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

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

Year-End Health and Retirement Plan Guidance Grab Bag

Following Hawaii’s enactment of legislation recognizing same-sex marriage as of and after December 2, 2013 a number of additional pieces of guidance were also issued. Internal Revenue Service’s Frequently Asked Questions...more

IRS and DOL Guidance Clarifies Employee Benefits Impact of Supreme Court’s DOMA Ruling

Recent guidance issued by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provides some initial...more

The End of DOMA: Federal Tax and Benefits Implications

The US Supreme Court’s recent ruling in United States v. Windsor (“Windsor”) struck down key portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) as unconstitutional. This decision will allow many same-sex spouses to...more

Defense of Marriage Act Struck Down – What it Means for Employers

The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act will have a major impact on the benefits employers provide to employees. Pending IRS guidance, employers should review benefit plans and...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Section 3 of DOMA is Unconstitutional: What Should Employee Benefit Plan Sponsors and Administrators Be...

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) provides a single definition of marriage, as between one man and one woman, for purposes of all federal laws, including the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA....more

The Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA: How the Ruling Will Impact Employers

What you need to know: The Supreme Court has ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act, a federal law defining "marriage" as "a legal union between one man and one woman," deprives same-sex spouses of the equal liberty that...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

The Top 10 Major Misconceptions Plan Sponsors Have About Their Retirement Plans

Retirement plans can be an effective means for employee retention and tax savings. However if not operated properly, a retirement plan can inadvertently expose the employer to liability from unhappy plan participants and the...more

Retirement Plan Sponsors Have More to Fear Than Fear Itself

In his inaugural address in 1933 amidst the Depression, Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that the only thing we had to fear was “fear itself”. 1933 predates ERISA by 40+ years, so FDR clearly didn’t understand the dilemmas of...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

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

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