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

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

Time to revisit the Retirement Equity Act? Married Spouse denied $2.7 million ESOP Benefit of Deceased Spouse

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On April 3, 2018, The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a summary judgment decision against Susan Wengert who had sued the plan administrative committee of the Majors Plastics ESOP, the personal representative of the Timothy McConnell Estate and the Trustee of the Timothy McConnell Trust in federal district court... Read More

Topics: ERISA and Other Benefits Litigation, Retirement Plans

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

Send Out the Search Party: The DOL and Other Agencies Focus on Plan Efforts to Locate Missing Participants (Part 2)

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Part 1 of this series summarized a plan’s duty to search for missing participants and discussed the current and possible future sources of law that create that duty. This Part 2 compares each agency’s current minimum search requirements as well as the proposed search requirements in the Retirement Savings Lost... Read More

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

Send Out the Search Party: The DOL and Other Agencies Focus on Plan Efforts to Locate Missing Participants (Part 1)

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In the past year, the Department of Labor (DOL) has drastically increased audits of retirement plans with participants – or beneficiaries – who cannot be located in conjunction with the distribution of owed benefits. The DOL has directed its attention to Form 5500 filings disclosing high numbers of terminated vested... Read More

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

New Disability Claims Procedures May Apply to Qualified and Nonqualified Retirement Plans, Too

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As mentioned in our recent blog, the date for complying with the new disability claims procedures (April 2, 2018) is rapidly approaching.  In addition to making sure disability plans comply with the new rules, employers should also be reviewing other ERISA plans, such as qualified retirement plans and nonqualified deferred... Read More

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