Understanding Employee Benefits

Participants Are Entitled to Specific Information About Their Service Credit Even Before They Are Entitled to Their Pensions

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In a recent federal district court case, Whirlpool Corporation closed a factory and notified a number of former employees about the status of their pensions, including their years of credited service. The corporation’s records differed from the service records maintained by the union. Approximately five years after the factory closed,... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Retirement Plans

President Signs Highway Funding Bill

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On June 29, 2012, Congress passed a highway funding bill (H.R. 4348) which includes as a funding source, certain pension funding stabilization provisions. The impact of the pension changes would be to increase the segment rates used to calculate liability and normal costs for purposes of determining minimum required contributions and... Read More

Topics: Retirement Plans

Stuck Between the IRS and the NLRB

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Employers who sponsor 401(k) plans know that distributions from those plans can be made only on certain allowable events, such as separation from service. While an employee is still employed, distributions can be made after age 59½ or as a result of financial hardship. Defined benefit pension plans face similar... Read More

Topics: Retirement Plans

If the Tax Withholding is Wrong, Don’t Rely on the Employer to Fix it

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Verizon Communications, Inc. sponsored a number of plans for its foreign employees. These employees were citizens of foreign countries who never worked in the United States. Because these employees never worked or resided in the United States, their employment income and the benefits from their retirement plans were foreign source... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Payroll, Retirement Plans

Labor Issues Q&As on Required Fee Disclosures to Participants

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            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 outlining the requirements for these new disclosures,  29... Read More

Topics: Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans