Retirement Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

Employee Benefits Developments August 2015

Certain Closely Held For-Profit Employers Need Not Provide Women’s Contraceptive Services. Under the ACA, non-grandfathered group health plans must cover specified preventive services, including certain women’s preventive...more

IRS Announces Changes to Determination Letter Process for Individually Designed Retirement Plans

In Announcement 2015-19, the IRS announced the elimination of the five year remedial amendment cycle for individually designed retirement plans effective as of January 1, 2017. This means that after January 1, 2017,...more

DOL Hearings Debate “Fiduciary Duty” not “Suitability” Standard for Retirement Accounts

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL“) recently heard public comment to its proposed regulatory changes implementing a fiduciary duty on any individual receiving compensation for advice tailored to a plan sponsor, participant...more

New details about the ORPP

On August 11, 2015, the Ontario government released long-awaited details about the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). Although there are design issues that need to be settled and many unanswered questions on how the ORPP...more

Alert: Ontario Government Releases Further Details about the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan

Employers and employees who participate in a comparable workplace pension plan will not be required to participate in the ORPP. “Comparable Plan” will be defined as a registered pension plan (registered under provincial or...more

Employee Benefits Alert - July 2015

Major Revisions to Qualified Plan Determination Letter Process Announced - Effective January 1, 2017, the staggered five-year determination letter remedial amendment cycles for individually designed plans will be...more

Multiemployer Pension Plans - Withdrawal Liability is Mounting

There are approximately 1,400 multiemployer pension plans and nearly 10 percent are projected to become insolvent within the next 15 years. Plan insolvency will trigger a termination and the assessment of withdrawal...more

Employee Benefits: A Major Curtailment of the IRS Determination Letter Program Will Impose New Compliance Burdens on Sponsoring...

The Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") announced, on July 21, 2015, a major curtailment of its determination letter program for individually designed qualified retirement plans ("Individually Designed Plans") that will impose...more

GASB Changes Governmental Entity Accounting Disclosure Rules for Retiree Health Benefits

The General Accountability Standards Board (GASB) recently issued new standards that govern the disclosure of post-employment benefits in financial statements. Specifically, new GASB standards require state and municipal...more

IRS Moves to Prohibit Lump Sum Windows for Retirees

The IRS issued Notice 2015-49 (the "Notice") on July 9, 2015, effectively ending the ability of sponsors of qualified defined benefit pension plans ("DB Plan") to "de-risk" their plans by offering participants in pay status...more

Appellate Court Notes

- Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: - SC19422 - Awdziewicz v. Meriden Certain police officers retired, entitling them to pension benefits under the City Charter as previously modified in a separate lawsuit...more

House and Senate Appropriations Committees Approve Funding Bills with Riders Targeting DOL, NLRB Initiatives

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees advanced bills this week to fund various federal agencies for FY 2016. Each chamber approved versions of spending measures that include riders prohibiting funding for a...more

For Life Insurers and Agents – A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule (the “Proposal”), which defines the term “fiduciary” as it applies to persons who provide “investment advice” to ERISA plans and IRAs, will impact the likelihood and severity of...more

DOL Proposal Would Fundamentally Alter Fiduciary Relationship

Nearly five years after proposing a failed rule that would have dramatically expanded the definition of fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Department of Labor has decided to try...more

Federal Agencies Issue Regulations Governing Benefit Reductions and Partitions for Underfunded Multiemployer Pension Plans

On June 17, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) released several regulatory measures implementing the multiemployer pension plan amendments that were enacted in...more

SEC Extends Rule 482 Relief to Non-ERISA Retirement Plans

The SEC staff issued a no-action letter on February 18 that is important for many participant-directed individual account retirement plans (including some established under Section 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code) that...more

Sixth Circuit Holds No Disgorgement of Profits Based on Wrongfully Denied ERISA Disability Benefits

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, recently decided a closely-watched case regarding the scope of "other appropriate equitable relief" under ERISA Section 502(a)(3). In Rochow v. LINA, the court held that...more

Employee Benefits Developments May 2015

Several years ago, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a regulation that would have redefined the term “fiduciary.” The proposed regulation received a great deal of criticism, prompting the DOL to withdraw its proposal. In...more

Mandatory Provident Fund in Hong Kong: What is on the Horizon?

The Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes (Amendment) Bill 2014 (“Bill”) was passed by the Legislative Council in January 2015 to amend the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Ordinance (“MPFSO”) and its subsidiary legislation. Some...more

From Hiring To Firing: A Basic Guide To The Singapore Employment Law Life Cycle

In Singapore, we are restricted for regulatory reasons (as are most international/foreign registered law firms) from practising local law. This means that if a matter needs advice on any Singapore law issues we will arrange...more

Be Careful What You Promise Employees Who Leave Your Employment

Clients sometimes like to ease the transition for employees who are retiring or whom the client would like to encourage to leave. One strategy is to continue the employee “on payroll” for a period of time with the expectation...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2015

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Notice 2015-16, intending to initiate and inform the process of developing regulatory guidance regarding the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage. The...more

Employee Benefits Developments - February 2015

ERISA § 4062(e) Liability Enforcement Returns--Applicable to Defined Benefit Plans and Succession of Operations at Facility. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) § 4062(e) originally imposed liability...more

Employee Benefits Developments - January 2015

IRS Publishes FAQs Regarding Rollovers of After-Tax Contributions. In the December 2014 issue of Employee Benefits Developments, we reported on IRS Notice 2014-54, which allows participants to direct and allocate after-tax...more

Supreme Court Rejects Analysis of Duration of Retiree Benefits As Contrary to Contract Law

On January 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States resolved a long-standing dispute between the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the remainder of the federal judiciary in a case concerning the extent to which...more

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