Understanding Employee Benefits


Posts from Audrey Fenske

New DOL Electronic Disclosure Safe Harbor Offers Relief for Retirement Plans

The Department of Labor has issued final regulations that will enable employers to electronically provide required information and documents to more plan participants.  Although employers have been able to electronically provide some documents and information to some participants under existing rules, use of electronic delivery was limited because of an... Read More

Topics: Retirement Plans

IRS Answers Some FAQs on Coronavirus-Related Distributions and Loans

On May 4, 2020, the IRS provided guidance on coronavirus-related distributions (“CRDs”) and coronavirus-related loans and loan payment delays (“CR Loan Provisions”) in the form of FAQs.  In those FAQs, the IRS answered a few of the questions that many practitioners, administrators, and employers have been asking: Does a spouse’s... Read More

Topics: Retirement Plans

CARES Act offers Opportunity for Tax-Free Student Loan Repayment Available until 2020 Year-End

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On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which addresses the public economic and health crisis related to the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The CARES Act includes a temporary provision that allows employers to make tax-free student loan payments... Read More

Topics: Compensation Questions, Errors & Omissions Liability, Payroll, Uncategorized, Welfare Plans

SECURE Act Includes Retirement Plan Changes, Some Effective Immediately

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On December 19, 2019, the President signed the SECURE Act. SECURE includes, among other things, provisions that are intended to make retirement plans more accessible, especially to smaller employers, address changing workforce demographics, address nondiscrimination issues facing defined benefit plans, encourage guaranteed income options under defined contribution plans, and increase... Read More

Topics: Fiduciary Guidance, Form 5500s, Retirement Plans, Uncategorized

IRS Expands Determination Letter Program to Hybrid and Merged Plans

The IRS has issued guidance (Rev. Proc. 2019-20) expanding the determination letter program for certain individually designed plans.  The IRS had previously announced in 2017 that the determination letter program for individually designed plans would be limited to initial plan qualification and qualification on plan termination.  Since that time, the... Read More

Topics: Retirement Plans

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

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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... Read More

Topics: Compensation Questions, Deferred Compensation and 409A, Executive Compensation

New Disability Claims Procedures May Apply to Qualified and Nonqualified Retirement Plans, Too

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As mentioned in our recent blog, the date for complying with the new disability claims procedures (April 2, 2018) is rapidly approaching.  In addition to making sure disability plans comply with the new rules, employers should also be reviewing other ERISA plans, such as qualified retirement plans and nonqualified deferred... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans