News & Analysis as of

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - December 2015

The Plan Sponsor Awakens. It's true, all of it. Like most of my generation, I have been a Star Wars fan since I first saw A New Hope when I was 5 in 1977. I even liked the prequel trilogy (except for Jar Jar Binks)....more

DOL Issues Guidance on the Application of ERISA to State-Sponsored Retirement Programs for Private Sector Employees

After a recent flurry of activity in state legislatures regarding state mandated automatic savings programs, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued (1) a proposed regulation, and (2) interpretive guidance that addresses...more

DOL’s New Disability Claim Rules Add to a Plan Administrator’s Duties under Welfare and Retirement Benefit Plans

Now, faced with an aging baby-boomer generation and increased costs related to disability litigation, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (DOL) has proposed new rules that would revise and...more

DOL slightly opens the door for Open MEPs

I was always a fan of “open” multiple employer plans (MEPs) because it allowed smaller companies to get better pricing on plan expenses and choice of investments and providers by aggregating with smaller, similar plans....more

Labor Department Provides Guidance on ERISA Coverage of State-Run Retirement Programs for Private Sector Employers

In recent years, a number of states have explored the idea of establishing state-run retirement plans for private sector employees who do not have access to employer-sponsored retirement plans. The preemption concerns under...more

Pension Plan Investments: ERISA Fiduciaries May Consider Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors Related to Economic Value

Over the past two decades, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a number of advisory opinions and interpretive bulletins on “economically targeted investments” (ETIs). These investments are generally defined as...more

What Does the Trust Requirement of ERISA Mean?

ERISA requires that plan assets be held in trust so that they are protected from claims of the employer. With pension plans, it is generally easy to determine when assets become plan assets and when they should be held in...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - October 2015

Bundled vs. Unbundled 401(k) Plan Providers: The Choice Is Not Clear. Not an easy choice. In our lives, there are times when we have two important choices. It's Coke vs. Pepsi, Mac vs. PC, Xbox vs. PlayStation...more

Investment Management Update - October 2015

Below is a summary of recent investment management developments that affect registered investment companies, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment advisers, and others in the investment management industry. Schwab...more

Changes In The Money Market Fund Rules: The Fiduciary Response

The SEC’s modifications to the money market fund rules won’t become effective for approximately a year, but plan fiduciaries should already be considering what to do about them.2 Almost certainly, they’ll need to make changes...more

For Retirement Plans, it’s more about a process and less about a result

We’ve been conditioned in life that everything is about results. I know from law school the hard way how much that first job relied so much on grades. Businesses are so concerned with the bottom line and we know how sports...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

The DOL and the Proposed Fiduciary Rule: A Prediction

Public comments regarding the Department of Labor’s proposed new fiduciary rule were due and the process will continue. I have said all along that the Department of Labor (DOL) will get a new fiduciary rule in place...more

Seeking Guidance In Fiduciary Duty Compliance? Work With Experienced Attorney

In our last post, we spoke about the importance of businesses being aware of their fiduciary responsibilities and establishing solid compliance policies to ensure they are meeting their legal obligations. One area where this...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

Advisors Advantage - July 2015

In This Issue: - How Retirement Plan Advisors Can Benefit From Any New DOL Fiduciary Rule - Avoid Other Providers Who Are The Sticks in the Wheels of Progress - Sometimes It's Just Words - Never...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

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

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