Retirement Plan Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2015

Second Circuit Holds That Posthumous QDROs Are Valid. Yale-New Haven Hospital brought an action in federal court to resolve competing claims by a former spouse of a deceased participant and the deceased participant’s...more

IRS Moves to Prohibit Lump Sum Windows for Retirees

The IRS issued Notice 2015-49 (the "Notice") on July 9, 2015, effectively ending the ability of sponsors of qualified defined benefit pension plans ("DB Plan") to "de-risk" their plans by offering participants in pay status...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

Oregon Governor Kate Brown Signs “Fair Shot” Legislation into Law—Employers Beware!

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed a package of four bills into law on Monday, three of which will directly impact Oregon employers. Specifically, it requires even small employers to give up to 40 hours of paid sick time,...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

New Oregon Laws: Criminal Background Checks and State Retirement Savings Plan - “Ban the Box” and Oregon Retirement Savings Plan...

Two new Oregon laws establish policies regarding employer criminal background checks and questions for applicants and a state-run retirement savings plan. In part, Enrolled House Bill 3025 (HB 3025) bans the practice by some...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

What does "will be insured" actually mean?

Balancing obligations to provide health and life insurance benefits to retirees with other legitimate business needs can be tricky. Although retirees depend on the benefits, employers may need to modify benefit plans for...more

Federal Agencies Issue Regulations Governing Benefit Reductions and Partitions for Underfunded Multiemployer Pension Plans

On June 17, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) released several regulatory measures implementing the multiemployer pension plan amendments that were enacted in...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

Federal Agencies Issue Regulations Governing Benefit Reductions and Partitions for Underfunded Multiemployer Pension Plans

On June 17, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) released several regulatory measures implementing the multiemployer pension plan amendments that were enacted in...more

Sixth Circuit Holds No Disgorgement of Profits Based on Wrongfully Denied ERISA Disability Benefits

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, recently decided a closely-watched case regarding the scope of "other appropriate equitable relief" under ERISA Section 502(a)(3). In Rochow v. LINA, the court held that...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

SCOTUS Reinforces ERISA Fiduciaries' Continuing Duty To Monitor Plan Investments

Recently, in Tibble v Edison International, 575 U.S.(2015), the United States Supreme Court addressed the application of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) statute of limitations for violations of fiduciary...more

Davidson v. Henkel — What’s Going On With Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans and FICA

In This Presentation: - Davidson v. Henkel Corp. - The Parties - NQ Plan - The Plan’s Tax Clauses - Davidson’s Pre-Retirement Counseling - 2011 Compliance Review and Letter - Henkel’s Tax...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

Using Your IRA to Buy a Business: Still a Risky Strategy

I blogged in the past about decisions in which taxpayers have used assets in their IRA to finance a new business. This structure is sometimes known as a ROBS or rollover for business startups. In 2013, the tax court held that...more

ERISA Fiduciary Duties for Plan Investments

Many employers offer 401(k) and other retirement plans for their employees as part of the cost of doing business. Too often, retirement plans are established and operated without much thought given to the numerous legal...more

Missed Deferrals - New 401(k) Correction Procedures

The IRS has recently issued three new, less expensive safe harbor procedures for correcting missed elective deferrals. These new procedures require either no employer corrective contribution to make up the missed elective...more

Starting a New Job? Consider These Tips When Signing Up for Employee Benefits

When you start a new job you may be offered a wide range of employee benefits, from retirement accounts to life insurance. If you are the parent of a child with special needs, the decisions you make when signing up for these...more

Supreme Court Rules that Plan Fiduciaries Owe a Fiduciary Duty to Periodically Review Plan Investments

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court in Tibble v. Edison International held that plan fiduciaries owe an ongoing duty to review plan investments periodically to ensure compliance with their obligations under the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Public Pension Cutbacks Unconstitutional

The national debate on public pension plans shifted to the State of Illinois this month. On the heels of the Oregon Supreme Court’s decision in Moro v. State of Oregon (see K&L Gates Client Alert: Changing the Rules in the...more

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