Plan Administrators

News & Analysis as of

Department Of Labor Audits Are Focusing On Plan Procedures For Locating Missing Vested Participants

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has increased its examinations of the procedures of defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans for locating and paying out benefits to terminated vested participants whom the...more

Recent Lawsuit Demonstrates Continuing Need for Plan Fiduciaries to Document Decision-Making Process

Late last year, another lawsuit was brought on behalf of participants in a 401(k) plan alleging breaches of fiduciary duties resulting from allegedly high plan fees. This type of case is not novel; the law firm that brought...more

Seventh Circuit Does The Math and Sides with Plan Administrator in Pension Calculation Dispute

On Wednesday, March 16, the Seventh Circuit inspired a collective sigh of relief among actuaries and plan administrators everywhere. In Cocker v. Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis Pension Plan for Nonschedule...more

Out with the Old, In with the New: What’s New with the Ontario Pension Regulator

FSCO reminds administrators about their roles and responsibilities On January 25, 2016, the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (“FSCO”) issued a new policy that describes the roles and responsibilities of administrators...more

Alert: Proposed Ontario Amendment Eliminating the 30-per-cent Rule for Pension Fund Investments

The Ontario government has announced a consultation? until April 29, 2016, relating to a proposed regulation change under the Pension Benefits Act (Ontario) that would permit a pension plan administrator to invest pension...more

Supreme Court Concludes That ERISA Preempts State Reporting Requirements

In a closely observed federalism battle over the scope of ERISA preemption, the Supreme Court came down on the side of Federal power. Specifically, in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, the Court, in a 6-2 ruling,...more

ERISA Preemption Made Easy? Supreme Court Sends Vermont All-Payer Database Back to the Drawing Board

On the first day of decisions since the unexpected passing of Justice Scalia, the Supreme Court of the United States ventured into the thorny area of preemption under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and...more

HHS Fact Sheet on Your Employees’ and Clients’ Rights under HIPAA to Access their Health Information

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA), Public Law 104-191, contains extensive rules designed to limit access by non-health plan entities to certain individually identifiable health...more

BIG NEWS: ERISA Preempts Hodgepodge of State Insurance Reporting Regulations

You know there has been a court trend toward narrowing ERISA preemption. But…that trend was brushed back today by the U.S. Supreme Court. Here’s today’s case: Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Com., __ U.S. __ (March 1,...more

ERISA (5th Circuit): Are There Exceptions to the Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Requirement

You already know that claimants with a denied claim must submit an appeal and exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit. But are phone calls sufficient to trigger the appeal process?...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2016

Editor's Overview - Happy New Year! Because 401(k) plans play an increasingly prominent role as an employee's principal retirement investment vehicle, fiduciaries overseeing those plans face increased pressure to see...more

May Vermont Apply Its Health Care Database Law to the Third-Party Administrator for a Self-Insured ERISA Plan?

Vermont requires all public and private entities that pay for health care services provided to its residents to supply data to its "all-payer database." The requirements apply to insurers and third-party administrators, among...more

Will Your 401(k) Plan be Sued in the New Year?

Late last year, another lawsuit was brought on behalf of participants in a 401(k) plan alleging breaches of fiduciary duties resulting from allegedly high plan fees. This type of case is not novel; the law firm that brought...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds ERISA Disability and Life Benefit Denials

In two decisions issued last month, the Fifth Circuit upheld ERISA plan denials of disability and life benefits, confirming its deferential approach in most ERISA benefit cases....more

DOL Notice on Tips for Selecting and Monitoring an ERISA Plan Auditor Alarms Recipients – Fear Not!

If you have recently received a notice from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), titled “Tips for Selecting and Monitoring a Plan Auditor,” do not be alarmed. It does not mean that you are being audited by the DOL and it does...more

DOL’s New Disability Claim Rules Add to a Plan Administrator’s Duties under Welfare and Retirement Benefit Plans

Now, faced with an aging baby-boomer generation and increased costs related to disability litigation, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (DOL) has proposed new rules that would revise and...more

November and December 2015 Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

Employers and plan sponsors must comply with numerous filing and notice deadlines for their retirement and health and welfare plans. Failure to comply with these deadlines can result in costly penalties. To avoid such...more

New Affordable Care Act FAQs Provide Guidance on Preventive Services, Wellness Programs and Mental Health Parity

On October 23, 2015, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury (the “Agencies”) jointly released their twenty-ninth (XXIX) set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Affordable Care Act (ACA)...more

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation: Do You Need to Send an Annual Notice to Plan Participants?

Plan sponsors of defined contribution qualified plans may need to issue one or more annual notices to participants before the end of each plan year. Failure to issue a required annual notice can have significant consequences....more

Michigan Court Dismisses Cross-Claim as Insurer Not Properly Subject to a Claim for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

In Van Loo v. Cajun Operating Co, No. 14-cv-10604 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 17, 2015), the Eastern District of Michigan, a Sixth Circuit district court, held that the requirement for evidence of insurability was triggered based on...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2015

Editor's Overview - This month, we review the Second Circuit's ruling in New York State Psychiatric Ass'n, Inc. v. UnitedHealth Grp. wherein the Second Circuit ruled that: (i) a provider association has associational...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

Employee Benefits – Do Employers Owe a 401(k) Fiduciary Duty?

Back in July, we discussed how Jed Clampett of Mama’s Fried Pies caused his VP of marketing Elly May to suffer exorbitant taxes due to a deferred bonus that he offered.  This month, Jed finds himself again in the grease with...more

Avoid other Plan Providers who just want to sell you something

When I started my national single employer retirement plan practice, I learned that getting clients is something that was going to be dependent on me. Clients and referral sources don’t fall into your lap or grow on trees....more

Further Guidance on the ACA’s Cadillac Tax

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) added Code Section 4980I to the Internal Revenue Code. Effective for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2018, an excise tax of 40 percent will be imposed on the cost of employer-sponsored...more

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