Retirement Plan

News & Analysis as of

The Problem With Providers Using Their Own Funds In Their 401(k) Plan

I always say that I come up with many ideas, but most of them are bad. Seriously, there are so many bad ideas out there in the 401(k) space and one of the really bad ideas out there are bundled plan providers using their own,...more

States Move Forward with Auto-IRA Programs: What’s Next for the Feds?

As the nation continues to struggle with the retirement preparedness gap, policymakers are exploring proposals to require employers that do not offer retirement plans to automatically enroll employees in Individual Retirement...more

Taking on the Retirement Gap: Bipartisan Interest Grows in Open MEPs

As the U.S. continues to grapple with the retirement preparedness gap, policymakers on both sides of the aisle are increasingly focused on facilitating access to retirement plans. In the last few years, policy proposals...more

DOL Fiduciary Rule-Making Overreach? Stay Tuned for the Judgment of the Courts

In April, the Department of Labor issued new regulations under ERISA related to individuals who offer investment advice to ERISA plans, their fiduciaries, or participants for a fee. The DOL now says that a fiduciary is...more

Private Investment Fund Managers and Other Investment Advisers May Be Affected by the U.S. Department of Labor’s New Fiduciary...

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its highly anticipated final rule addressing when a person is considered to be a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the...more

ERISA Fiduciary Rules: Court Challenges and Considerations for Employers

Employers and their financial advisors should consider enacting a multi-step plan amid anticipation that the proposed ERISA Fiduciary Rules turn effective. Last month, several business groups filed a complaint in the...more

401(k) Litigation Overkill?

The landscape for the retirement plan business has radically changed since when I first started in 1998. Normal courses of business such as revenue sharing and non-transparency of fees were the order of the day. No one cared...more

Employee Benefits Advisory: New Proposed 457 Regulations May Impact Deferred Compensation Arrangements Maintained by Tax-Exempt...

On June 21, 2016, concurrent with its issuance of proposed regulations under Code section 409A, the IRS also issued proposed regulations under Code section 457, which address deferred compensation arrangements covering...more

State Court Retroactive Change to IRA Beneficiary Not Given Tax Effect by IRS

A decedent had 2 IRAs. The death beneficiaries of the IRAs were trusts that qualified as "look through" trusts, such that the payout period for the IRAs after the decedent died could be computed using the life expectancy of...more

When it’s time to go

Like George Costanza who always tried to leave on  a high note in an episode of  Seinfeld, I always try to leave at the right time. Most of the time, it’s the right time. Sometimes it’s like the last episode of Breaking Bad. ...more

Update on Lawsuits Challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

As we previously reported, there have been five lawsuits challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule. On July 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed its first formal response to these...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

A Blueprint for Maintaining an Individually Designed Qualified Plan after the IRS’s Determination Letter Program Cutback

In Depth - On June 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officially sounded the death knell for the five-year remedial amendment cycle with its release of Revenue Procedure 2016-37. Effective January 1, 2017,...more

Proposed Section 409A Regulations Facilitate Common Pay Practices

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has proposed a number of updates to current regulations governing nonqualified deferred compensation under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended. The proposed updates...more

Big Fish and Service Provider Lawsuits

It seems like every week, there is another major lawsuit against a plan sponsor and one of their service providers. Allegations of impropriety are just allegations until decided by a trier of fact of whether they are...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

Revenue Sharing Demolition Night

When I was a kid in the 1970’s, disco was the biggest thing. By 1980, disco was dead thanks to a backlash. People didn’t know it at the time, but disco died the night of July 12, 1979, thanks to the riot during a White Sox...more

Financial Services Quarterly Report - Second Quarter 2016: Does the Supreme Court’s Dudenhoeffer Decision under ERISA do “More...

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Amgen v. Harris, in which the Court revisited and clarified its 2014 holding in Dudenhoeffer v. Fifth Third Bancorp.2 Both cases concern the application of a...more

DOL Rule Imposes Significant Increases in Penalties for Employee Benefit Plan Violations

On June 30, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued an interim final rule that significantly increases various penalties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). The interim rule is the...more

Employee Benefits Innovators Roundtable: Fiduciary Update and the DOL Fiduciary Rule

The US Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule is aimed at financial advisors, including brokers, who provide retirement plan services. However, the new rule will impact compliance obligations and potentially, costs for plan...more

You Can Always Be A Step Away From Getting Sued

A well-respected registered investment advisor was recently named as a defendant in a class-action lawsuit against a $1 billion 401(k) plan. I’m not going to cite the particulars and I’m not going to opine because a...more

Fact That Small 401(k) Lawsuit Was Dropped Is Irrelevant

While many of us in the retirement plan world were publicizing a class action lawsuit against a $9 million, apparently the plaintiffs had a change of heart. The case was Damberg et al v. LaMettry’s Collision Inc. and the...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

IRS Issues Clarification on Phased Retirement Payments

Typically, when a participant receives annuity payments from a defined benefit pension plan where he or she has a basis in the benefit (what Code Section 72 calls an “investment in the contract”), a portion of the payment is...more

Harvey Berman, R.I.P.

People often ask me how I got into ERISA/retirement plan law and I tell them the truth: it’s because it’s the first job I got. The person that gave me that first job was an ERISA attorney named Harvey Berman. I’m sad to...more

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