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 ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation Posts

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

By Jeffrey Cairns | May 25, 2017

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans 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 of FAQs...

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Back to Basics – Costly Consequences of Ignoring Process in Benefits Administration

By Audrey Fenske and Sam Butler | May 18, 2017

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation The stories of an employer and a long-term disability insurer and claims fiduciary for an ERISA plan, defendants in two recent cases, ring so true. In the first case, the insurer was designated as claims fiduciary for an employer's long-term disability plan, and ended up in litigation with the least friendly standard...

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

By Jeffrey Cairns | March 27, 2017

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Payroll, Retirement Plans 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....

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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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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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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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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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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...

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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...

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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...

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