News & Analysis as of

Amendments to Alberta’s Proposed New Employment Pension Plans Act

Alberta appears to be moving forward with its pension reform agenda. As you may recall, on December 10, 2012, Alberta’s new Employment Pension Plans Act (the Proposed New EPPA) received royal assent, but it has not yet been...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

The Headache of Plan Loans

They often say that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. I don’t know who said it first (I heard it was originated with St. Bernard, the saint, not the dog), but perhaps they were a 401(k) plan sponsor that had a...more

Oops, I Forgot To Distribute A Safe Harbor Notice For My Company's 401(k) Plan, Now What?

The Internal Revenue Service often publishes correction methods for common errors involving qualified retirement plan administration issues. One of the most common errors is failing to notify eligible employees of their safe...more

IRS Guidance on Treatment of Same-Sex Marriages by Qualified Retirement Plans

On April 4, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Notice 2014-19 (the “Notice”), which provides additional guidance on how qualified retirement plans should treat same-sex marriages following the Supreme Court’s...more

The needs of the Plan outweigh the needs of the Plan Provider

A family member once said: “there are a lot of yous (sic) and only one me.” That may not be the nicest and most selfless thing to say, but that’s something retirement plan sponsors should think when it comes to the needs of...more

Retirement Benefits: Which Way Does the Whistle Blow?

The Issue: A terminated employee makes a claim against the employer for damages. The company says it fired him for stealing from the company. He says it was in retaliation for reporting law violations by the employer (that...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

Defined Benefits Plans are to save $$$, not to make insurance salesman crazy $$$$

While the talk about retirement plans is usually centered on 401(k) plans, the value of a defined benefit plan for those companies that could afford it should not be discounted. Thanks to the generous deductible contribution...more

ERISA 3(38) Fiduciaries, Big Tuna, and Buying Groceries

When the great Bill Parcells (go Big Blue!) was the head coach of the New England Patriots, he got into a tiff with owner Robert Kraft because Parcells wanted more of a say in the personnel decision-making process. Parcells...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

Court of Appeals Issues Decision Regarding Vesting of School District Retiree Health Insurance Benefits

On December 12, 2013, the New York Court of Appeals issued a decision in Kolbe v. Tibbetts, in which the Court addressed whether the Newfane Central School District could unilaterally alter the health insurance benefits of...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

March and April 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

Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System Q&A

Introduction: To encourage employers to provide a tax qualified retirement plan, and to encourage employees to participate in such retirement plans, the Internal Revenue Code ("IRC") provides tax incentives to both...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

Can You Save Money By De-Risking Your U.S. Defined Benefit Plan?

Do you know how much keeping former employees in your defined benefit plan costs? Mercer’s US Pension Buyout Index for November 2013 reports that as of December 31, 2013, the economic cost of retaining retiree liabilities...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

February and March 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

Retirement Plans: the one employee benefit you should watch before you cut

As I have stated before, I am loath to hire employees because I was an employee once too. That pretty much means that I never met an employee whoever thought they were overpaid. For that matter, I never met an employer who...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

Another Benefits Grab Bag of Guidance and Reminders – Health and Retirement Plans

Preventive Care Expansion for Calendar Plan Year 2015 for Non-Grandfathered or Non-Exempt Plans - The preventive care coverage requirements were updated in September 2013 to include a requirement that there must be...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

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