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 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)....


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...


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...


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....


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.


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...


Bad COBRA Notices Can Cost You

By Angela Bohmann | April 12, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan Sun Trust Bank was sued in a class action challenging its COBRA notice. The plaintiffs who brought the lawsuit claimed that the COBRA notice was materially deficient in that it failed to provide the name and address of the party responsible under the plan for COBRA administration and that it failed to provide an...


Beware the Retroactive QDRO

By Angela Bohmann | April 5, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Retirement Plans Employers know that they must honor qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs) that assign a portion of a retirement benefit to a participant's former spouse, known as an alternate payee, when the participant and alternate payee divorce. Those orders by law are not allowed to provide greater benefits than were...


Time to Review Plan Subrogation Procedures, Part 2

By Angela Bohmann | March 25, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Welfare Plans I blogged a few days ago about the U.S. Supreme Court decision making it harder for plans to recover from a third-party settlement fund for the amount the plan paid when a participant is injured by that third-party. A recent federal district court decision highlights the need to provide appropriate notice of the...


Time to Review Plan Subrogation Procedures

By Angela Bohmann | March 23, 2016

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Welfare Plans Most self-funded ERISA medical plans provide that participants who have been injured by other people (think car accidents) must reimburse the plan if the participant recovers from the other person for those injuries. In order to obtain that reimbursement, a plan document must contain appropriate...