Understanding Employee Benefits

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

Thanks for Noticing: Disability Claims Procedure Regulations Change Notice Requirement Next Month, Impose Strict Compliance Standard

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29 C.F.R. §2560.503-1 The DOL’s revised ERISA disability claims procedures regulations will be taking effect early next month, and plan sponsors should take a hard look at plan processes over the next few weeks to ensure compliance. The new requirements apply to disability benefit claims filed after April 1, 2018,... Read More

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

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