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

More Ways to be Tagged with Withdrawal Liability

By Angela Bohmann | December 6, 2016

Multi-employer Plans I have written a number of posts (here, here, and here) on employers and business owners who have been held responsible for the multiemployer plan withdrawal liability of a different employer. In some cases, the liability comes from common ownership. In other cases, the liability comes because a new business is held...

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Could your Oil and Gas Interest Cause You to Be Responsible for Multiemployer Plan Withdrawal Liability?

By Angela Bohmann | November 10, 2016

Multi-employer Plans I noticed an interesting case from the Tenth Circuit which found that a two to three percent working interest in an oil and gas venture could generate self-employment income for the owner of that interest. The individual in question entered into both a purchase agreement and an operating agreement with the operator of...

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IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2017

By Abigail Clark | October 28, 2016

Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2017 On October 27, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service released the 2017 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans and health savings accounts. Changes from 2016 were minimal. Notice 2016-62 is available...

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Owner/Trustee of 401(k) Plan Accused of Having Eyes Wide Shut on Fiduciary Duties

By Jeffrey Cairns | October 25, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans, Uncategorized Last June I blogged about the trend of participant fee class actions moving down to smaller 401(k) Plans. http://benefitsnotes.com/2016/06/inside-trustees-for-small-minnesota-401k-plan-face-class-action-over-excessive-fees/ Occasionally, class actions are brought based on other breaches of fiduciary duties,...

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IRS and Treasury Department Seek Input on How Plan Sponsors Can Avoid Plan Document Problems

By Abigail Clark | September 21, 2016

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans On September 16, 2016, the IRS and the Department of the Treasury requested public comment on ways the IRS and Treasury "can improve compliance…by making it easier for plan sponsors to satisfy requirements for qualified plan documents" in the wake of the determination letter program changes (Announcement 2016-32)....

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Employers Who Self Administer Life Insurance Plans Had Better Do So Correctly

By Angela Bohmann | September 13, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Uncategorized, Welfare Plans Many employers self-administer welfare benefit plans such as life insurance or disability insurance plans. This self administration requires the employer to determine eligibility for coverage, remit proper premiums and notify the insurance carrier about changes in coverage. The insurance carrier often does not even...

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Proposed Form 5500 Changes & the new Schedule J: Big Changes for Small Group Health Plans

By Abigail Clark | July 26, 2016

Form 5500s, Health Plan, Welfare Plans The US Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed changes to the Form 5500 and schedules that will affect ERISA Title I group health plans of all sizes, but small group health plans should be especially aware of the changes. Certain small group health plans (fewer than 100 participants) are currently exempt from filing...

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Inside Trustees for Small Minnesota 401(k) Plan Face Class Action Over Excessive Fees

By Jeffrey Cairns | June 1, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans A Minneapolis law firm recently filed a class action complaint against Lamettry’s Collision, Inc. and the Trustees of its 401(k) Plan, CFO Stephen Daniel and President Joan Lamettry for various breaches of fiduciary duty with respect to fees charged to Plan participants’ accounts in the Company’s 401(k) Plan....

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EEOC Issues New Wellness Guidance

By Angela Bohmann | May 26, 2016

Health Plan, Welfare Plans My colleagues in the Labor and Employment Group have published an Alert on the new wellness guidance from the EEOC. It is linked here.

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What You Say in Your SPD About Claims Processing Makes a Difference

By Angela Bohmann | April 25, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan Employers who self fund their medical plans often have contracts with their third party administrators about claims processing. Some of those contracts provide that the claims processor has discretion to decide claims; others provide that the claims processor is simply acting in a ministerial fashion so that the...

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