News & Analysis as of

The Debate Continues Over The Fiduciary Status of 401(k) Plan Service Providers

In Golden Star Inc. v. MassMutual Life Ins. Co., 2014 WL 2117511 (D. Mass. May 20, 2014), a district court addressed two issues that have become hotly contested in 401(k) plan fee litigation: (1) whether and when a plan...more

The proposed Fiduciary Rule and the selling of Fear

I’m a Howard Stern fan since I was about 11. I’m sorry if you’re offended, but I love that brand of humor. One of the main producers of funny materials are guys by the name of Sal & Richard. Aside from their phony calls, they...more

Plan Document Mistakes a Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Avoid

One of the major things that plan sponsors forget about their retire- ment plans is the plan document. ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 for those scoring at home) requires all retirement plans to...more

As a plan provider, learn to say no

I always believe that regardless of whether it’s business or in regular day-to-day life, that you can’t be everything for everybody. Being honest with that is only half the battle. A lot of times, I met folks who are...more

The DOL script Plan Sponsors don’t want to hear

I have a client who had been undergoing a Department of Labor (DOL) audit. Their mistake? Years ago, a former participant asked for a distribution from this trustee directed profit sharing plan (so no 401(k)) and my client...more

No Country for Lousy Retirement Plans

In the movie, No Country for Old Men, the hit man Anton Chigurh (played by Javier Bardem) confronts Carson Wells (who was also trying to recover the same money Chigurh was after) in his hotel room. Before killing...more

Advisors Advantage

Do you have it? It will determine whether you'll be a big hit or not. When it comes to being a retirement plan provider and selling your services, you have to have it. Those who have it, succeed. Those who don't,...more

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari to Review Sixth Circuit’s Pro-Union Inference in Retiree Health Insurance Benefits Cases

The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to resolve a circuit split about how courts should interpret collective bargaining agreements that provide for health insurance benefits for retired employees in M&G Polymers...more

How a Retirement Plan Financial Advisor Can Survive In The World Today

If I could pinpoint what it takes for a financial advisor to survive and thrive in this business, I would say it takes two things: a hook and timing. A hook is a marketing term, it’s something to attract a plan sponsor’s...more

De-Risking Your Retiree Pensions? Verizon Court Affirms Plan Sponsor Rights to Shed Obligations

Plan sponsors interested in removing pension liabilities from their balance sheets have been waiting with interest to see the end result of the challenge by Verizon retirees to Verizon’s deal with Prudential annuitizing...more

How a Plan Sponsor Can Avoid Being a Deer Caught in the Headlights

The term “deer in the headlights” explains the mental state of a person who shows behavioral signs that remind us of a deer subjected to a car’s headlights where the deer is in such panic that they show no motor reaction to...more

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

April and May 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

Good News for Employers: IRS Simplifies Rollover Validation Process

To simplify the rollover validation process, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a new Revenue Ruling 2014-9 that provides guidance on the process for a trustee-to-trustee tax-free rollover between tax-qualified...more

Retirement Plan Fee Litigation Finds Its Way to North Carolina

Over the last few years, we have seen a significant increase in litigation involving the fees paid by retirement plans. However, until recently, no major litigation had occurred in North Carolina. On March 12, 2014, one of...more

Why Employers Should Sponsor a Retirement Plan

Starting and running a business is one of the hardest things out there and I know from experience in starting my own law firm. You start a business to make a living and when the need arises and when you can afford it, you...more

Being a retirement plan provider and pro wrestling business terms

I am a fan of professional wrestling and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I kind of claim that I had no choice in the matter since both my grandfathers watched it, so I say that it’s in my blood. I have known it isn’t real...more

Potential clients and the plan provider ties that bind

How many times as a retirement plan provider that you contact a retirement plan that is paying too much money and getting too little back in plan services? If you’re a registered investment advisor offering 3(38) service and...more

Ninth Circuit Sides with Orange County in Retiree Health Benefits Case

A Practice or Policy without Clear Legislative Intent Does Not Create Implied Contractual Right to Retiree Health Benefits - A federal appellate court has affirmed a U.S. District Court’s decision to grant Orange...more

A Retirement Plan Sponsor’s Guide for Selecting Their Financial Advisor

When it comes to your role as a retirement plan sponsor, outside of hiring a TPA (third party administrator), the most important plan provider that you need to hire is a financial advisor. Unfortunately, like my favorite...more

Is There An Elephant In The Room?

401(k) Plan documents can read like Russian novels. They are often long and difficult to understand, so it’s no surprise that administrative errors in operating such plans happen frequently. Common errors include omitting or...more

A Simple Q&A for Retirement Plan Providers

When I was an associate at a semi-prestigious Long Island law firm, the goal was that I would start a national single employer retirement plan practice. I couldn’t have my articles published because the marketing department...more

The Law Firm Review - February 2014

The Plan Checklist That Every Retirement Plan Sponsor Needs. Question that plan sponsors should have answers for. While they don't have a book called Retirement Plan Sponsorship for Dummies, they should....more

I am Glad You Asked! Using Welfare Benefit Trusts to Solve Post-Retirement Medical Planning Needs

Part I - Overview: Scott Peck’s bestseller the Road less Traveled begins with the understatement of understatements – “Life is difficult”. Trouble in life comes from so many different directions. For the small...more

The Plan Checklist That Every Retirement Plan Sponsor Needs

While they don’t have a book called Retirement Plan Sponsorship for Dummies, they should. So in the interim, here is a checklist that plan sponsors should review that can help them develop good practices and avoid unnecessary...more

87 Results
|
View per page
Page: of 4