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

High Points of Trump’s Retirement Security Executive Order: MEPs, Benefit Plan Disclosures, Required Minimum Distribution Changes Anticipated

By Abigail Clark | September 4, 2018

Fiduciary Guidance, Form 5500s, Retirement Plans, Uncategorized On August 31, 2018, President Trump signed an executive order outlining the administration's priorities for American retirement plans. Emphasizing that as many as 34 percent of workers do not have access to a workplace retirement plan, the order outlines the administration's plan for increasing workplace retirement...

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Too Much of a Good Thing? Environmental, Social and Governance Investment Considerations for Plan Fiduciaries (FAB 2018-01 Part 1)

By Abigail Clark and Sam Butler | May 11, 2018

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans On April 23, 2018, the DOL released Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2018-01 relating to (1) plan investment in "economically targeted investments ("ETIs"), (2) the exercise of shareholder rights and (3) investment policy statements. We will address the first of these topics in today's post. Generally, ETIs are...

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Time to revisit the Retirement Equity Act? Married Spouse denied $2.7 million ESOP Benefit of Deceased Spouse

By Jeffrey Cairns | April 10, 2018

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Retirement Plans On April 3, 2018, The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment decision against Susan Wengert who had sued the plan administrative committee of the Majors Plastics ESOP, the personal representative of the Timothy McConnell Estate and the Trustee of the Timothy McConnell Trust in federal district...

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To Be Determined? IRS Requests Comments Regarding Potential Determination Letter Program Expansion in 2019

By Abigail Clark | April 9, 2018

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans, Uncategorized The IRS announced on April 5th that the agency is seeking input on whether (and how) the individually designed retirement plan determination letter program should be expanded for the 2019 calendar year. Notice 2018-24 requests stakeholder comment regarding additional situations in which sponsors of individually...

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Send Out the Search Party: The DOL and Other Agencies Focus on Plan Efforts to Locate Missing Participants (Part 2)

By Ashley Cross | April 6, 2018

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans Part 1 of this series summarized a plan's duty to search for missing participants and discussed the current and possible future sources of law that create that duty. This Part 2 compares each agency's current minimum search requirements as well as the proposed search requirements in the Retirement Savings Lost and...

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Send Out the Search Party: The DOL and Other Agencies Focus on Plan Efforts to Locate Missing Participants (Part 1)

By Ashley Cross | March 16, 2018

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans In the past year, the Department of Labor (DOL) has drastically increased audits of retirement plans with participants – or beneficiaries – who cannot be located in conjunction with the distribution of owed benefits. The DOL has directed its attention to Form 5500 filings disclosing high numbers of terminated...

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New Disability Claims Procedures May Apply to Qualified and Nonqualified Retirement Plans, Too

By Audrey Fenske | March 9, 2018

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans As mentioned in our recent blog, the date for complying with the new disability claims procedures (April 2, 2018) is rapidly approaching.  In addition to making sure disability plans comply with the new rules, employers should also be reviewing other ERISA plans, such as qualified retirement plans and nonqualified...

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Thanks for Noticing: Disability Claims Procedure Regulations Change Notice Requirement Next Month, Impose Strict Compliance Standard

By Abigail Clark | March 8, 2018

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans 29 C.F.R. §2560.503-1 The DOL's revised ERISA disability claims procedures regulations will be taking effect early next month, and plan sponsors should take a hard look at plan processes over the next few weeks to ensure compliance. The new requirements apply to disability benefit claims filed after April 1, 2018,...

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Social Security Administration Corrects and Updates Wage Base for 2018

By Mark Wilkins | December 1, 2017

Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans On November 27, 2017, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that it is adjusting the maximum earnings subject to the Social Security tax for 2018 to $128,400.  As we have previously posted, the SSA had announced that it would increase the maximum earnings to $128,700.  The SSA made the adjustment after...

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