Understanding Employee Benefits

High Points of Trump’s Retirement Security Executive Order: MEPs, Benefit Plan Disclosures, Required Minimum Distribution Changes Anticipated

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On August 31, 2018, President Trump signed an executive order outlining the administration’s priorities for American retirement plans. Emphasizing that as many as 34 percent of workers do not have access to a workplace retirement plan, the order outlines the administration’s plan for increasing workplace retirement plan availability. The first... Read More

Topics: Fiduciary Guidance, Form 5500s, Retirement Plans, Uncategorized

To Be Determined? IRS Requests Comments Regarding Potential Determination Letter Program Expansion in 2019

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The IRS announced on April 5th that the agency is seeking input on whether (and how) the individually designed retirement plan determination letter program should be expanded for the 2019 calendar year. Notice 2018-24 requests stakeholder comment regarding additional situations in which sponsors of individually designed plans should have access... Read More

Topics: Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans, Uncategorized

IRS Begins Issuing ACA Employer Mandate Penalty Notices

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Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) indicated that it would begin enforcing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Employer Shared Responsibility provisions (commonly known as the “Employer Mandate”). Last week, the IRS followed through on its promise and began mailing notices informing employers of potential liability for the 2015 reporting year.... Read More

Topics: Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Uncategorized, Welfare Plans

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

Employers Who Self Administer Life Insurance Plans Had Better Do So Correctly

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Many employers self-administer welfare benefit plans such as life insurance or disability insurance plans. This self administration requires the employer to determine eligibility for coverage, remit proper premiums and notify the insurance carrier about changes in coverage. The insurance carrier often does not even know the names of the covered... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Uncategorized, Welfare Plans

An SPD Can be a Plan Document

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In Cigna v. Amara, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the plan document is the governing document for an ERISA plan and that in a conflict between the plan document and the summary plan description (SPD), the plan document must be enforced. A participant misled by an SPD may be... Read More

Topics: Health Plan, Uncategorized

When is a LLC Profits Interest not a Profits Interest? U.S. Tax Court: “When it is a Capital Interest”*

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On December 2, 2013, the United States Tax Court issued its opinion in Crescent Holdings, LLC et al vs. Commissioner, 141 T.C. No. 15 (12/2/13) wherein it examined the tax rules applicable to transfers of partnership interests as compensation. Crescent Holdings, LLC (“Holdings”) was a limited liability company and the... Read More

Topics: Compensation Questions, Deferred Compensation and 409A, ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Executive Compensation, Uncategorized