Understanding Employee Benefits

Department of Labor’s New Guidance Helps Employers of Uniformed Service Members Manage Pension Obligations

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The Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Services (“VETS”) issued a new fact sheet (“Fact Sheet”) to help employers better manage their pension obligations under the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (“USERRA”). USERRA creates certain rights and protections for uniformed service members. For example, under USERRA, service... Read More

Topics: Compensation Questions, Retirement Plans

IRS Expands Determination Letter Program to Hybrid and Merged Plans

The IRS has issued guidance (Rev. Proc. 2019-20) expanding the determination letter program for certain individually designed plans.  The IRS had previously announced in 2017 that the determination letter program for individually designed plans would be limited to initial plan qualification and qualification on plan termination.  Since that time, the... Read More

Topics: Retirement Plans

Class Action Filed Against Fidelity for Alleged “Secret Kickback Payments”

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On February 21, 2019 attorneys for Andrew Wong, a participant in the T-Mobile USA Inc. 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan & Trust, filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts against FMR LLC, Fidelity Management Research Company, Fidelity Management Trust Company and several other affiliates. The basis... Read More

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

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2019

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IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2019 By Jeffrey P. Cairns The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2019 cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions for qualified retirement plans. The Notice providing the cost-of-living adjustments is available here 2018-83. The Service announced the Health Savings Account... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Payroll, Retirement Plans

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

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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 plan availability. The first... Read More

Topics: Fiduciary Guidance, Form 5500s, Retirement Plans, Uncategorized

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

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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 investments that promote... Read More

Topics: Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans

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

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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 court... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Retirement Plans

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

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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 designed plans should have access... Read More

Topics: Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans, Uncategorized