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Federal Court Finds Private Equity Funds Liable for Pension Liabilities of Portfolio Company

In a much-anticipated decision addressing the reach of multiemployer pension plans in imposing withdrawal liability, a U.S. District Court ruled on March 28, 2016 that three private equity funds were engaged in a “trade or business” and their investment in a portfolio company was made through a “partnership-in-fact,” thereby subjecting the funds to withdrawal liability. The ruling in Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Indus. Pension Fund by the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts comes almost three years after the high-profile decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit that one of the funds managed by Sun Capital Advisors (“Sun Capital”) was engaged in a “trade or business,” setting the stage for the district court’s recent decision.

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Final Rule Redefining ERISA’s Definition of “Fiduciary” for Certain Types of Investment Advice

On April 6th, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a final rule (the “Fiduciary Rule”) that expands the types of retirement investment advice that will be subject to the fiduciary duty rules of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The Fiduciary Rule primarily affects the investment advice that investment advisers, consultants, broker-dealers, and similar third parties provide to retirement plans, plan sponsors, and individual participants in retirement plans and IRAs. In general, the Fiduciary Rule requires those advisers to provide investment advice that is in the best interest of the recipient of investment advice.

So You’ve Filed Your 1095-C…Now What?

As companies complete their Section 6055 and 6056 reporting under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), now it’s time to be on the lookout for notices regarding ACA penalties.

Employee Benefit Plans and Data Security Issues

In recent weeks, much of the discussion around a recent Supreme Court case, Gobeille, has focused on ERISA preemption. But for fiduciaries of benefit plans the case can serve as a reminder of important duties that often go unexplored—protecting the private data of participants.

New Affordable Care Act FAQs Released on Rescissions of Coverage, Preventive Care Mandate, Out-of-Network Emergency Service Coverage, and Mental Health Parity

The U.S. Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) have jointly issued a new set of answers to frequently asked questions about the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”). Below are some highlights from the FAQs.

The New Fiduciary Rule: Are you Prepared?

The Department of Labor recently announced its new Fiduciary Rule – aka the “conflicts of interest rule.” This new rule expands the definition of fiduciary and alters how investment advice is delivered in retirement accounts. It won’t go into effect for at least another year, but it’s not too early to start thinking about how the changes will affect the professionals who render this advice.

(Video) Collective Investment Trusts as Retirement Plan Investment Options: Important Tax and ERISA Considerations

Nexsen Pruet tax and employee benefits attorney Sue Odom says retirement plan fees and expenses have been the “hot topic” for the past several years. We’ve seen increased regulation through disclosure requirements and increased litigation.

Overview of Department of Labor’s Final Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor has issued its much-anticipated final rule (the “Rule”) concerning the expanded definition of who is considered a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, as amended (“ERISA”), and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), as well as certain exemptions addressing conflicts of interest.

DOL Finalizes ERISA Fiduciary Rule

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has released its Final Fiduciary Rule under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The Final Rule streamlines many of the more burdensome aspects of the proposed rule and stresses the importance of eliminating any potential conflicts of interests with respect to ERISA fiduciaries.

Casting a Wider Net: Court Finds Private Equity Funds Liable for ERISA Withdrawal Liability

On March 28, 2016, a district court in Massachusetts found two private equity funds (under the Sun Capital Partners, Inc. umbrella) jointly and severally liable for withdrawal liability imposed on one of its underlying portfolio companies, even though neither private equity fund owned 80 percent or more of the portfolio company. (Ownership of at least 80 percent is a statutory threshold for determining whether a parent-subsidiary controlled group exists.) The district court issued its opinion following remand from the First Circuit Court of Appeals in 2013.