Retirement Plan

News & Analysis as of

Non-Qualified Plan Sponsors: Beneficiary Designations May Require Attention

A recent court decision highlights the importance of up-to-date beneficiary designations for participants in non-qualified retirement plans. Without up-to-date designations, the payment of the benefits of a deceased...more

U.S. Department of Labor Grace-fully Extends Disclosure Deadline by Two Months for Participant-Directed Retirement Plans

The United States Department of Labor (the “DOL”) announced on March 18, 2015, a “direct” final rule (the “Final Rule”) extending the time in which annual disclosures must be provided by fiduciaries of participant-directed...more

Court Of Chancery Explains Effect Of Spin-Off

This is an interesting decision because it deals with what is the effect of a spin-off of corporate assets on existing contracts that apply to the parties’ “transferees, successors and assigns.” ...more

Easier, Less Costly Alternatives for Correcting Retirement Plan Mistakes

In two recent Revenue Procedures, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has modified the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), the IRS correction program for retirement plans. Revenue Procedure. 2015-27 reduces...more

The Earth is not flat, but maybe the bill should be

I worked for a couple of law firms for a couple of years and it wasn’t my cup of tea. I’m not a big fan of any business that is predicated less on the quality of service and more on how much you bill. Billing by the hour...more

DOL Opens Window for Annual Participant Fee Disclosures

?After several annual cycles of participant fee disclosures, sponsors of participant-directed retirement plans have discovered that sometimes pulling together the relevant information from vendors and issuing timely...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - March 2015 #4

Focus on Fiduciary Standards. In February the President’s Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) issued a Report on the Effects of Conflicted Investment Advice on Retirement Savings. In its conclusion, the Report estimated the...more

Second Circuit Revisits Remedies In Amara v. Cigna

The Second Circuit court of appeals held that a court can exercise its equitable powers to reform the terms of a cash balance retirement plan to provide greater benefits than stated in response to material misstatements made...more

Reach Out And Designate Someone?

The seemingly staid world of retirement plan beneficiary designations was surprised by a recent federal appeals court decision suggesting that a new beneficiary could be designated by a telephone call. ...more

Sometimes Networking Can Be Bad

When it comes to building a retirement plan practice, networking is an important component. Whether you are a financial advisor or a third party administrator or an auditor, placing an advertisement in the local newspaper or...more

Supreme Court Rules No Presumption of Lifetime Vesting of Retiree Health Benefits

The Supreme Court overturned the Sixth Circuit’s long-standing Yard-Man presumption, ruling that courts should apply ordinary contract principles to determine whether benefits have vested....more

Plan Sponsor Agrees to $62 Million Settlement in ERISA Case Challenging 401(k) Plan Fees

Lockheed Martin Corp. has settled the 401(k) excessive fee litigation pending against it in federal court in Illinois....more

U.S. District Court Rules that Float Income Earned by Fidelity Is Not a Plan Asset

Four class actions were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts challenging whether float income earned on monies pending a transaction was a “plan asset.” In re Fidelity ERISA Float Income,...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Beneficiary Designation Forms Are Not Documents and Instruments Governing the Plan

In Becker v. Mays-Williams, 13-35069-cv, 2015 WL 348872 (9th Cir. Jan 28, 2015), the Ninth Circuit – in a matter of first impression – concluded that beneficiary designation forms were not “documents and instruments...more

Divorcing that TPA can be a problem

The MTV reality series The Real World ends their opening intro by stating the show tries “to find out what happens… when people stop being polite… and start getting real.” As an ERISA attorney working with retirement plan...more

DOL Amends Timing Requirement for Participant-Directed Plan Disclosures

The final rule gives greater leeway for the distribution deadline of annual participant disclosures. In its 2010 participant disclosure rule for participant-directed individual account plans (Regulation 404a-5), the US...more

Department of Labor Retirement Initiative Fails to Consider Current Regulatory Regime, which Comprehensively Protects Investors,...

We have prepared this white paper to address errant claims made in the Council of Economic Advisers’ (CEA) report, “The Effects of Conflicted Advice on Retirement Savings” (CEA Report), regarding perceived inadequacies in the...more

2015 PBGC Premium Filings Must Include Risk Transfer Disclosures

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the “PBGC”) recently finalized its premium filing requirements for 2015. In addition to higher premium rates and other more minor changes, plan sponsors are now required to report...more

DOL Provides Flexibility in Timing of Annual Participant Fee Disclosures for Retirement Plans That Provide for Participant...

On March 18, 2015, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a direct final rule that revises the annual disclosure requirement in the participant-level fee disclosure regulations under ERISA Section 404(a). The guidance provides...more

SEC No-Action Letter Permits Non-ERISA Retirement Plans to Issue Participant Fee Disclosures Without Violating Securities Laws

In a no-action letter dated February 18, 2015, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) extended relief from the application of Rule 482 of the Securities Act of 1933 to certain retirement plans that are exempt from...more

DOL Clarifies Timing Requirement for Annual Investment-Related Disclosures

On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a modification to the fee and investment-related disclosure requirements for ERISA individual account retirement plans that allow participants to direct the...more

DOL Gives Retirement Plan Sponsors of Participant Directed Retirement Plans Additional Time to Provide Employee Fee Disclosures

U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations require 401(k) plan fiduciaries to provide plan participants with a detailed disclosure statement about the plan’s designated investment alternatives, prior to initial enrollment and...more

Another 10 Wrong Ideas That Plan Sponsors Have About Their Retirement Plans

Most of the time, sequels suck. Except for perhaps Terminator 2 and The Godfather Part II, most sequels are like such bombs as Caddyshack II and Beyond the Poseidon Adventure. Despite this dislike of sequels, giving Plan...more

A Great Idea isn’t everything

I always say that when I have a good idea, it’s despite the fact that most of my other ideas suck. Having been in this business for almost 17 years and in my practice for almost five, I hear lots of ideas from other...more

Trust is an important thing in working with other providers

When working with other retirement plan providers, the most important word is trust. You must have trust in the providers you work with and trust in the providers that you refer business....more

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