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

DOL Gives Retirement Plan Sponsors of Participant Directed Retirement Plans Additional Time to Provide Employee Fee Disclosures

By Jeffrey Cairns | March 19, 2015

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations require 401(k) plan fiduciaries to provide plan participants with a detailed disclosure statement about the plan’s designated investment alternatives, prior to initial enrollment and at least annually thereafter. The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)...

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Make Sure Participants Know When Their Plan Benefits Have Been Transferred

By Angela Bohmann | February 25, 2015

Retirement Plans Employers need to make sure that their employees know when benefits shift from one plan to another as illustrated by this case from Utah: Martin Marietta Corporation (Martin) operated a cement plant that it later decided to lease to Southwestern Portland Cement Company (Southwestern). The employees operating the...

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Plan Administrators Have Discretion to Round

By Angela Bohmann | December 17, 2014

Retirement Plans Cash balance plans often provide a pay credit and an interest credit in determining a participant’s accrued benefit. The pay credit is often a percentage of compensation. The interest credit is established in the plan and can be a fixed rate or a formula. Recently the Duke Energy Retirement Cash Balance Plan was...

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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND AICPA COMMENT ON DEFICIENT EMPLOYEE BENEFIT PLAN AUDITS

By Jeffrey Cairns | December 9, 2014

Fiduciary Guidance, Form 5500s, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans At a recent American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (”AICPA”) conference, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Labor Employee Benefits Security Administration reportedly commented that the ERISA benefit plan audits are deficient in over 1/3 of the audits they receive according to their...

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IRS ANNOUNCES 2015 BENEFIT PLAN LIMITS

By Benefits Notes Team | October 24, 2014

Health Plan, Retirement Plans The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2015 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans. http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Announces-2015-Pension-Plan-Limitations;-Taxpayers-May-Contribute-up-to-$18,000-to-their-401(k)-plans-in-2015 The...

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Governments May Be Exempt From ERISA, But They Are Not Exempt From Securities Laws

By Angela Bohmann | August 21, 2014

Retirement Plans ERISA lawyers know that employee benefit plans offered by state and local governments to their employees are not subject to ERISA, the federal law that generally governs benefit plans of private employers. However, other federal laws can reach government plans. For example, the Securities & Exchange Commission...

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Lost Participant? Did you Try Google?

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor recently updated its guidance to retirement plan fiduciaries on due diligence and efforts to locate missing participants in the case of terminated defined contribution plans. Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2014-01...

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What Should the Trustee of a Private ESOP Do?

By Angela Bohmann | July 16, 2014

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans The Department of Labor (DOL) recently entered into an agreement with GreatBanc Trust Company settling claims relating to its service as trustee of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) holding stock of a private company. The DOL had claimed that the stock of the company had been overvalued in a sale transaction....

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IRS Issues Guidance on Qualified Plan Amendments Regarding Same Sex Spouses

By Angela Bohmann | June 11, 2014

Retirement Plans [This article also appears in our Employment and Labor Law/Employee Benefits Executive Briefing: May 2014.] Employers have been considering the impact on benefit programs, including the qualified retirement plans, of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision recognizing the validity of same sex marriages. In September,...

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QDROs for Unmarried Cohabitants?

By Angela Bohmann | May 12, 2014

Retirement Plans Sponsors of qualified retirement plans know that, generally speaking, plan benefits cannot be taken from a participant through legal process or otherwise be assigned to anyone other than the participant. There is an exception for payments in connection with a divorce under a qualified domestic relations order or QDRO....

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