Editor's Overview -
The first article in this month's newsletter focuses on whether specific language in ERISA employer-provided disability insurance plans confer discretionary authority to plan administrators to...more
Now is the time that plan sponsors who are on extension to file their Form 5500 should be receiving them via email from their third party administrator (TPA).
While plan sponsors just immediately file them to get it...more
What happens when the district court orders a remand to the ERISA plan administrator?
Can you appeal it? It depends on the circuit.
FACTS: Mead sought ERISA-governed long term disability benefits, which were...more
Retirement plan sponsors have a lot of headaches and liability because of their role as plan fiduciaries. They can sit back and do nothing, thereby increasing their potential liability. They can also be proactive and take...more
The administrative burden of determining the validity of rollover contributions to qualified retirement plans, and the associated risk of jeopardizing the plan’s tax-qualified status, traditionally has been a significant...more
This case discusses the fiduciary obligation of plan administrators to inform participants in advance of ERISA’s statutory notice periods regarding the potential impact caused by a change of life insurance carrier under a...more
Dealing with adversity.
It's about how you deal with it.
I'm a huge Aerosmith fan since high school and it's because the music resonates with me because it reminds me of the experiences that I have gone through...more
The Health Care Reform Act made many changes to health plans, but one thing it did not do was expressly eliminate or change the COBRA rules. Although health care reform does not expressly change COBRA, it does, in many ways,...more
When I was a child, I remember bringing the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever for my first grade class’ Chanukah party (I went to a Jewish day school). To this day, I still don’t how to operate a record player. Around the...more
The George Clooney-Brad Pitt trilogy of heist films known as Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, and Ocean’s Thirteen were remembered for their twist endings, stylish pacing, and lightheartedness. Since the Ocean gang were...more
According to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(c)(1)(B) of ERISA, it is within a court’s discretion to award a penalty of up to $110 per day based on an administrator’s failure to comply with a plan participant’s or beneficiary’s request for...more
If they made the poor Plan decisions, they may take offense on your criticism.
They will take offense.
Two years ago, I had the worst call with a prospective client in the 14 years I have been an ERISA attorney...more
Animal Farm by George Orwell was a clever allegory of the Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet Union where the oppressed animals overthrew Farmer Mr. Jones, only to start oppress- ing each other. A similar situation is when I...more
The Sixth Circuit held in Hi-Lex Controls, Inc. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan that a service provider was liable as a fiduciary under ERISA for unauthorized fees it assessed against a self-funded health plan. In...more
There has been a tremendous amount of focus on participant-assessed fees in 401(k) and 403(b) plans over the last couple of years. This has come about, in part, because of lawsuits and the Department of Labor (DOL)...more
Editor's Overview -
In this month's issue, our authors address severance benefit claims and ERISA disclosure requirements. In our first article, Joe Clark addresses whether a plan administrator should conduct an...more
The Internal Revenue Service recently established a one-year pilot program that provides plan administrators and plan sponsors of certain non-ERISA and foreign plans subject to the annual Form 5500 reporting requirements...more
I prepare my own income taxes because my tax LLM degree and years working on ProSeries gave me the experience to effectively do that. When it comes to treating my allergies, I delegate that role to the person with the medical...more
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions has posted guidance (the Guideline) on the question of whether a fund established as a limited partnership by a corporation meets the definition of “pooled fund” or...more
I talk to a lot of advisors and I have many advisor clients around the country and one of the things that I keep on hearing is that even with fee disclosure regulations almost 2 years later, it is still difficult to get...more
Aside from my children and my wife, my favorite person of all-time was my grandmother Rose. In a few weeks, it would have been her 90th birthday and I wish she could have made it because she was the most selfless person I...more
It is well known that in enacting the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et. seq., Congress set forth a requirement that a Summary Plan Description ("SPD") be furnished to participants...more
The Department of Labor recently issued updated model COBRA continuation coverage and Childrens’ Health Insurance Program (“CHIP”) notices. Plan administrators should begin using the new notices immediately.
There are few sure things in life, and although it is probably safe to say that ERISA disclosure regulations would not be considered one of them, there has certainly been a steady stream of new ERISA-related disclosure and...more
Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit released an opinion which highlights the importance of ensuring ERISA plan documents grant plan administrators the discretion to construe and interpret the...more
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