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 Payroll Posts

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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FICA Lawsuit Settles For Over $3 Million

By Angela Bohmann | February 11, 2016

Deferred Compensation and 409A, Payroll I have previously blogged (here and here) about a lawsuit brought by participants in a nonqualified deferred compensation plan where the employer failed to report and pay FICA (social security) taxes in the most tax advantageous way. The employer had tried to get the lawsuit dismissed on the grounds that the FICA tax...

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

By Jeffrey Cairns | November 17, 2015

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

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Some Wellness Benefits are Taxable

By Angela Bohmann | May 15, 2015

Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll My colleagues blogged on recent wellness guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the three agencies charged with enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the Department of Treasury, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services. The guidance from the EEOC...

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Employers Can Be Responsible for FICA Withholding Errors

By Angela Bohmann | January 13, 2015

Deferred Compensation and 409A, Payroll Back in 2013 I blogged about a class action lawsuit brought against Henkel Corporation for improper Social Security (FICA) tax withholding from nonqualified deferred compensation benefits. I am blogging now on an update to that case. To understand that case we need to review the taxation of nonqualified deferred...

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IRS Wins One at Supreme Court: Severance Pay is Subject to FICA Tax

By Angela Bohmann | April 1, 2014

Compensation Questions, Payroll I blogged about the Quality Stores decision which at the district court and court of appeals levels held that certain severance payments were not subject to FICA (Social Security) taxes. The IRS had challenged the employer in that case and had lost in both lower courts. At the Supreme Court level, the IRS won. The...

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Gas Prices Must be Going Down

By Angela Bohmann | December 10, 2013

Cafeteria Plans, Payroll Every year the IRS issues optional standard mileage rates that can be used by taxpayers to calculate the deductible cost of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Many employers reimburse employees based on this standard mileage rate. The standard mileage rate also factors into...

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The Supreme Court Will Decide Whether FICA Taxes is Owed on Severance Pay

By Angela Bohmann | October 10, 2013

Compensation Questions, Payroll I blogged here and here about Quality Stores, a case in which the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held that severance pay is not subject to FICA (Social Security) taxes if certain requirements are met: The severance payments must be made pursuant to a plan, on account of an involuntary termination, and the result of a...

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No More Pre-Tax Premiums for Individual Insurance Policies?

Cafeteria Plans, Compensation Questions, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll, Welfare Plans Over the years we have seen some employers, particularly small employers, choose to provide health coverage to their employees by paying all or part of the premium for individual insurance policies that the employees have obtained. Under an old IRS revenue ruling, Rev. Rul. 61-146, that type of premium subsidy could...

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This Time the Employer is Responsible for the Withholding Error

By Angela Bohmann | August 21, 2013

Deferred Compensation and 409A, Payroll I recently blogged (here and here) about a situation involving Verizon withholding US taxes from payments to former employees who never lived or worked in the U.S. The employees attempted to recover the withheld taxes from Verizon on a breach of fiduciary duty claim against the employer and also attempted to have the...

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