News & Analysis as of

Not all Plans can Establish a Shortened Limitations Period for Filing Lawsuit

I recently blogged about a case in which a plan had established a shorter period of time (one year deadline) for filing a lawsuit, rather than relying on the state statute of limitation (six years) which would otherwise have...more

Is Your Severance Policy an ERISA Plan?

Severance plans are generally covered under ERISA, but it is not always easy to distinguish an ERISA-covered severance plan from a non-ERISA severance policy. There are advantages and disadvantages to being an ERISA-covered...more

Participants in Top Hat Plans Must Exhaust Administrative Remedies

So-called “Top Hat” plans are nonqualified deferred compensation plans for a select group of management or highly compensated employees. These executive compensation arrangements are exempt from many ERISA provisions, but are...more

Don’t Play Hide the Ball with Your Claims Procedure

ERISA does not have a statute of limitations for lawsuits brought by participants to check claim benefits under the plan. Instead, courts borrow from similar state statutes of limitations. In a decision two years ago, the US...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 - 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

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

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