Understanding Employee Benefits

IRS Expands Determination Letter Program to Hybrid and Merged Plans

The IRS has issued guidance (Rev. Proc. 2019-20) expanding the determination letter program for certain individually designed plans.  The IRS had previously announced in 2017 that the determination letter program for individually designed plans would be limited to initial plan qualification and qualification on plan termination.  Since that time, the... Read More

Topics: Retirement Plans

Class Action Filed Against Fidelity for Alleged “Secret Kickback Payments”

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On February 21, 2019 attorneys for Andrew Wong, a participant in the T-Mobile USA Inc. 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan & Trust, filed a class action complaint in the U.S. District Court of Massachusetts against FMR LLC, Fidelity Management Research Company, Fidelity Management Trust Company and several other affiliates. The basis... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans

Are Your Business Associate Agreements In Place?

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HHS Announces Significant Settlement Agreements for Noncompliance On December 4 and December 11, 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued press releases announcing two settlements with health care providers for violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act’s (HIPAA) privacy... Read More

Topics: Health Plan, Welfare Plans

IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2019

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IRS Annual Limits on Qualified Plans for 2019 By Jeffrey P. Cairns The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2019 cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions for qualified retirement plans. The Notice providing the cost-of-living adjustments is available here 2018-83. The Service announced the Health Savings Account... Read More

Topics: Cafeteria Plans, Payroll, Retirement Plans

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

All Businesses, even if not Subject to 162(m), Should Consider Gathering Data to Support Future Deduction of Deferred Compensation under the Grandfather Rule

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As mentioned in a previous blog, the IRS has issued its initial guidance on Code Section 162(m), as modified by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  One important aspect of the guidance is its discussion of preserving deductibility under the transition rule, also known as the 162(m) “grandfather” rule. Under... Read More

Topics: Compensation Questions, Deferred Compensation and 409A, Executive Compensation

Too Much of a Good Thing? Environmental, Social and Governance Investment Considerations for Plan Fiduciaries (FAB 2018-01 Part 1)

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On April 23, 2018, the DOL released Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2018-01 relating to (1) plan investment in “economically targeted investments (“ETIs”), (2) the exercise of shareholder rights and (3) investment policy statements. We will address the first of these topics in today’s post. Generally, ETIs are investments that promote... Read More

Topics: Fiduciary Guidance, Retirement Plans