Understanding Employee Benefits

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

IRS Relaxes Rules for Mid-Year Changes

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Since its availability, many 401(k) plan sponsors, particularly smaller employers have adopted a “Safe Harbor” plan design under Code Section 401(k)(12) or (13) and 401(m)(11) or (12). Safe Harbor plan designs include both a fully vested 3% qualified non-elective employer contribution or a fully vested employer matching contribution equal to... Read More

Topics: Retirement Plans

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans

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The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2016 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans and health savings accounts, which are largely unchanged from the 2015 numbers. https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-news/IR-15-118.pdf.  The following chart summarizes the 2016 retirement plan limits and other benefit plan limits. ... Read More

Topics: Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans

Same Sex Marriage: Effect on Benefits

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The United States Supreme Court recently held in Obergefell v. Hodges http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf that all states must recognize and allow marriages between same sex partners. Depending on an employer’s current employee benefits plan, certain provisions may need to be changed in light of this ruling. For those employers who already provide... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans