. Specifically, these are: - ..Preparer Information at the bottom of page 1 of Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF ..Schedule H, Lines...more

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