Retirement Plan Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

IRS Requests Comments on New Compliance Questions in Form 5500

The IRS added new compliance questions to the 2015 IRS Form 5500/5500-SF, which is the annual report filed by retirement plans with the Department of Labor and the IRS.  The Form 5500 instructions, however, specifically...more

Beware the Retroactive QDRO

Employers know that they must honor qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) that assign a portion of a retirement benefit to a participant’s former spouse, known as an alternate payee, when the participant and alternate...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2016

Previously, many advisors had been concerned that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations on safe harbor plan designs covering 401(k) and 403(b) plans may have severely limited the abilities of plan sponsors to adopt...more

Disclaimer in Top-Hat Plan Could Save Millions for Employer

Do you have a top-hat plan? That’s a plan which is unfunded and is maintained by an employer primarily for the purpose of providing deferred compensation for a select group of management or highly compensated employees...more

New Compliance Questions in IRS Form 5500 Warrant Screening Reviews of 401(K) Plans During 2016

The IRS recently added new questions to the 2015 Form 5500/5500-SF annual retirement plan returns. The Form 5500-Series returns are used by retirement plans to report the financial condition, investments, and operations of...more

March and April 2016 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

Is Your 401(k) Safe Harbor Plan Amendment Really Safe?

Finally, the IRS has made it clear that a 401(k) safe harbor plan may be amended during a plan year, with certain restrictions, and not lose its safe harbor status, in IRS Notice 2016-16 (the "Notice")....more

New Guidance From IRS Provides Mid-Year Changes To Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans

Prior to the Internal Revenue Services' (IRS) recent issuance of Notice 2016-16 (the Notice), employers that sponsored safe harbor 401(k) retirement plans were uncertain about whether any mid-year changes to their plans would...more

Good News from the IRS on 401(K) Safe Harbor Plans

Safe harbor 401(k) plans are attractive because they are not required to perform annual nondiscrimination testing. In the past, one of the biggest reasons not to offer a safe harbor 401k) plan was the prohibition on changing...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That ERISA Preempts State Health Claims Reporting Law

Yesterday, in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, the United States Supreme Court held that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) preempts a Vermont state law that requires certain entities...more

Employee Benefits Developments - February 2016

IRS Issues Guidance Regarding Application of ACA Fee to Expatriate Health Plans. Section 9010 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes an annual fee on covered entities engaged in the business of providing health insurance...more

ORPP Update: Enrollment and Phase-in of Contributions Delayed

The Ontario and federal governments announced on February 16, 2016 that they have reached an agreement regarding the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) and improving pensions for Canadians. With contributions originally...more

Montanile, Amgen, Tackett & Moen: Four Important Employee Benefits Cases to Kick Off 2016

The year 2016 has only just started, and we have already seen several important court decisions related to employee benefit plans and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA). This Client Alert...more

IRS Allows Mid-Year Changes, Further Encouraging Safe Harbor Plans

The IRS has issued new guidance giving sponsors of Safe Harbor 401(k) plans much greater flexibility to amend their plans during a plan year. This is welcome relief from the previous IRS position that had hobbled such plans....more

Most Midyear Safe Harbor Plan Amendments Now Allowed

Many employers offering a retirement plan utilize a safe harbor 401(k) plan for the convenience and level of security afforded to the employer by its use. However, until recently, the IRS has not expressly permitted...more

IRS Provides Welcome Guidance on Mid-Year Amendments to Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans

The IRS recently issued Notice 2016-16 (the “Notice”), which permits most mid-year amendments to safe harbor 401(k) plans.  This is welcome news to sponsors of safe harbor 401(k) plans who, prior to the issuance of the...more

Safe! Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor Plans Permitted

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued long-awaited relief to sponsors of safe harbor 401(k) plans. For years, many employers have relied on various safe harbor plans designs to avoid generally applicable...more

Employers’ Guide to the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (the ORPP), will be a provincially-managed plan that, like the Canada Pension Plan, will be funded by equal co-contributions from both employers and employees. It will come into effect as...more

February 2016 IRS Issues Notice on Midyear Changes to Safe Harbor Plans and Safe Harbor Notices

On January 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2016 - 16 , which provides, effective immediately, significant relief with respect to the ability of a plan sponsor to make midyear changes to a safe...more

IRS Relaxes Rules for Mid-Year Changes

Since its availability, many 401(k) plan sponsors, particularly smaller employers have adopted a “Safe Harbor” plan design under Code Section 401(k)(12) or (13) and 401(m)(11) or (12). Safe Harbor plan designs include both a...more

Be Careful What You Wish For – Dudenhoeffer May Do “More Harm Than Good” For ERISA “Stock Drop” Plaintiffs

In its June 2014 decision in Dudenhoeffer v. Fifth Third Bank, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declined to recognize a “presumption of prudence” that had favored retirement-plan fiduciaries faced with allegations of...more

DOL Announces Expansion of Defined Benefit Pension Plan Audit Program

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that it is expanding an audit program directed at large defined benefit pension plans. The program, which originated in the DOL’s Philadelphia region and is expanding, is...more

ERISA Claim Knocked Off the Pedestal - Provider of 401(k) Investment Platform Held Not to Have Fiduciary Liability

Over the years, U.S. employers that sponsor “401(k)” and other retirement plans, and plan fiduciaries, have increasingly become the subject of significant and potentially expensive litigation under the Employee Retirement...more

Don’t skimp out on the retirement plan

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

State of the Union 2016 – What Will the President Focus on in his Final Year in Office?

While much of last night's State of the Union Address focused on big-picture issues, President Obama did make some specific employment-related comments during the annual speech to the country. One underlying purpose of this...more

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