Understanding Employee Benefits

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

Owner/Trustee of 401(k) Plan Accused of Having Eyes Wide Shut on Fiduciary Duties

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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, particularly those involving significant drops in value of concentrated Plan investments such as employer stock referred to as “Stock... Read More

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

IRS and Treasury Department Seek Input on How Plan Sponsors Can Avoid Plan Document Problems

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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). In June,... Read More

Topics: Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans

Inside Trustees for Small Minnesota 401(k) Plan Face Class Action Over Excessive Fees

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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. Specific allegations... Read More

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

Federal Court Determines that Employer Use of Employee Health Insurance Premium Payments Breach of ERISA Fiduciary Duties

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On November 9, 2015, Minnesota Federal District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that the president and CEO of Faribault Woolen Mills Company breached his fiduciary duties under ERISA by diverting Employee health insurance premiums toward corporate and personal use. The lawsuit was brought by the U.S. Department of Labor. Facts:... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Health Plan, Payroll, Welfare Plans

Ameriprise Avoids Trial On Class Action Suit By Current and Former Employees With $27.5 Million Payment

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In 2011, a group of current and former employees filed a class action lawsuit in the District Court of Minnesota claiming that Ameriprise Financial, Inc. and members of its 401(k) Plan fiduciary committee had breached their fiduciary duty to the Plan participants and engaged in self-dealing. The specific actions generating... Read More

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