Retirement Plan Supreme Court of the United States

News & Analysis as of

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

U.S. Supreme Court Invalidates Yard-Man Presumption for Collectively-Bargained Retiree Health Benefits

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 574 U.S. ____ (2015) that ordinary principles of contract law should govern the interpretation of provisions for retiree healthcare benefits under collective...more

Monthly Benefits Alert - February 2015

Health & Wellness Plans - Anthem Data Breach Requires Plan Sponsor Attention - On January 29, 2015, Anthem Inc., one of the largest managed health care companies in the country, disclosed that the sensitive...more

Reasonable Fee Issues for Fiduciaries on the Horizon

The Supreme Court is poised to address whether fiduciaries' decisions—especially in using fee sharing arrangements—are subject to deference when challenged. The Eighth and Ninth Circuit courts recently decided these issues,...more

An Inherited IRA And Bankruptcy

In Clark v. Rameker, a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 12, 2014, the Court ruled that an inherited IRA did not constitute “retirement funds” under the Federal Bankruptcy Code and, therefore, those funds were...more

Update For Retirement Plans Post-Windsor

Now that some of the dust has settled on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, employers who haven’t done so already should take immediate steps to review their retirement plan documents and administrative...more

A New Reality for ESOP Fiduciaries - Company Stock Investments for Employee Participants in Retirement Plans of Public and...

For the ESOP fiduciary of a publicly traded employer, the Supreme Court has made clear that non-public insider information is not required to be used in reaching a decision to buy, hold or sell employer securities....more

What Does the Supreme Court’s Ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer Mean for ESOPs and Other Retirement Plan Fiduciaries?

Fiduciaries of qualified retirement plans, including Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), have generally been entitled to a presumption that they have acted prudently in offering employer stock as an investment alternative...more

U.S. Supreme Court Changes Fiduciary Rules for Retirement Plans with Employer Stock

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision affects fiduciaries of retirement plans that have investments in employer stock. In the decision, the Supreme Court held that a retirement plan fiduciary is not entitled to a presumption...more

U.S. Supreme Court Abolishes the Presumption of Prudence in ERISA Stock Drop Cases

A recurring scenario in ERISA litigation involves claims against fiduciaries of 401(k) retirement plans who are alleged to have breached their fiduciary duty by failing to discontinue investment in employer stock following a...more

Recent Employee Benefits Developments

Amending Retirement Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Plan sponsors need to review retirement plan documents and operations to determine whether changes are needed in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S....more

Supreme Court Rules Inherited IRAs Available to Creditors in Bankruptcy

On June 12, 2014 the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Clark v. Rameker, 13-299, ruling that inherited IRA accounts are available to creditors in bankruptcy. At issue was a Bankruptcy Code provision that...more

U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Clark won’t impact inherited IRAs of Missouri residents

Creditors are generally aware that a debtor may shield from collection by creditors assets that the debtor holds in Individual Retirement Account (IRA). However, as more IRA owners die with substantial assets remaining in...more

IRS Provides Guidance on Retroactivity of DOMA Decision for Qualified Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Notice 2014-19 and related answers to FAQs, which give plan sponsors additional guidance on how the Supreme Court's decision last June in U.S. v. Windsor applies...more

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari on a Long-Standing Circuit Split Over Collectively Bargained Retiree Health Care Benefits

Earlier this month, the Supreme Court agreed to review the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Tackett v. M&G Polymers USA, LLC, 733 F.3d 589 (6th Cir. 2013). The Court will resolve an existing circuit split as to how courts...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

New IRS Guidance on Same-Sex Marriages and Retirement Plans Requires Action by Employers

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) have issued Notice 2014-9 (the “Notice”) and related Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) providing much anticipated guidance on the application of the Supreme...more

How The Windsor Decision Applies To Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service recently furnished employers with welcome guidance concerning coverage of same-sex spouses in qualified plans. In a new Notice, the Service discusses how qualified arrangements such as...more

IRS Guidance On Same-Gender Marriage - What Actions Should Plan Sponsors Take Now

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, the IRS announced in Revenue Ruling 2013-17 that lawfully married same-sex couples would be treated as married for all Internal Revenue Code purposes. On...more

Supreme Court Grants Certiorari to Review Sixth Circuit’s Pro-Union Inference in Retiree Health Insurance Benefits Cases

The Supreme Court of the United States has agreed to resolve a circuit split about how courts should interpret collective bargaining agreements that provide for health insurance benefits for retired employees in M&G Polymers...more

New IRS Rules on Same Sex Marriages and How the Rules Affect Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans

In the U. S. Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor (Windsor), the Court held that, for federal purposes, Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional. Although the dispute in the Windsor...more

Is It Time To Review, Retest, Or Amend Your Employee Benefit Plans? IRS Provides Same Sex Marriage Guidance For Retirement Plan...

On June 26, 2013, when the Supreme Court determined that Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional, the tax and benefit plan implications were unclear. Later, in Revenue Ruling 2013-17, the...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

IRS Releases Guidance on Application of Windsor to Retirement Plans

Last week, the IRS released Notice 2014-19, which provides guidance on the application to retirement plans of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, which found Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act...more

IRS Releases Further Guidance for Retirement Plans on Treatment of Same-Sex Spouses

In IRS Notice 2014-19 and accompanying FAQs, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued long-awaited guidance addressing the treatment of same-sex spouses under qualified retirement plans such as 401(k) and defined benefit...more

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