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

Class Action Filed Against Fidelity for Alleged “Secret Kickback Payments”

By Jeffrey Cairns | March 12, 2019

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans On February 21, 2019 attorneys for Andrew Wong, a participant in the T-Mobile USA Inc. 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan & Trust, filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts against FMR LLC, Fidelity Management Research Company, Fidelity Management Trust Company and several other...

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Are Your Business Associate Agreements In Place?

By Jeffrey Cairns | February 1, 2019

Health Plan, Welfare Plans HHS Announces Significant Settlement Agreements for Noncompliance On December 4 and December 11, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued press releases announcing two settlements with health care providers for violation of the Health Insurance Portability and...

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IRS Approves Student Loan Repayment “Match” Under 401(k) Plan

By Mark Wilkins | December 28, 2018

Compensation Questions One of the clear trends in employee benefits involves companies offering assistance with their workforce's student loan repayments. The reasons are obvious. Student loan debt is now the largest source of consumer debt after housing and that will likely be the case for the foreseeable future. This financial insecurity...

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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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