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 Retirement Plans Posts

Tibble and Class Action Plaintiffs Win Round Two versus Edison International and Its 401(k) Investment Committees

By Jeffrey Cairns | August 22, 2017

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans In past articles in this Blog I reported on decisions of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and ultimately the U.S. Supreme Court dealing with a class action for breach of fiduciary duty for selecting retail mutual funds in 1999 for which lower costs institutional funds were available....

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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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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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IRS Issues Substantiation Guidelines for 401(k) Hardship Distributions

By Jeffrey Cairns | March 2, 2017

Retirement Plans On February 23, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service issued a “Memorandum for Employee Plans (EP) Examinations Employees,” outlining Substantiation Guidelines for safe harbor hardship distributions from 401(k) plans (“Memorandum”). The purpose of the Memorandum is to provide IRS field examiners with guidance...

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Bill Introduced To Delay Effective Date of DOL Fiduciary Rule

By Todd Martin | January 6, 2017

Fiduciary Guidance, IRAs, Retirement Plans On January 6, 2017 Rep. Joe Wilson introduced a house bill that would delay for two years the effective date of the DOL Fiduciary Rule set to take effect on April 1, 2017.  http://src.bna.com/ldB.   This legislation follows comments from a number of Republican lawmakers critical of the DOL Rule, including members...

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IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2017

By Abigail Clark | October 28, 2016

Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2017 On October 27, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service released the 2017 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans and health savings accounts. Changes from 2016 were minimal. Notice 2016-62 is available...

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

By Abigail Clark | September 21, 2016

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans 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)....

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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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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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