News & Analysis as of

Is a Qualified Retirement Plan Required to Apply Windsor Retroactively?

Following the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in U.S. v. Windsor (in which the Court held that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) was unconstitutional), one of the questions facing sponsors of...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - December 2015

Editor's Overview - In this month's newsletter, we focus on the recent wave of guidance and case law related to the Affordable Care Act. We also discuss IRS Notice 2015-86, which provides guidance on the application of...more

IRS Notice 2015-86 — The Limited Effect of Obergefell

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-86, providing guidance on the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to qualified retirement plans and health and welfare...more

2015 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List Part 2 – Qualified Retirement Plans

As 2015 comes to an end, we are pleased to present you with our traditional End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” Lists. This year, we are presenting our “To Do” Lists in three separate SW Benefits Updates. Part 1 of the series...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

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 eliminated, the IRS announced in Announcement 2015-19. Additionally, according to the...more

IRS Determination Letters No Longer Available After 2016

The IRS recently announced significant changes to its determination letter program that will become effective January 1, 2017. These changes essentially eliminate determination letters for individually designed plans that are...more

New Fiduciary Regulations Require Retirement Investment Advisers to Act in Clients’ Best Interests

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued new proposed regulations that changed the definition of “fiduciary investment advice” as currently found in DOL Regulation 2510.3-21(c). These proposed rules also...more

Department of Labor Issues Sweeping Fiduciary Rule Proposal

On April 14, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a proposal to re-define who is rendered a "fiduciary" of an employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by providing investment...more

DOL Reproposes Expanded ERISA Fiduciary Definition and Revised Complex of Exemptions

On April 14, 2015, after 43 months in development, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its reproposal to expand the “investment advice fiduciary” definition under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974,...more

March and April 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

Year-End Legislation Important for Employers

The 2015 Cromnibus and the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 solve some problems and raise others. On December 16, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act...more

Are You Forgetting Something?

In This Issue: - Qualified Plan Administrative and Compliance Deadlines (based on calendar year plan) - Health and Welfare Benefit Plan Administrative and Compliance Deadlines - Are Your Plans Subject to...more

PBGC Coverage May No Longer Apply to Puerto Rico-Only Qualified Retirement Plans

Employers that sponsor defined benefit qualified retirement plans benefiting only Puerto Rico employees should be aware that Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) coverage may no longer apply. Last year, the PBGC...more

The Federal Court for the Southern District of New York Rules that Employers with Self-Insured Health Plans Need Not Offer Medical...

The issue of same-sex spousal rights is now largely resolved for qualified retirement plans. However, substantial questions about same-sex spouse health benefits remain unanswered. In Roe v. Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield,...more

Old Days – Remembering When Small Business Had Pension Plans

We lived in politically charged times. Congress seems unable to reach any consensus on anything including where to have the annual Congressional Christmas Ball! Years of political crossfire over the Affordable Care Act have...more

Protection From Creditors for Retirement Plan Assets

• The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 clarified the rights of debtors and creditors to retirement assets in federal bankruptcy proceedings, but state attachment and garnishment of such assets...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

December 2013 and January 2014 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 and excise taxes. To...more

Private Equity Fund Deemed Trade or Business

In my previous post on this blog, I discussed the possibility of a Canadian company being called upon to pay for an affiliated U.S. company’s pension liabilities. As discussed therein, this possibility potentially exists...more

Post-Windsor Treatment Of Same-Sex Spouses Under Qualified Retirement Plans

The United States Supreme Court significantly changed the treatment of same-sex spouses under qualified retirement plans in United States v. Windsor. ...more

Supreme Court DOMA Decision Is Far-Reaching, but Leaves Many Unanswered Questions for Employers

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held in United States v. Windsor, that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) was “unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is...more

Same-Sex Marriages and Benefit Plans After Windsor

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Windsor v. United States, No. 12-307. The Court ruled (in a 5-4 decision) that the section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that required federal...more

2013 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 and excise taxes. To...more

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