News & Analysis as of

Your 401(k) Plan and the Shape of the Earth

I used to work with a very smart lawyer who said that he could give a legal opinion that the world was flat if his qualifying language was not limited. In that case, he would have stated something on the order of: this...more

Is There An Elephant In The Room?

401(k) Plan documents can read like Russian novels. They are often long and difficult to understand, so it’s no surprise that administrative errors in operating such plans happen frequently. Common errors include omitting or...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

Future Threats That a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of

What was good yesterday might not be a good today. Asbestos was a great fireproof building material until it was found to cause asbestosis and malignant mesothelioma Thalidomide was a great drug for morning sickness until it...more

Supreme Court to Address Presumption of Prudence for ERISA “Stock Drop” Cases

The Supreme Court agreed on December 13, 2013 to review an issue critical to ERISA “stock drop” cases and important more generally for ERISA individual-account plans that invest in employer stock....more

Things They Never Tell You as a 401(k) Plan Sponsor

When my wife and I bought our house, there were quite a few things that the previous owner forgot to tell us such as the fact they never bothered to pull the pipes from the dental office run by a previous owner 20 years...more

Offering Self Directed Brokerage Accounts in a 401(k) Plan is a Bad Bet

I love Las Vegas and I hate to gamble, which explains why I haven’t been to Atlantic City since 1995. I love the sights, sounds, the entertainment, the food, and everything but gambling. I hate gambling because I don’t like...more

The Great Bundled vs. Unbundled 401(k) Provider Debate

In our lives, there are times when we have two important choices. It’s Coke vs. Pepsi, Mac vs. PC, Xbox vs. PlayStation (sorry Nintendo), Star Wars vs. Star Trek, and Marvel vs. DC. In the 401(k) space, it’s always bundled...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

Another Participant Challenge to Defined Benefit Plan Investments: Could Your Plan Defend its Investment Program?

The focus of U.S. litigation challenging plan investments has been 401(k) plans, but that may be changing. Defined benefit plan sponsors may have felt that they were immune to these types of claims because the funding rules...more

The Problem With Retirement Plans

Over the past 30 years, a dramatic change has taken place in the use of retirement plans to help people save for their later years....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

Reminder: Ongoing Participant Fee Disclosure Obligations for Retirement Plan Sponsors

In 2011 and 2012, we alerted you to new requirements on plan administrators of participant-directed defined contribution retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, profit sharing plans and money purchase plans) that...more

The Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision: What Does it Mean for Employee Benefit Plans?

On June 26, 2013, in U.S. v. Windsor, the United States Supreme Court struck down the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) that defined marriage as a legal union between one man and one woman. This decision will...more

Same-Sex Marriages and Benefit Plans After Windsor

On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Windsor v. United States, No. 12-307. The Court ruled (in a 5-4 decision) that the section of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that required federal...more

Supreme Court Finds DOMA to Be Unconstitutional -- Impact on Employers Explained

On June 26, 2013, a majority of the Supreme Court held in United States v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defined marriage for purposes of federal law as the union of a man and a woman, is...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

“Stuff” Every 401(k) Plan Sponsor Must Keep

George Carlin said that all you need in life is a place for your stuff. Carlin said that all a house really is; is a place for your stuff. When it comes to being a retirement plan sponsor, retirement plan sponsors need a...more

Why Retirement Plan Sponsors Need To Care About Plan Design

Would you leave money on the table for the government to take instead? Would you not maximize your retirement savings because your accountant or third party administrator (TPA) told you that you had to give the same amounts...more

Ninth Circuit Rules on Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim in Investment Options Case

In Tibble v. Edison Int’l, 10-cv-56406, 2013 WL 1174167 (9th Cir. Mar. 21, 2013), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that 401(k) plan fiduciaries breached their duty of prudence in selecting investment options for the...more

2013 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

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

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