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

Withdrawal Liability – Seller Beware

By Angela Bohmann | May 15, 2012

Multi-employer Plans, Retirement Plans I previously blogged on a case where a purchaser who did not try to assume withdrawal liability in a purchase transaction learned that it could nevertheless be responsible for that liability as a successor employer. In another recent case, a seller who tried to structure a transaction so that the buyer assumed the...

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Labor Issues Q&As on Required Fee Disclosures to Participants

By Jeffrey Cairns | May 9, 2012

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans             Once the ERISA Section 408(b)(2) fee disclosures are made from covered service providers to plan fiduciaries, plan fiduciaries are required to relay fee information relating to designated investment alternatives to plan participants.  The Department of Labor issued final regulations in 2010...

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After 20 Years the IRS Issues COBRA Examination Guidelines

By Jeffrey Cairns | April 24, 2012

Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans             In 1993, the IRS assembled a task force to develop guidelines for field agents to conduct COBRA examinations and compliance checks.  However, these guidelines were not released to the general public.  More recently, the IRS updated those guidelines to reflect certain changes in the laws that...

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Another Way to be Hit with Withdrawal Liability

By Angela Bohmann | April 23, 2012

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Multi-employer Plans, Retirement Plans Employers who participate in multiemployer pension funds know that if they withdraw from those funds they may be required to pay withdrawal liability if the plan is underfunded. Employers who sell their assets to an unrelated buyer can avoid that withdrawal liability if the buyer agrees to assume an obligation to...

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Are your 401(k) participant plan loans in compliance with the tax and ERISA rules?

By Jeffrey Cairns | April 9, 2012

Fiduciary Guidance, Form 5500s, Retirement Plans   According to the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), one out of every four (25%) of 401(k) plans surveyed in a recent study had engaged in prohibited transactions as a result of non-compliant participant plan loans and/or real estate investments that were not...

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Dodd-Frank.com Post Regarding Regulation Z & Retirement Plans

By Benefits Notes Team | April 3, 2012

Retirement Plans BenefitsNotes.com is not the only blog maintained by attorneys at Leonard, Street and Deinard. Dodd-Frank.com, developed and maintained by attorneys at Leonard, Street and Deinard, is dedicated to making sense of the complex Dodd-Frank legislation and helping businesses understand how it will affect them specifically....

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Current Challenges and Best Practices for ERISA Compliance for 403(b) Plan Sponsors

By Angela Bohmann | March 22, 2012

Retirement Plans The Department of Labor recently posted the report of the ERISA Advisory Council on Current Challenges and Best Practices for ERISA Compliance for 403(b) Plan Sponsors. The report contains a good side by side comparison of 403(b) and 401(k) plans that may be of interest to plan sponsors eligible for both types of...

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Privacy and Security Issues Affecting Employee Benefit Plans

Retirement Plans The Department of Labor recently posted the report of the ERISA Advisory Council on Privacy and Security Issues Affecting Employee Benefit Plans. The report contains some good due diligence questions for plan sponsors to ask their service providers about privacy and security of personal identifiable information (PII),...

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What if DOMA Is Declared Unconstitutional?

By Angela Bohmann | March 5, 2012

Health Plan, Retirement Plans, Welfare Plans Most employers are aware that the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman for federal law purposes, including federal tax and benefits law. For benefits governed by ERISA, this means that state laws that recognize same sex marriages are preempted. Although for...

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Thoughts on the Longevity Annuity Guidance Issued by the IRS

By Angela Bohmann | February 23, 2012

IRAs, Retirement Plans I am of an age to be contemplating retirement (and I work in the field so that age may come sooner for me than for others).  My parents are both in their late 80s; I had a grandmother who died a few weeks shy of her 100th birthday.  So I have a personal interest in the risk of outliving one’s retirement...

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