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 Fiduciary Guidance Posts

Lost Participant? Did you Try Google?

By Jeffrey Cairns | August 21, 2014

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor recently updated its guidance to retirement plan fiduciaries on due diligence and efforts to locate missing participants in the case of terminated defined contribution plans. Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2014-01...

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What Should the Trustee of a Private ESOP Do?

By Angela Bohmann | July 16, 2014

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans The Department of Labor (DOL) recently entered into an agreement with GreatBanc Trust Company settling claims relating to its service as trustee of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) holding stock of a private company. The DOL had claimed that the stock of the company had been overvalued in a sale transaction....

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Another Way to Become Personally Liable to a Multiemployer Plan

By Angela Bohmann | March 26, 2014

Fiduciary Guidance, Multi-employer Plans I have blogged in the past about individuals and businesses that are not signatories to a collective bargaining agreement being found liable for withdrawal liability imposed by multiemployer pension plans (plans jointly trusteed by union and management trustees for the benefit of a number of unionized employers)....

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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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“Having Trouble Understanding Your Fiduciary Fee Disclosures?” DOL Proposes Regulations Requiring New Disclosure “Guide”.

By Jeffrey Cairns | March 13, 2014

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans As noted in my previous Blog entries regarding the ERISA Section 408(b)(2) fee disclosures from covered service providers to plan fiduciaries, the original disclosures were required by July 1, 2012. Since that time, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has been requesting copies of the required disclosures from plan...

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Another Reason to be Careful if ROBS is Your Business Financing Strategy

By Angela Bohmann | November 20, 2013

Fiduciary Guidance, IRAs, Retirement Plans I blogged earlier this year about a tax court decision in which taxpayers used assets in their IRA to finance a new business in a structure sometimes known as ROBS or Rollover for Business Startups. Unfortunately, because of personal guarantees provided by the taxpayers at the time that the business owned by the IRA...

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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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Department of Labor Extends Deadline for Required Annual Fee Disclosures for Participants

By Jeffrey Cairns | July 26, 2013

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans On July 22, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2013-02 (the “FAB”). In the FAB, the EBSA announced a temporary policy in which it would not take any enforcement action against a retirement plan sponsor which fails to provide the...

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Labor Proposes Required Lifetime Income Estimates on 401(k) Benefit Statements

By Jeffrey Cairns | May 23, 2013

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans Congressional hearings on the status of the Social Security system and studies on workers’ retirement readiness have sparked interest in lifetime income solutions from defined contribution plans. With 401(k) and other account based plans being the predominant form of retirement plan vehicle, the vast majority of...

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