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

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....


Government Publications on 401(k) Plans May Be of Interest

By Angela Bohmann | May 1, 2014

Retirement Plans The IRS and Department of Labor issue a number of publications on different topics, including 401(k) plans. The IRS has posted on its website a couple of jointly issued publications directed at small employers who sponsor or are considering sponsoring 401(k) plans. The publications are “401(k) Plans for Small...


Despite upholding a $13.4 million judgment against plan fiduciaries, the Eighth Circuit gives plan sponsors a lot to like in Tussey decision.

By Sam Butler | March 24, 2014

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans On March 19, 2014, a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued its decision in Tussey v. ABB, Inc., No. 12-2056 (8th Cir. Mar. 19, 2014).  The case came to the Eighth Circuit on an appeal of a decision by the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri...


“Having Trouble Understanding Your Fiduciary Fee Disclosures?” DOL Proposes Regulations Requiring New Disclosure “Guide”.

By Jeffrey Cairns | March 13, 2014

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans As noted in my previous Blog entries regarding the ERISA Section 408(b)(2) fee disclosures from covered service providers to plan fiduciaries, the original disclosures were required by July 1, 2012. Since that time, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has been requesting copies of the required disclosures from plan...


Even a Tax Lawyer can get the IRA Rollover Rules Wrong

By Angela Bohmann | February 13, 2014

IRAs, Retirement Plans Individuals are permitted to roll over amounts in one IRA to another IRA only once in a 12 month period. The rollover must be completed within 60 days. A tax lawyer at a major New York law firm recently tripped on this rule to his detriment. The tax lawyer had several different IRAs. He took rollover distributions...


Have You Told the IRS that Your “Responsible Party” Has Changed? By Samuel Butler IV

By Angela Bohmann | December 9, 2013

Retirement Plans The bloggers who bring you are attorneys at Leonard, Street and Deinard. We are proud to announce that we will merge with Stinson Morrison Hecker on January 1, 2014, to form the firm of Stinson Leonard Street. You can learn more about our new firm at We welcome...


IRS Issues Final Regulations on Permitted Mid-Year Reductions or Suspensions of Safe Harbor Contributions

By Jeffrey Cairns | November 21, 2013

Retirement Plans In Final Regulations issued under Internal Revenue Code Section 401(k) in 2004, the IRS outlined procedures for revoking a safe harbor matching contribution formula after the beginning of a safe harbor plan year. Under those Final Regulations a safe harbor matching formula can be suspended during a plan year if...


Another Reason to be Careful if ROBS is Your Business Financing Strategy

By Angela Bohmann | November 20, 2013

Fiduciary Guidance, IRAs, Retirement Plans I blogged earlier this year about a tax court decision in which taxpayers used assets in their IRA to finance a new business in a structure sometimes known as ROBS or Rollover for Business Startups. Unfortunately, because of personal guarantees provided by the taxpayers at the time that the business owned by the IRA...


Best to Save Plan Documents Until All Retirees and Beneficiaries are Dead

By Angela Bohmann | November 14, 2013

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Retirement Plans As a result of industry consolidation over the years, employers can find themselves responsible for pension plans of companies long out of existence. A recent federal district court decision imposed a penalty of $4,470 on a plan administrator who delayed providing the widow of a plan participant with the plan document...



By Lori | November 1, 2013

Retirement Plans The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2014 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans.  The following chart summarizes 2014...