News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

What’s in the Pensions Pipeline for 2014?

How the time flies. With 2013 having now drawn to a close, the attention of pension trustees and employers has turned to what pensions issues 2014 may bring. We have discussed some of the likely “agenda items” below....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

Many Employee Retirement Plan Dollar Limits Adjusted For 2014

The Internal Revenue Code provides for various dollar limitations on benefits, contributions, and compensation for tax-qualified employee benefit plans. Recently, the Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects Claim for Reinstatement of Erroneous Benefit Payments to Ineligible Retiree

In Adams v. General Motors Company (Case No. 12-2084), the Sixth Circuit rejected an ineligible retiree’s claim for reinstatement of erroneous benefit payments under her former employer’s pension plan. The retiree received...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

Same-Sex Marriage Cases—Planning Opportunities and Pitfalls

The Supreme Court of the United States recently held that the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages that are valid under state law, and effectively reinstated same-sex marriage in the state of California. ...more

Minnesota's Marriage Equality Act: What You Need to Know

On May 14, 2013, Governor Dayton signed into law legislation revising the definition of "marriage" in Minnesota to include same-sex marriage. The law becomes effective August 1, 2013....more

Retired County Employees Can Amend Their Complaint In An Attempt To Prove Existence Of A Contract for Health Benefits

In 2008, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors (“County”) acted to cap the county’s contributions for health care benefits for retired employees at $500 per month. The Sonoma County Association of Retired Employees...more

Eastern District Concludes That ERISA Preempts Negligent Misrepresentation Claim

Korman v. Consolidated Edison Co., No. 12-CV-1561 (JFB-ARL) (E.D.N.Y. Jan 16, 2013): The plaintiff brought the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and common law claims against his benefits provider,...more

Laboratory Retirees May Proceed In Their Lawsuit Over Health Benefits Against Regents

A group of retirees from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory brought a lawsuit against the Regents of the University of California (“Regents”) after the University of California eliminated their University-sponsored health...more

Monthly Benefits Update - January 2013

In This Issue: - Health & Welfare Plans ..Health Care Reform: IRS Issues Proposed “Pay or Play” Regulations ..Health Care Reform: IRS Issues FAQs on Various ACA Issues ..HHS Issues Final HIPAA Regulations...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2013

In This Issue: - Editors' Overview - The Future Role of Experts in ERISA Class - View from Proskauer: Health Insurance Exchanges and Retiree Medical Exits--Five Ways To Make Sure It's Really a "Soft...more

Fiscal Cliff Legislation Provides New In-Plan Roth Conversion Opportunity

The newly enacted American Taxpayer Relief Act (H.R. 8) includes a significant new opportunity to perform “in-plan” conversions of pretax dollars to Roth (after-tax) dollars of funds held in defined contribution retirement...more

2012-2013 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits Published by DOL and Treasury

The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months. - On December 24, 2012, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its 2012 Semi-Annual...more

IRS Releases Draft Revised Form 5300 and Instructions

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently released a draft revised Form 5300 and its instructions. Form 5300, the Application for Determination for Employee Benefit Plan, is generally used to request an IRS determination...more

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

Upcoming Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans

The table below sets forth key filing and notice deadlines common to calendar year retirement and health and welfare plans through July. Please note that the deadlines will be different if your plan year is not the calendar...more

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