Retirement Plan The United States Department of Labor Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Pension Plan Investments: ERISA Fiduciaries May Consider Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors Related to Economic Value

Over the past two decades, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a number of advisory opinions and interpretive bulletins on “economically targeted investments” (ETIs). These investments are generally defined as...more

What Does the Trust Requirement of ERISA Mean?

ERISA requires that plan assets be held in trust so that they are protected from claims of the employer. With pension plans, it is generally easy to determine when assets become plan assets and when they should be held in...more

DOL Provides Guidance Regarding Monitoring Annuity Providers

The DOL issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2015-02, which provides clarity regarding selection and monitoring of annuity providers for fiduciaries of defined contribution retirement plans. There is a safe harbor regulation...more

DOL to Provide Guidance Regarding State-Based Retirement Programs

In recent years, several states, including Illinois, have passed laws that would require employers who do not offer retirement plans to automatically enroll employees into IRAs. However, there has been concern regarding...more

Employee Benefits Alert - August 2015

Retirement Plans - IRS Issues Guidance on Benefit Suspension Voting under MPRA - As we have written in prior alerts, the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA) permits trustees of financially troubled...more

Employee Benefits Developments August 2015

Certain Closely Held For-Profit Employers Need Not Provide Women’s Contraceptive Services. Under the ACA, non-grandfathered group health plans must cover specified preventive services, including certain women’s preventive...more

DOL Hearings Debate “Fiduciary Duty” not “Suitability” Standard for Retirement Accounts

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL“) recently heard public comment to its proposed regulatory changes implementing a fiduciary duty on any individual receiving compensation for advice tailored to a plan sponsor, participant...more

Employee Benefits Alert - July 2015

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...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2015

Supreme Court: Plan Fiduciaries Have a Continuing Duty to Monitor Plan Investments. In 2007, participants and beneficiaries under a 401(k) plan sued the plan fiduciaries and the plan sponsor to recover damages for alleged...more

July and August 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

House and Senate Appropriations Committees Approve Funding Bills with Riders Targeting DOL, NLRB Initiatives

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees advanced bills this week to fund various federal agencies for FY 2016. Each chamber approved versions of spending measures that include riders prohibiting funding for a...more

For Life Insurers and Agents – A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule (the “Proposal”), which defines the term “fiduciary” as it applies to persons who provide “investment advice” to ERISA plans and IRAs, will impact the likelihood and severity of...more

DOL Proposal Would Fundamentally Alter Fiduciary Relationship

Nearly five years after proposing a failed rule that would have dramatically expanded the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Department of Labor has decided to try...more

SEC Extends Rule 482 Relief to Non-ERISA Retirement Plans

The SEC staff issued a no-action letter on February 18 that is important for many participant-directed individual account retirement plans (including some established under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code) that...more

EBSA Releases Plan Audit Quality Report, Recommends Stricter Plan Audit Standards

The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) released a report assessing the quality of audit work performed by certified public accountants with respect to financial statement audits of retirement and welfare...more

Appropriations Subcommittee Rejects Efforts to Strip Funding Bill of Pro-Employer Riders

The day after the House Appropriations Committee released a draft bill that would significantly limit certain federal agency rules and initiatives, the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education held a...more

Draft Appropriations Bill Seeks to De-Fund Various Regulatory Efforts

A draft House appropriations bill to fund various federal agencies, including the Department of Labor, for Fiscal Year 2016 includes several provisions that would effectively halt a number of controversial regulatory efforts....more

Employee Benefits Developments May 2015

Several years ago, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a regulation that would have redefined the term “fiduciary.” The proposed regulation received a great deal of criticism, prompting the DOL to withdraw its proposal. In...more

DOL Files Complaint Against Plan Fiduciaries for Using 401(k) Contributions and Loan Repayments to Fund Plan Sponsor’s General...

On April 10, 2015, the DOL filed a complaint against Enterworks, Inc., the Enterworks, Incorporated Shared Savings Plan, and two individual fiduciaries of the Savings Plan (the Defendants). In the complaint, the DOL alleges...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2015

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Notice 2015-16, intending to initiate and inform the process of developing regulatory guidance regarding the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage. The...more

Employee Benefits Developments - February 2015

ERISA § 4062(e) Liability Enforcement Returns--Applicable to Defined Benefit Plans and Succession of Operations at Facility. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) § 4062(e) originally imposed liability...more

Employee Benefits Developments - January 2015

IRS Publishes FAQs Regarding Rollovers of After-Tax Contributions. In the December 2014 issue of Employee Benefits Developments, we reported on IRS Notice 2014-54, which allows participants to direct and allocate after-tax...more

DOL and Treasury Update 2014-2015 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months. The updated plans are reflected in the attached chart. ...more

Department of Labor Opens the Door to Questioning Brokerage Windows Under 401(k) Plans

A request for information ("RFI") by the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") was published on August 21, 2014 regarding the use of so-called "brokerage windows" under retirement plans, such as many Section 401(k) plans, that...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

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