Understanding Employee Benefits

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

Owner/Trustee of 401(k) Plan Accused of Having Eyes Wide Shut on Fiduciary Duties

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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, particularly those involving significant drops in value of concentrated Plan investments such as employer stock referred to as “Stock... Read More

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

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

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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). In June,... Read More

Topics: Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans

Inside Trustees for Small Minnesota 401(k) Plan Face Class Action Over Excessive Fees

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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. Specific allegations... Read More

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