Retirement Plan Pensions Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Ontario Pension Plan Members Will Soon Have Significant New Rights

Ontario is on the verge of implementing new rights for members of registered pension plans. Members will have the right to form committees that will have broad rights to review information about all aspects of plan...more

Penalties Increased for Employee Benefit Plan Violations

Recently-enacted legislation has increased many penalty amounts for certain employee benefit plan violations. The new penalties – some of which are more than double previous amounts – were adjusted to catch up with inflation...more

U.S. employers targeted by lawsuits claiming excessive fees in employee retirement and savings plans: Could it happen in Canada?

I recently wrote about the legal risks regarding plan fees that should be considered by Canadian employers who sponsor group registered retirement savings plans and defined contribution pension plans....more

New Court Decisions Reinforce Need for Benefit Communications Policy

In my last post to this blog I extolled the virtues of a benefit communications policy for HR professionals who communicate pensions and benefits to fellow employees. I pointed out that years of benefit miscommunication has...more

Department of Labor Increases Penalties for Certain ERISA Violations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published on July 1, 2016, an interim final rule adjusting the civil monetary penalties that it can enforce. These adjustments are the result of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation...more

Penalty Amounts Get Adjustment (Upward, of Course)

The Department of Labor (DOL), along with several other federal agencies, recently released adjusted penalty amounts for various violations. The amounts had not been adjusted since 2003, so there was some catching up to do,...more

Pension Plan Governance Policies: Have You Reviewed Yours Lately?

When was the last time you thought about pension plan governance? Or reviewed your pension governance policies? It would be great if your answer is “recently”. However, if you’re like many organizations whose answer is “I...more

CPP Agreement in Principle Reached, ORPP Will Not Proceed if Deal is Finalized

The federal government and the provinces, except for Quebec and Manitoba, have reached an agreement in principle to a Canada Pension Plan (CPP) enhancement that will be phased in over seven years beginning January 1, 2019....more

CPP Expansion

Retirement savings in this country has been a hot topic of late, and yesterday evening in Vancouver the federal government and (most of) the provinces announced that they have reached a deal to expand the Canada Pension Plan....more

Why HR Professionals Should Demand A Benefit Communications Policy

If your job description includes responsibility for communicating pensions and benefits to fellow employees, then you must already know that with each new communication comes increased potential legal liability for your...more

More DB DC Plan Design Flexibility in Maximizing Benefits for Highly Compensated Employees

Given the subject matter involved, this Alert is very technical and specialized. If your company offers both an active pension plan and a 401(k) or profit sharing plan and performs the general test to satisfy the...more

Employee Benefits Developments - April 2016

Stock Drop Case Update: Settlement Reached in Dudenhoeffer Case; Dismissal of Lehman Brothers Lawsuit Upheld. Two recent developments in stock drop litigation are worth noting: Dudenhoeffer Settlement. In Fifth Third...more

Ontario Retirement Pension Plan: a guide

Media coverage about the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) has been unrelenting for the past two years. The Ontario government has made many announcements setting out its vision for its new, government-run defined...more

Beware the Retroactive QDRO

Employers know that they must honor qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) that assign a portion of a retirement benefit to a participant’s former spouse, known as an alternate payee, when the participant and alternate...more

Employee Benefits Developments - February 2016

IRS Issues Guidance Regarding Application of ACA Fee to Expatriate Health Plans. Section 9010 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes an annual fee on covered entities engaged in the business of providing health insurance...more

ORPP Update: Enrollment and Phase-in of Contributions Delayed

The Ontario and federal governments announced on February 16, 2016 that they have reached an agreement regarding the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP) and improving pensions for Canadians. With contributions originally...more

Employers’ Guide to the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan

The Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (the ORPP), will be a provincially-managed plan that, like the Canada Pension Plan, will be funded by equal co-contributions from both employers and employees. It will come into effect as...more

DOL Announces Expansion of Defined Benefit Pension Plan Audit Program

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that it is expanding an audit program directed at large defined benefit pension plans. The program, which originated in the DOL’s Philadelphia region and is expanding, is...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

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

Commons committee reports on pensions

In its first report of the session, the Work and Pensions Committee has reported that the “freedom to choose” reforms to pensions introduced in April 2015 are insufficient....more

ORPP: What’s next now that the election is over

With a new federal Liberal government coming into office on November 4, 2015, what does this mean for the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP)?  That’s the question on the minds of many employers and workers in Ontario....more

Employee Benefits: IRS Announces 2016 Pension and Related Limitations (10/15)

The Internal Revenue Service recently announced the dollar limitations for pension plans and other items beginning January 1, 2016. Some of the limits, which are mostly unchanged from 2015, are listed below....more

A Troubling Future Part One:  Teamsters’ Pension Rescue Plan

Two significant developments in the multi-employer pension world emerged in September, developments which could give manufacturers concern.  While this is not the time to panic (we have plenty of time to panic), readers...more

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