News & Analysis as of

The trepidation about Retirement Plan Committees

I’m asked all the time about retirement plans setting up committees to manage their plan and I’m a little torn on the matter since I’m not had such a great experience with committees in outside plan activities. So I’ll voice...more

Macroeconomic Aspects of Retirement Savings

In this issue: - Executive Summary - Introduction - Saving for our Collective Old Age - Macroeconomics of Savings and Investments - Individual Households’ Incentives to Save - Overall...more

Retirement Plans aren’t built on an assembly line

Henry T. Ford is considered the father or the pioneer of the modern day assembly line of manufacturing. His development of the Model T and its way of manufacturing is considered one of the great developments in 20th century...more

Retirement Plan Amendment Requirements Post-Windsor

The recent release of Notice 2014-19 and IRS FAQs provide some initial pieces of the guidance that the IRS first promised in September 2013 regarding administrator obligations when amending employee benefit plans to account...more

Retirement Benefits: Which Way Does the Whistle Blow?

The Issue: A terminated employee makes a claim against the employer for damages. The company says it fired him for stealing from the company. He says it was in retaliation for reporting law violations by the employer (that...more

Defined Benefits Plans are to save $$$, not to make insurance salesman crazy $$$$

While the talk about retirement plans is usually centered on 401(k) plans, the value of a defined benefit plan for those companies that could afford it should not be discounted. Thanks to the generous deductible contribution...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

Court of Appeals Issues Decision Regarding Vesting of School District Retiree Health Insurance Benefits

On December 12, 2013, the New York Court of Appeals issued a decision in Kolbe v. Tibbetts, in which the Court addressed whether the Newfane Central School District could unilaterally alter the health insurance benefits of...more

Pension News - February 2014

Welcome to DLA Piper’s Pensions News publication in which we report on recent developments in pensions legislation, guidance and case law, as well as keeping you up to speed on what to look out for in the coming...more

March and April 2014 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

OCC Updates Mortgage Handbook, Retirement Plan Products Handbook

On February 7, the OCC issued an updated Mortgage Banking booklet of the Comptroller’s Handbook. The revised booklet (i) provides updated guidance to examiners and bankers on assessing the quantity of risk associated with...more

I am Glad You Asked! Using Welfare Benefit Trusts to Solve Post-Retirement Medical Planning Needs

Part I - Overview: Scott Peck’s bestseller the Road less Traveled begins with the understatement of understatements – “Life is difficult”. Trouble in life comes from so many different directions. For the small...more

Two trains of thought for the new Financial Advisor regarding the Plan’s TPA

One of my least favorite sayings is: “if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.” I detest it because it suggests complacency of something that is mediocre. It kind of reminds me of when New York City Mayor Ed Koch was running an...more

Capital Thinking: Tax and Retirement

Uncertainty as to Timing on extenders - While Senate Democrats have suggested the possibility of taking up tax extenders early this year, Senate Republicans, including Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Orrin...more

Offering Self Directed Brokerage Accounts in a 401(k) Plan is a Bad Bet

I love Las Vegas and I hate to gamble, which explains why I haven’t been to Atlantic City since 1995. I love the sights, sounds, the entertainment, the food, and everything but gambling. I hate gambling because I don’t like...more

Rollovers as Business Startups: A Guide to Using Retirement Funds to Start a Business

Over the past 10 years, thousands of entrepreneurs have used their existing retirement savings held by a qualified retirement plan or IRA to finance the startup or acquisition of a new business. According to industry experts...more

Marketing Investment Management Services to Public Retirement Systems: Complying with Applicable Laws and Regulations

It is well-known that high-profile jurisdictions such as California and New York City have in certain instances placed lobbyist registration requirements on investment managers that solicit investment advisory business from...more

Law and Disorder: Rethinking Retirement Planning for Plaintiff's Lawyers - The Best of Qualified and Non-qualified Planning...

Overview - We have all heard our share of lawyer jokes. From War of the Roses - "What do you call a bunch of attorneys at the bottom of the ocean"? Answer - A good start! Everybody hates lawyers except their own and...more

The Myth of the Average Retiree: Helping Employees Prepare for an Unknown Future

A person with one foot in a bucket of ice water and the other in a bucket of boiling water is, on average, comfortable. So it goes with retirement planning. Historical averages are used, since the future is unknown, to help...more

The Seven Ages of Retirement

Important decisions in planning retirement income and expenses can be made at seven ages, and the decisions made at those ages can have a substantial effect on the quality of retirement....more

Retirement Planning is a Learning Process

Despite the extensive information available from many sources about retirement planning, many people remain puzzled and disconnected from that type of planning....more

DOL Extends Deadline For Providing Annual Comparative Chart Of Investment Alternatives In Participant-Directed Individual Account...

On July 22, 2013, the DOL announced a temporary enforcement policy that provides the administrators of individual account retirement plans such as 40 (k) or 403(b) plans some additional flexibility regarding when they have to...more

The Problem With Retirement Plans

Over the past 30 years, a dramatic change has taken place in the use of retirement plans to help people save for their later years....more

The Sixth Circuit Reminds Claim Administrators Of The Dangers Of A Breach of Fiduciary Duty When Handling Plan Assets

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), 29 U.S.C. § 1001, et seq., was passed with the goal of protecting plan assets so that those assets would be available for plan participants and beneficiaries. See...more

Retirement Plan Sponsors: This is Your Wake Up Call

Anytime I travel, I ask for a wake up call even though my IPhone will blare “The Godfather Waltz” around the same time because you can never be too careful in getting up in the morning. When I travel around the country to...more

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