News & Analysis as of

“Promptly Transmit” Redefined for Some Customer Checks

The SEC and FINRA recently extended relief originally granted to accommodate suitability reviews of deferred variable annuities, so that the relief is now also available for mutual funds, Section 529 plans, and other...more

A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule, 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 fiduciary...more

New 871(m) Regulations Finalize Dividend Equivalent Payment Withholding Rules for Equity Derivatives

On September 17, 2015, the IRS and the Treasury Department issued final, temporary, and proposed regulations under section 871(m) of the Internal Revenue Code (collectively, the “new regulations”) that provide the rules for...more

Rhode Island Supreme Court Decides STOA Case

The Supreme Court of Rhode Island recently considered two questions of first impression: (i) whether an insurable interest requirement applies to an annuity with a death benefit, and (ii) whether an immediate incontestability...more

Texas and California Appellate Courts Soundly Reject the Concept of Forced Servicing

Structured Settlement Protection Acts (SSPAs) have been enacted in 48 states to regulate structured settlement factoring transactions -- where individuals sell their rights to future settlement payments in exchange for...more

PRIIPS – ESMA Publishes Reponses to Consultation on Key Information Document

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has published the responses received by ESMA, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) on the Technical...more

Pensions News - July 2015

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

PRA issues Solvency 2 reporting codes statements

PRA has published Supervisory Statements within the scope of Solvency 2 setting out: - the list of codes which firms are expected to use when reporting on life business or annuities stemming from non-life business at...more

The IRS Takes Aim at De-Risking of Defined Benefit Plans

Many defined benefit plan sponsors are looking for ways to reduce the on-going liability and the volatility of the annually required contributions to their defined benefit plans, which is sometimes referred to as...more

IRS Takes Aim at Pension Plans “De-Risking” Lump Sum Cash-outs

In recent years, many pension plan sponsors have sought to reduce pension liabilities by offering lump sum “window” programs. Such programs are one of several popular risk-reduction (or “de-risking”) strategies employed by...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

Employee Benefits After Obergefell

In a historic decision, the United States Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges recently held that the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution requires all jurisdictions in all fifty states to: (1) license a...more

Maryland District Court Grants Insurer’s Motion to Dismiss Payee’s Counterclaims and Awards Attorney Fees in Interpleader

On July 1, 2015, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland issued an opinion granting Connecticut General Life Insurance Company’s (“CGLIC”) motion to dismiss a payee’s claims for breach of contract and...more

IRS Flip Flops DeRisking Pension Plan Options

The volatility and unpredictability of an employer's obligations under a defined benefit pension plan can have a significant impact on its bottom line. This is especially true of plans with liabilities for pension benefits...more

It's Curtains for Some Lump-Sum Window Programs

On July 9, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2015-49 to announce it intends to prohibit retirees who are receiving annuity payments from a defined benefit pension plan from electing a lump sum in lieu of the...more

IRS Changes Rules on Lump Sum Window Programs

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has surprisingly issued a notice of its intention to amend the required minimum distribution (RMD) regulations under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) to limit the use of lump sum payments to...more

Update on Estate and Gift Tax Proposals

Congressional Proposals: H.R. 1105, Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, was passed by the House, as amended, on Apr. 16, 2015. The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes...more

Expect Focus - ONLINE HEALTH CARE: NOT SO FAST Telemedicine Hits A Few Speed Bumps, Volume II, Spring 2015

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT • Risky Business: Common Cyber Security Risks, Expensive Consequences - LIFE INSURANCE • Ninth Circuit Finds Bonus Indexed Annuity Delivers Exactly...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

$84 Million Settlement in Northwestern Mutual Annuity Class Case

March 26 marked the beginning of the end for the storied 14-year litigation concerning Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Pre-MN annuities when the Eastern District of Wisconsin granted preliminary approval of a proposed...more

Federal Regulation of Fixed Equity Indexed Annuities Redux?

When SEC Commissioner Luis A. Aguilar recently cited "the need for the Commission and state regulators to focus on combatting fraud involving complex securities" including "equity-indexed annuities," he did not discuss...more

A Tale of Two Annuities: Exchange of Variable for Fixed Annuity Integral in SLUSA Dismissal

After attending an annuity seminar, Robert and Diane Ruud exchanged their variable annuity for a fixed annuity sold by PHL Variable. According to the Ruuds, seminar provider John Friendshuh represented the fixed annuity as...more

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts: An Estate Planning Strategy

In the current economic environment, IRS-prescribed monthly interest rates for certain intra-family transactions are at historic lows. As a result, an excellent opportunity exists to transfer wealth to lower generation family...more

Ninth Circuit Finds Bonus Indexed Annuity Delivers Exactly What was Promised

Observing that it "delivered precisely what it promised," the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently affirmed summary judgment for an insurer in a case alleging violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt...more

Does a private annuity have a place in your estate plan?

A private annuity can be a powerful strategy for passing assets to heirs in a tax-efficient manner. In a typical private annuity transaction, a parent transfers property to his or her children in exchange for their unsecured...more

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