Understanding Employee Benefits


Posts from Jeffrey Cairns

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

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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 affiliates. The basis... Read More

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

Are Your Business Associate Agreements In Place?

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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 Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) privacy... Read More

Topics: Health Plan, Welfare Plans

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2019

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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 Service announced the Health Savings Account... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Payroll, Retirement Plans

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

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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 court... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Retirement Plans

Tibble and Class Action Plaintiffs Win Round Two versus Edison International and Its 401(k) Investment Committees

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In past articles in this Blog I reported on decisions of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court dealing with a class action for breach of fiduciary duty for selecting retail mutual funds in 1999 for which lower costs institutional funds were available. http://benefitsnotes.com/2013/04/ninth-circuit-decides-selection-of-retail-mutual-funds-was-a-breach-of-fiduciary-duty/ ;... Read More

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

No Additional Delay on Effective Date of New Fiduciary Standards – DOL

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This week, new U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Acosta announced that the final fiduciary regulations would go into effect on June 9, 2017. The Department also issued two pieces of guidance with regard to the regulations also referred to as the “Conflicted Advice Rules”.  The guidance consists of a set... Read More

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

Embezzlement of 401(k) Deferrals by COO of Architecture Firm is (Doubly) Costly

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On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled against Christine Bodouva that her restoration of funds to her Company’s 401(k) Plan should be offset against the District Court’s order for forfeiture in her criminal trial. U.S. v Christine Bodouva, Case 16-3937, 2nd Cir. 3/22/17.... Read More

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

IRS Issues Substantiation Guidelines for 401(k) Hardship Distributions

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On February 23, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service issued a “Memorandum for Employee Plans (EP) Examinations Employees,” outlining Substantiation Guidelines for safe harbor hardship distributions from 401(k) plans (“Memorandum”). The purpose of the Memorandum is to provide IRS field examiners with guidance when examining 401(k) plans, for compliance with the... Read More

Topics: Retirement Plans