Retirement Plan Employee Retirement Income Security Act

News & Analysis as of

What's New Under the Defense of Marriage Act?

A major reason that employee benefits, such as employer- provided healthcare and retirement plans, exist is that they provide a tax-advantaged way for an employer to provide additional compensation to an employee, her spouse,...more

Discriminatory Defined Benefit Plans: Finding Retirement Gold in the Least Likely of Places

We live in politically charged times. Congress seems unable to reach a consensus on anything, including where to have the annual congressional Christmas ball! Years of political crossfire over the Affordable Care Act have...more

The Debate Continues Over The Fiduciary Status of 401(k) Plan Service Providers

In Golden Star Inc. v. MassMutual Life Ins. Co., 2014 WL 2117511 (D. Mass. May 20, 2014), a district court addressed two issues that have become hotly contested in 401(k) plan fee litigation: (1) whether and when a plan...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - May 2014

Editor's Overview - This month our authors explore two important areas of ERISA's fiduciary duties applicable to single employer and multiemployer plans. First, Neal Schelberg and Aaron Feuer comment on a growing trend...more

Sixth Circuit: ERISA’s Whistleblower Provision Doesn’t Protect Giving Information

The Sixth Circuit (in a 2-1 decision) recently held that ERISA Section 510 does not protect unsolicited employee complaints. See Sexton v. Panel Processing, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 8752 (6th Cir. May 9, 2014). Plaintiff...more

Plan Document Mistakes a Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Avoid

One of the major things that plan sponsors forget about their retire- ment plans is the plan document. ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 for those scoring at home) requires all retirement plans to...more

When Silence Isn't Silence: What is the Silence of Your ERISA Summary Plan Description Actually Saying?

It is well known that in enacting the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et. seq., Congress set forth a requirement that a Summary Plan Description ("SPD") be furnished to participants...more

Death, Taxes and …ERISA Disclosure Regulations?

There are few sure things in life, and although it is probably safe to say that ERISA disclosure regulations would not be considered one of them, there has certainly been a steady stream of new ERISA-related disclosure and...more

Florida District Court Rejects ERISA Claims Premised on Alleged FLSA Violations

Plaintiffs in most class and collective actions try to plead their claims in such a way as to exert the maximum pressure against the employer. In some instances, that raises the issue of whether the plaintiff should assert...more

Advisors Advantage

Do you have it? It will determine whether you'll be a big hit or not. When it comes to being a retirement plan provider and selling your services, you have to have it. Those who have it, succeed. Those who don't,...more

ERISA Fiduciary Guidance - Making a "Watch List" Work

For most professionals who sit on 401(k) or 403(b) plan administrative or investment committees, there is a fair amount of routine. The committee probably adopted an investment policy that dates back to the time the plan’s...more

Do you have it?

When it comes to being a retirement plan provider and selling your services, you have to have it. Those who have it, succeed. Those who don’t, don’t. You can’t get it from a bottle, a book, or course....more

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

Old Days – Remembering When Small Business Had Pension Plans

We lived in politically charged times. Congress seems unable to reach any consensus on anything including where to have the annual Congressional Christmas Ball! Years of political crossfire over the Affordable Care Act have...more

Seeing the Retirement Plan Dentist to avoid a Plan Root Canal

About a dozen or so year ago, there was a medical report that dental plaque could cause heart disease. The cynic in me tells me that this was some sort of dental conspiracy to increase revenue as fluoridated water and other...more

ERISA 3(38) Fiduciaries, Big Tuna, and Buying Groceries

When the great Bill Parcells (go Big Blue!) was the head coach of the New England Patriots, he got into a tiff with owner Robert Kraft because Parcells wanted more of a say in the personnel decision-making process. Parcells...more

Another Way To Become Personally Liable To A Multiemployer Plan

I have blogged in the past about individuals and businesses that are not signatories to a collective bargaining agreement being found liable for withdrawal liability imposed by multiemployer pension plans (plans jointly...more

In Fuller, Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Claims Challenging Financial Services Company’s Use of Proprietary Products in...

In a recent Eleventh Circuit case challenging, under ERISA, the use of proprietary funds in a financial services company’s own retirement plan, the court affirmed dismissal of the claims. It held, in Fuller v. SunTrust...more

Legal Alert: DOL Proposes 408(b)(2) Disclosure Guide

On March 12, 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) published in the Federal Register a proposed amendment to its disclosure requirements for “covered service providers” to retirement plans under ERISA § 408(b)(2) that would...more

View From McDermott: Conflicting Review Standards in Executive Retirement Plan Benefit Claims—Is There Really a Difference?

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, retirement plans generally come in two flavors – (i) retirement plans qualified under Section 401 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) and (ii) executive retirement plans,...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

Appellate Court Denies Retirement Benefits To Former Employee After Finding The Employee Violated The Employer's Retirement Plan

In Wall v. Alcon Laboratories, Plaintiff, an employee at Alcon Laboratories, was offered a job with Otonomy, a bio-pharmaceutical company and, in Alcon's view, one of its competitors. Plaintiff accepted the job offer from...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

SEC National Examination Program Outlines 2014 Priorities

On January 9, the SEC National Examination Program (NEP) published its examination priorities for 2014. The NEP’s market-wide priorities include (i) fraud detection and prevention; (ii) corporate governance and enterprise...more

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