News & Analysis as of

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

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

Legal Alert: DOL Proposes 408(b)(2) Disclosure Guide

On March 12, 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) published in the Federal Register a proposed amendment to its disclosure requirements for “covered service providers” to retirement plans under ERISA § 408(b)(2) that would...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

Advisors Advantage - January 2014

Things They Never Tell You as a Retirement Plan Provider. Stuff plan providers should avoid. I always say that whatever I learned as an ERISA attorney and the retirement plan business; I couldn't have learned...more

Same-Gender Marriage Implications for Employee Benefit Plans

In the summer of 2013, the Supreme Court issued a decision in U.S. v. Windsor, striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and eliminating the requirement that federal law recognize only marriages...more

The Law Firm Review - January 2014

Future Threats That a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of. What might be good today, may not be good tomorrow. What was good yesterday might not be a good today. Asbestos was a great fireproof building...more

Legal Alert: DOL and Treasury Update 2013-2014 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

On November 26, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda. This publication takes the form of a Federal Register notice to comply with certain administrative requirements. The DOL’s...more

10 Concepts That Every Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Know

Unless they are involved in the retirement plan industry a plan sponsor must delegate much of their duties to retirement plan providers that may include third party administrators (TPAs), financial advisors, and ERISA...more

IRS and DOL Guidance Clarifies Employee Benefits Impact of Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling

Recent guidance issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provides some initial...more

How to Handle Employee Benefits with Same-Sex Marriages: BB&K's John Wahlin Looks at What Changes Should be Made in Light of the...

With this summer’s Supreme Court rulings on DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, and Prop. 8 allowing same-sex marriages to be recognized in states that allow them, private sector and public agency employers in California...more

Fiat North Am., LLC v. UAW Retiree Med. Benefits Trust, C.A. No. 7903-VCP (Del. Ch. Jul. 30, 2013) (Parsons, VC.)

This memorandum opinion from the Court of Chancery addresses cross-motions for judgment on the pleadings related to the redemption of an option to purchase shares of Chrysler Group LLC (“Chrysler”) after it had emerged from...more

DOL Extends Deadline For Providing Annual Comparative Chart Of Investment Alternatives In Participant-Directed Individual Account...

On July 22, 2013, the DOL announced a temporary enforcement policy that provides the administrators of individual account retirement plans such as 40 (k) or 403(b) plans some additional flexibility regarding when they have to...more

Retirement Plans Get One Chance to Change Annual Participant Fee Disclosure Deadline

On July 22, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a one-time opportunity for administrators of participant-directed individual account plans such as 401(k) and ERISA-covered 403(b) plans to “re-set” their annual...more

DOL Proposed Regulation Sent to OMB

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has posted that it received a proposed regulation from the Department of Labor. Unfortunately, it is not the much-anticipated proposed regulation on fiduciary advice. Instead, it is a...more

Legal Alert: DOL Opines on Plan Expense Reimbursement Credits

In Advisory Opinion 2013-03A (July 3, 2013), the Department of Labor opined that revenue sharing and similar amounts carried on the books of a retirement plan service provider as a credit due the plan, if properly structured,...more

What the Supreme Court's Defense Of Marriage Act Ruling Means For Employers

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA"), which barred federal recognition of same-sex marriages. ...more

The Impact of the Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision on Your Employee Benefit Plans

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court held that the Defense of Marriage Act (known as DOMA) is unconstitutional. What does this mean for your company’s employee benefit plans?...more

The Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA: How the Ruling Will Impact Employers

What you need to know: The Supreme Court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law defining "marriage" as "a legal union between one man and one woman," deprives same-sex spouses of the equal liberty that...more

DOL Issues Initial Guidance Describing Proposed Lifetime Retirement Income Notices

New guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) aims to help participants and beneficiaries with the “decumulation” phase of retirement planning by requiring sponsors to provide illustrations of lifetime retirement...more

The Retirement Toolkit

My colleague Jeff Cairns recently blogged about a proposed regulation of the Department of Labor (DOL) that will require employers to include on plan statements estimates of the lifetime annuity amount that a participant’s...more

Once Is Not Enough: Ongoing Fee Disclosure Obligations Under ERISA

Firms that manage ERISA plan assets are subject to the US Department of Labor regulations on fee disclosures. In addition to the initial fee disclosure, these regulations require disclosure of changes to fee information...more

It Takes Only One Participant To Sink A Retirement Plan Sponsor

I am a fan of the original Highlander movie with Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery. The subsequent sequels and television series make the cannon of the series nonsensical, but I do love the original. Maybe it’s because of...more

Monthly Benefits Update - May 2013

Health Care Reform: Agencies Issue Final Regulations on Wellness Programs Under ACA - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Labor (DOL), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) finalized...more

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