Understanding Employee Benefits

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

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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,... Read More

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

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2018

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On October 19, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service released the 2018 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.  The Service also announced various other inflation adjustments in a new revenue procedure (including an adjustment to... Read More

Topics: Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans

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

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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. http://benefitsnotes.com/2013/04/ninth-circuit-decides-selection-of-retail-mutual-funds-was-a-breach-of-fiduciary-duty/ ;... Read More

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

No Additional Delay on Effective Date of New Fiduciary Standards – DOL

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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... Read More

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

Embezzlement of 401(k) Deferrals by COO of Architecture Firm is (Doubly) Costly

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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. 3/22/17.... Read More

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

IRS Issues Substantiation Guidelines for 401(k) Hardship Distributions

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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 when examining 401(k) plans, for compliance with the... Read More

Topics: Retirement Plans