Plan Administrators

News & Analysis as of

Is It Time To Review, Retest, Or Amend Your Employee Benefit Plans? IRS Provides Same Sex Marriage Guidance For Retirement Plan...

On June 26, 2013, when the Supreme Court determined that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, the tax and benefit plan implications were unclear. Later, in Revenue Ruling 2013-17, the...more

How My Career Mistakes Can Help You as a Retirement Plan Provider

As Frank Sinatra would say: “Regrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention.” In my e-book, How to Succeed in the 401(k) Plan Business: (and 401(k)'d: A Life) (cheap plug here, available on Amazon.com for...more

“Toxic” TPAs a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Avoid Hiring

While most of the news about 401(k) plan fiduciaries and their responsibilities is about plan expenses, plan investments, and participant education, there is very little topic about the one issue that is important that most...more

Court’s Award of $3.8 Million Raises Questions About the Scope of ERISA Remedies

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed an unusually large award of $3.8 million in a case involving the denial of long-term disability benefits. In Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No....more

Dumb Things Retirement Plan Sponsors Should Avoid Doing

Whoever said that there is no such thing as a dumb question obviously wasn’t in attendance at my Global History class in high school when someone asked whether it was true that if you take a picture of an Amish person, the...more

Improve Compliance Of Retirement And Group Health Plans In 2014

Retirement plan fiduciaries should consider the following best practices to improve their plan’s governance in 2014: (i) if fiduciary duties have been delegated, make certain that the delegations are in writing and are being...more

The Law Firm Review - January 2014

Future Threats That a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of. What might be good today, may not be good tomorrow. What was good yesterday might not be a good today. Asbestos was a great fireproof building...more

How To Catch-Up in a Revised HIPAA World

The HIPAA final omnibus rule (Omnibus Rule) made sweeping changes to the HIPAA Privacy, Security, Breach Notification and Enforcement Rules earlier this year. Although the compliance deadline of September 23, 2013 has come...more

Future Threats That a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of

What was good yesterday might not be a good today. Asbestos was a great fireproof building material until it was found to cause asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma Thalidomide was a great drug for morning sickness until it...more

Time’s Up: Supreme Court Upholds Enforcement of Claim Limitations in ERISA Plan Language

Christmas may have come a little early for plan administrators and companies looking for clarity in ERISA litigation. Last Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. that...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - December 2013

This month we look at part two of our three part series on Class Actions. In part two, Robert Rachal, Page Griffin and Madeline Chimento Rea address Wal-Mart's Rule 23(b) principles, including some defenses to plaintiffs' use...more

Things They Never Tell You as a 401(k) Plan Sponsor

When my wife and I bought our house, there were quite a few things that the previous owner forgot to tell us such as the fact they never bothered to pull the pipes from the dental office run by a previous owner 20 years...more

If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it and other complacent Plan Sponsor excuses

One of the most annoying phrases out there is: “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it”. I have disliked it for more than 20 years after seeing a student government political candidates use it back at Stony Brook. Through...more

Offering Self Directed Brokerage Accounts in a 401(k) Plan is a Bad Bet

I love Las Vegas and I hate to gamble, which explains why I haven’t been to Atlantic City since 1995. I love the sights, sounds, the entertainment, the food, and everything but gambling. I hate gambling because I don’t like...more

CRA Announcements re Regulation of Registered Pension Plans

The Canada Revenue Agency’s (CRA) Registered Plans Directorate (RPD) recently made two announcements that plan sponsors and administrators should be aware of: (i) a project to assess the compliance of DB plans; and (ii) a...more

“Plan Administrator” vs “Claims Administrator” – Who is the Proper Defendant in ERISA Claim for Benefits?

The issue of who may be a proper defendant in an ERISA claim for benefits has not received consistent treatment in the courts. On the one hand, a federal district court in Minnesota recently concluded that a third party...more

ERISA – 5th Circuit: Ambiguities In Plan Terms CANNOT Be Construed Against Plan Administrator When Plan Confers Discretion “To...

How will a court construe ambiguities in ERISA plan terms? If the plan confers discretion to the administrator “to interpret plan terms,” ambiguities may NOT be construed against the plan administrator....more

ERISA: Deference to Claim Decision Should INCREASE When Partial Benefits Granted

Did you know that awarding at least some benefits, rather than denying benefits entirely, helps prove the claims administrator is “unbiased”? Also, when there are sharp conflicting opinions between the claimant’s...more

There Is No Such Thing as Free 401(k) Administration

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus has been around for more than a century and it proclaims itself to be the “Greatest Show on Earth”. In 1985, the Greatest Show on Earth presented a living unicorn. Of course, the...more

Are Discretionary Clauses In Employee Welfare Benefit Plans Prohibited In Kentucky?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") is a federal law that sets minimum standards for most group employee benefit plans and pension plans in the private industry....more

Update: One-Time Extension for Furnishing Annual Fee Disclosures to Participants

Earlier this month we reminded you that plan administrators of participant-directed ERISA defined contribution retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, profit sharing plans and money purchase plans) had to...more

DOL Provides Fee Disclosure Relief

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2013-02 on July 22, 2013, which provides plan administrators of individual account plans with participant-directed investments (such as 401(k) and...more

Important New Fee Disclosure Guidance

On July 22, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2013-02, which provides plan administrators of individual account plans with participant-directed investments (such as 401(k) and...more

Extension of Participant Fee Disclosure Deadline Is Available for 2013 or 2014

The Department of Labor has provided plan administrators with a one-time opportunity to delay annual distribution of investment information to retirement plan participants for up to 6 months in 2013 or 2014....more

Department of Labor Provides Relief From Required Annual Fee Disclosure

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced today in Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) No. 2013-02 that it was adopting a temporary enforcement policy that would offer plan administrators temporary relief from certain of the...more

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