Retirement Plan Benefit Plan Sponsors Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

IRS Issues First Required Amendments List for Qualified Plans

In a previous blog, we discussed the IRS’ elimination of its five year staggered determination letter cycle for individually designed plans. The IRS recently provided guidance to help sponsors of individually designed plans...more

Newly Proposed IRS Rules Permit the Use of Forfeitures for QNECs and QMACs

On January 18, 2017, the IRS issued proposed regulations that expand the permitted uses of forfeitures in a 401(k) plan. Under the proposed rules, the definitions of “qualified nonelective contributions” (QNECs) and...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2017

Editor’s Overview - In 2016, we saw a considerable uptick in the number and variety of excessive fee lawsuits commenced against plan fiduciaries of defined contribution plans. We begin the year by taking a look at these...more

IRS Relaxes Rules on Use of Forfeitures to Fund Safe Harbor Contributions and QNECs to 401(k) Plans

The IRS recently issued welcome guidance for sponsors of 401(k) plans. On January 18th, the IRS issued proposed regulations that permit forfeitures to be used to fund the employer’s safe harbor contributions, qualified...more

Don’t blame the 401(k)

I’ve seen the articles that pop up about how 401(k) plans are somehow to blame for the lack of retirement savings or their replacement of defined benefit plans as the savings vehicle for private employers. I don’t like to...more

A Poet's Guide to Employee Benefits Law - 2017 Edition

The employee benefits world, with all its legal rules and regulations, is viewed by human resources people, financial people, and for that matter most lawyers, as forbidding territory - the "darkest forest" from the Wizard of...more

Are Individually Designed Retirement Plans Destined to Become Dinosaurs?

The Impact of Changes to the IRS Determination Letter Program - This January 2017 will see the last regular IRS determination letter applications filed for individually designed retirement plans. After this final Cycle A...more

401(k) Plan Fee Litigation Update

The wave of fee litigation is ongoing and has significantly increased the responsibility of 401(k) plan fiduciaries to follow well documented, prudent processes to monitor 401(k) plan fees and expenses....more

Coverage is always the biggest problem

When you look at the problems of retirement plans, one that gets short shrift is coverage and that is one of the pillar of qualified plans needed to be fulfilled in order to be a qualified plan. It’s a forgotten rule of...more

Qualified Retirement Plan Amendments and IRS Filings — Upcoming Deadlines

This advisory reminds plan sponsors of deadlines for amending qualified retirement plans and for submitting certain plans to the IRS for a determination letter, as well as other significant changes to the determination letter...more

IRS Releases Benefits and Contribution Limits for 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued its annual update regarding dollar limitations on contributions and benefits applicable to tax-qualified retirement and welfare plans for 2017. Please see full...more

ERISA Fiduciary Issues for Plan Sponsors: What Do 401(k) Plan Fiduciaries Need to Know About Revenue Sharing?

Retirement plan revenue sharing has a bad reputation. Numerous lawsuits have been filed during the past year against employers that sponsor 401(k) plans alleging breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income...more

How Secure is Your Retirement Plan?

Most employers are generally aware of their fiduciary status as a “plan sponsor” of an ERISA-governed retirement plan (e.g., 401(k) and 403(b) plans). In fact, the employer’s hiring of a service provider is in and of itself a...more

IRS and Treasury Department Seek Input on How Plan Sponsors Can Avoid Plan Document Problems

On September 16, 2016, the IRS and the Department of the Treasury requested public comment on ways the IRS and Treasury “can improve compliance…by making it easier for plan sponsors to satisfy requirements for qualified plan...more

Top US Universities Hit with Retirement Plan Lawsuits: Lessons for Plan Sponsors

The recent wave of 403(b) lawsuits against more than a dozen prominent US universities could herald similar suits for other 403(b) plan sponsors. Plan sponsors can minimize their risk by reviewing their plan governance...more

Update on the Apparent Demise of the Determination Letter Program

As we previously reported, the IRS had said last year that determination letter program for retirement plans would largely be going away. Rev. Proc. 2016-37 includes information with respect to the future of the determination...more

The DOL Fiduciary Rule: Part 1 - An Overview

In this 6-Part Series, we're going to be exploring the Department of Labor's Fiduciary Rule which was published in April. This Series will not only explore the legislation itself, but also its impact. ...more

IRS Clarifies Instructions for Form 5500 Reporting of RMD Failures

Certain employee benefit plans, including qualified retirement plans, must file an annual return/report on Form 5500 with the Department of Labor, which is shared with the IRS. Each year discreet changes are typically made...more

IRS Lays Out Plan for Maintaining Tax Qualification for Individually-Designed Plans after Elimination of the Determination Letter...

On June 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2016-37, which modifies the Determination Letter Program for tax-qualified plans and the requirements for when plan amendments must be adopted by...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we feature three key developments. First, we review the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, 947 (2016) wherein the Supreme Court held that a...more

Department of Labor Issues Final Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule to re-define who is rendered a "fiduciary" of an employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by providing investment advice to a plan...more

New Guidance From IRS Provides Mid-Year Changes To Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans

Prior to the Internal Revenue Services' (IRS) recent issuance of Notice 2016-16 (the Notice), employers that sponsored safe harbor 401(k) retirement plans were uncertain about whether any mid-year changes to their plans would...more

IRS Retirement Plan Limitations for 2016

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued the new 2016 retirement plan limitations. In this announcement, the IRS sets forth the limits of the amounts that can be deferred under 401 (k) plans, 457 (b) plans and the...more

IRS Announces 2016 Retirement Plan Limitations – Most Limits Remain Unchanged

The Internal Revenue Service announced the 2016 cost-of-living adjustments to the dollar limitations for qualified retirement plans and other benefits, and the Social Security Administration announced its own cost-of-living...more

2016 Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Retirement and Other Benefit Plans

The IRS recently announced the 2016 cost-of-living adjustments to various benefit and contribution limits applicable to retirement plans and welfare plans. Most retirement plan limits have not changed because increases in the...more

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