Benefits Notes |

Employee benefits are an important part of every employees' total compensation package. The continuously evolving landscape in the areas of health care reform, retirement plan design, and executive compensation makes it difficult for employee benefits professionals to keep up with relevant developments. The employee benefits attorneys at Stinson Leonard Street provide human resources professionals, plan fiduciaries, actuaries, accountants, and others in the industry with practical and cost-effective assistance as they navigate through the complex laws, regulations and guidance that govern employee benefits plans. This blog highlights key developments in the employee benefits field and items of interest to our clients. Our Bloggers →

Latest Benefits Notes Posts

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2019

By Jeffrey Cairns | November 7, 2018

Cafeteria Plans, Payroll, Retirement Plans IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2019 By Jeffrey P. Cairns The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2019 cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions for qualified retirement plans. The Notice providing the cost-of-living adjustments is available here 2018-83. The...

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High Points of Trump’s Retirement Security Executive Order: MEPs, Benefit Plan Disclosures, Required Minimum Distribution Changes Anticipated

By Abigail Clark | September 4, 2018

Fiduciary Guidance, Form 5500s, Retirement Plans, Uncategorized On August 31, 2018, President Trump signed an executive order outlining the administration's priorities for American retirement plans. Emphasizing that as many as 34 percent of workers do not have access to a workplace retirement plan, the order outlines the administration's plan for increasing workplace retirement...

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All Businesses, even if not Subject to 162(m), Should Consider Gathering Data to Support Future Deduction of Deferred Compensation under the Grandfather Rule

By Audrey Fenske | August 28, 2018

Compensation Questions, Deferred Compensation and 409A, Executive Compensation As mentioned in a previous blog, the IRS has issued its initial guidance on Code Section 162(m), as modified by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  One important aspect of the guidance is its discussion of preserving deductibility under the transition rule, also known as the 162(m) "grandfather" rule. Under the grandfather...

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IRS Guidance Provides Some Clarity, but Leaves Questions Unanswered under 162(m)

By Audrey Fenske | August 22, 2018

Compensation Questions, Deferred Compensation and 409A, Executive Compensation On August 21, 2018, the IRS issued its initial guidance on the amendments to Section 162(m) made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in the form of Notice 2018-68.  The guidance is fairly limited and does not completely address some of the questions it takes on. Notably, the guidance on what compensation will not be...

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DOL Issues Final Association Health Plan Rule

By Jeffrey Cairns, Tom Dowling and Todd Martin | June 21, 2018

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans On June 19, 2018, the Department of Labor (DOL) released a final rule that offers new options for associations to sponsor health plans for their members.   These new options allow more small businesses to come together to create large employer plans free from many of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandates applicable...

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Too Much of a Good Thing? Environmental, Social and Governance Investment Considerations for Plan Fiduciaries (FAB 2018-01 Part 1)

By Abigail Clark and Sam Butler | May 11, 2018

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans On April 23, 2018, the DOL released Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2018-01 relating to (1) plan investment in "economically targeted investments ("ETIs"), (2) the exercise of shareholder rights and (3) investment policy statements. We will address the first of these topics in today's post. Generally, ETIs are...

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Time to revisit the Retirement Equity Act? Married Spouse denied $2.7 million ESOP Benefit of Deceased Spouse

By Jeffrey Cairns | April 10, 2018

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Retirement Plans On April 3, 2018, The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment decision against Susan Wengert who had sued the plan administrative committee of the Majors Plastics ESOP, the personal representative of the Timothy McConnell Estate and the Trustee of the Timothy McConnell Trust in federal district...

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To Be Determined? IRS Requests Comments Regarding Potential Determination Letter Program Expansion in 2019

By Abigail Clark | April 9, 2018

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans, Uncategorized The IRS announced on April 5th that the agency is seeking input on whether (and how) the individually designed retirement plan determination letter program should be expanded for the 2019 calendar year. Notice 2018-24 requests stakeholder comment regarding additional situations in which sponsors of individually...

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Send Out the Search Party: The DOL and Other Agencies Focus on Plan Efforts to Locate Missing Participants (Part 2)

By Ashley Cross | April 6, 2018

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans Part 1 of this series summarized a plan's duty to search for missing participants and discussed the current and possible future sources of law that create that duty. This Part 2 compares each agency's current minimum search requirements as well as the proposed search requirements in the Retirement Savings Lost and...

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Send Out the Search Party: The DOL and Other Agencies Focus on Plan Efforts to Locate Missing Participants (Part 1)

By Ashley Cross | March 16, 2018

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans In the past year, the Department of Labor (DOL) has drastically increased audits of retirement plans with participants – or beneficiaries – who cannot be located in conjunction with the distribution of owed benefits. The DOL has directed its attention to Form 5500 filings disclosing high numbers of terminated...

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