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

Undocumented Worker Can Cause Health Plan Problems

By Angela Bohmann | December 8, 2014

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan Employers know that since the 1980s they have been required to check the lawful work status of employees that they hire through the I-9 process. Employers also know that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) can audit their workplaces, as can the Department of Labor, and impose fines and other sanctions for...

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It is Always Good to Follow the Plan’s Claims Procedure in Denying a Claim – Part 2

By Angela Bohmann | June 9, 2014

Deferred Compensation and 409A, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation Some months ago I blogged about an Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals decision involving high ranking executives participating in a company’s long term incentive plan where the executives won their suit under the plan, at least in part, because the employer had not properly followed the plan’s claims procedure. By...

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Eighth Circuit Decisions Reminds Employers of Importance of Granting ERISA Plan Administrators Discretion to Interpret Plan Terms

By Sam Butler | May 14, 2014

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit released an opinion which highlights the importance of ensuring ERISA plan documents grant plan administrators the discretion to construe and interpret the terms of the plan. In Hall v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., the Appeals Court dealt with a case in...

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Can a Failure to Hire Violate ERISA?

By Angela Bohmann | May 13, 2014

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Care Reform, Health Plan A recent decision of the federal district court for the southern district of Ohio raises interesting questions under Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) that might also affect employer liability under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The case involved a challenge by a former employee who was...

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Despite upholding a $13.4 million judgment against plan fiduciaries, the Eighth Circuit gives plan sponsors a lot to like in Tussey decision.

By Sam Butler | March 24, 2014

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans On March 19, 2014, a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued its decision in Tussey v. ABB, Inc., No. 12-2056 (8th Cir. Mar. 19, 2014).  The case came to the Eighth Circuit on an appeal of a decision by the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri...

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When is a LLC Profits Interest not a Profits Interest? U.S. Tax Court: “When it is a Capital Interest”*

By Jeffrey Cairns | February 6, 2014

Compensation Questions, Deferred Compensation and 409A, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Executive Compensation, Uncategorized On December 2, 2013, the United States Tax Court issued its opinion in Crescent Holdings, LLC et al vs. Commissioner, 141 T.C. No. 15 (12/2/13) wherein it examined the tax rules applicable to transfers of partnership interests as compensation. Crescent Holdings, LLC (“Holdings”) was a limited liability company...

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Best to Save Plan Documents Until All Retirees and Beneficiaries are Dead

By Angela Bohmann | November 14, 2013

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Retirement Plans As a result of industry consolidation over the years, employers can find themselves responsible for pension plans of companies long out of existence. A recent federal district court decision imposed a penalty of $4,470 on a plan administrator who delayed providing the widow of a plan participant with the plan document...

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You Cannot Take the Embezzler’s 401(k) Plan Balance

By Angela Bohmann | October 14, 2013

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Retirement Plans Many employers know that with few exceptions a participant’s benefit in a tax qualified retirement plan is protected from the participant’s creditors. One exception is for court orders, known as qualified domestic relations orders or QDROs, that split a benefit between the participant and a former spouse or...

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Labor Advises on Fiduciary Treatment of Revenue Sharing Payments

By Jeffrey Cairns | August 9, 2013

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans On July 3, 2013 the Employee Benefits Security Administration issued ERISA Advisory Opinion 2013-03A http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/regs/AOs/ao2013-03a.html (the “AO”) to the Groom Law Group which had submitted a request on behalf of Principal Life Insurance Company (“Principal”). The primary question presented was...

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Courts Do Not Always Agree

By Angela Bohmann | August 5, 2013

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Welfare Plans I blogged recently about a decision from a federal district court in Virginia (Eastern Distrct) involving a widow who sought to recover life insurance benefits from her late husband’s employer-sponsored group term life insurance plan. The employer had improperly allowed the late husband to enroll in the plan.  The...

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