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 Welfare Plans Posts

Be Careful What You Promise Employees Who Leave Your Employment

By Angela Bohmann | March 5, 2015

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Welfare Plans Clients sometimes like to ease the transition for employees who are retiring or whom the client would like to encourage to leave. One strategy is to continue the employee “on payroll” for a period of time with the expectation that all benefits will remain in place. However, the practice makes benefits lawyers...

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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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Employers Should Monitor Closely Group Term Life Insurance Enrollments

By Angela Bohmann | August 27, 2014

Welfare Plans Many employers offer group term life insurance, including supplemental life. Often an employee who wants to buy coverage above a particular level after an initial open enrollment period must show evidence of insurability. This requirement is present to protect the plan from adverse selection so that employees do not...

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Filed Your 2013 Health and Welfare Plan 5500s? Did you Include Your M-1 Attachments?

By Jeffrey Cairns | August 1, 2014

Cafeteria Plans, Form 5500s, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Welfare Plans A provision of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) included additional reporting requirements and greater U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) oversight of Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs). The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued final rules earlier in 2014 which clarified the...

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Welfare Benefit Plan Might not be Required to Cover Same Sex Spouses

By Angela Bohmann | May 16, 2014

Health Plan, Welfare Plans Much has been written about the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision last term declaring unconstitutional the provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that required federal law not to recognize same sex marriages. Since then, more states have recognized same sex marriages either by court order or...

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Health Plans Should Make Eligibility Determinations Quickly

By Sam Butler | February 18, 2014

Health Plan, Welfare Plans In an opinion released earlier this month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit held that a self-insured health plan was not entitled to a refund of the nearly $1.7 million it paid to two Wisconsin hospitals for treatment administered to a participant's newborn child, despite the plan's...

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Are All Severance Plans Subject to ERISA?

By Angela Bohmann | November 20, 2013

Welfare Plans I blogged recently about an ERISA case involving an executive severance plan where the executive sued claiming that his employment termination was effective before the first anniversary of a change in control, thereby entitling him to severance benefits under the plan. The court had concluded that the severance...

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Bad Faith Termination Can be Good ERISA Interference Claim

By Angela Bohmann | November 14, 2013

Welfare Plans It is not uncommon for employers to have executive severance plans that pay substantial severance if an executive loses employment in connection with a change in control. In a recent federal district court decision, a former chief executive officer sued an employer for $700,000 claimed to be owed as severance as a...

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No More Pre-Tax Premiums for Individual Insurance Policies?

By Angela Bohmann | October 10, 2013

Cafeteria Plans, Compensation Questions, Health Care Reform, Health Plan, Payroll, Welfare Plans Over the years we have seen some employers, particularly small employers, choose to provide health coverage to their employees by paying all or part of the premium for individual insurance policies that the employees have obtained. Under an old IRS revenue ruling, Rev. Rul. 61-146, that type of premium subsidy could...

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Courts Do Not Always Agree

By Angela Bohmann | August 5, 2013

ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Welfare Plans I blogged recently about a decision from a federal district court in Virginia (Eastern Distrct) involving a widow who sought to recover life insurance benefits from her late husband’s employer-sponsored group term life insurance plan. The employer had improperly allowed the late husband to enroll in the plan.  The...

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