News & Analysis as of

How a Plan Sponsor Can Avoid Being a Deer Caught in the Headlights

The term “deer in the headlights” explains the mental state of a person who shows behavioral signs that remind us of a deer subjected to a car’s headlights where the deer is in such panic that they show no motor reaction to...more

A Retirement Plan Sponsor’s Guide for Selecting Their Financial Advisor

When it comes to your role as a retirement plan sponsor, outside of hiring a TPA (third party administrator), the most important plan provider that you need to hire is a financial advisor. Unfortunately, like my favorite...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

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 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

Dumb Things Retirement Plan Sponsors Should Avoid Doing

Whoever said that there is no such thing as a dumb question obviously wasn’t in attendance at my Global History class in high school when someone asked whether it was true that if you take a picture of an Amish person, the...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

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

Plan sponsors should take stock of all plan amendments

I didn’t have such a wonderful time at law school because I felt the administration and much of the faculty weren’t honest when it came to the study of law and more importantly, our job opportunities. There was one law...more

End of Year Tips For Retirement Plan Sponsors

With the Holiday season about to start, we know that the end of the year will soon follow. While plan participants maybe more concerned about holiday shopping or the firm’s annual holiday party, it’s a great and necessary...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

How Retirement Plan Sponsors Can Take Their Contributions to The Limit

George Carlin once said that the whole meaning of life is not dying, unfortunately, my favorite comedian died from a bad heart. As an ERISA attorney, I believe that the whole purpose of an employer starting and maintaining a...more

First Circuit: Private Equity Fund May Be “Trade or Business” and Subject to Portfolio Company Pension Liabilities

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has recently held in Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, No. 12-2312 (July 24, 2013), a case of first impression at the Circuit Court...more

Canadian (and U.S.) Investment Funds Face New Risk of Pension Liability – What’s Keeping Fund Sponsors up at Night

The Issue: Commonly controlled trades or businesses are jointly and severally liable for pension liabilities under the U.S. Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)....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

The Sixth Circuit Reminds Claim Administrators Of The Dangers Of A Breach of Fiduciary Duty When Handling Plan Assets

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. § 1001, et seq., was passed with the goal of protecting plan assets so that those assets would be available for plan participants and beneficiaries. See...more

Employer’s Excuses Why They Don’t Look At Their Retirement Plan And Why They’re Wrong

As an ERISA attorney with a national practice of plan sponsor and retirement plan provider clients around the country (cheap plug here), I hear many excuses as to why plan sponsors don’t want to take a look at their...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

Monthly Benefits Update - April 2013

Health Care Reform: Guidance on Required Future Modifications to SBC, Other Issues - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Department of Labor (DOL), and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued new guidance...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

IRS and US Department of Labor Continue to Expand, Encourage and Simplify Correction Programs in 2013 Updates to EPCRS and DFVCP

Plan sponsors know that errors and failures in administering a retirement plan happen. All too often, changes in administrators, service providers and other staff uncover errors and compliance problems that should be...more

IRS Updates and Expands Qualification Correction Program

New provisions for correcting operational and plan document errors take effect on April 1. On December 31, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) updated its Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) through...more

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