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Supreme Court: Plan Fiduciaries Have a Continuing Obligation to Monitor Investment Prudence

WARNING: Do not read this while operating machinery or driving, if you are pregnant, or might become pregnant. Yes, it's an ERISA case. But it will keep your plan administrator up at night.

ERISA Fiduciaries Must Continuously Monitor 401(k) Investment Choices

The U.S. Supreme Court has held unanimously that a plan fiduciary has a continuing duty to monitor investments offered under a 401(k) plan, a duty that is separate and apart from the duty to exercise prudence in selecting investments in the first place.

ERISA Fiduciaries have Ongoing Duty to Monitor Trust Investments, U.S. Supreme Court Rules

Plan fiduciaries have a continuing duty to monitor investments offered under a 401(k) plan, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a unanimous decision. Tibble v. Edison International, No. 13-550 (May 18, 2015).

Set it and Forget it? Not so Fast, Says the Supreme Court in Tibble

On May 18, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States rendered a much anticipated (by ERISA attorneys, at least) decision in Tibble v. Edison International, clarifying a relatively narrow but still significant issue involving fiduciary responsibilities and retirement plan investments. Tibble v. Edison International, No. 13–550, Supreme Court of the United States (May 18, 2015).

FICA Tax Student Exemption Resolution: Fifth Circuit Decision About Refunds of FICA Taxes Paid by Medical Residents Stands

FICA taxes, which fund the Social Security program, are not levied on state employees unless a state voluntarily opts in to the program. A state opts in by executing an agreement, commonly referred to as a “section 218 agreement,” with the Social Security Administration. In section 218 agreements, states may define—to a certain extent—which state employees participate in the Social Security program and are subject to FICA taxation. States also may employ certain exclusions in the section 218 agreement to ensure that specified subsets of employees are not opted-in.

Updates to "Withdrawal Liability to Multi-Employer Pension Plans Under ERISA" White Paper

Labor & Employment Shareholders Charles B. Wolf and Patrick W. Spangler recently updated their white paper on Withdrawal Liability to Pension Plans Under ERISA, which has been used by Mr. Wolf and Mr. Spangler in prior meetings of the ERISA Litigation National Institute, presented by the American Bar Association. The paper was originally authored by Mr. Wolf.

Monthly Benefits Alert - April 2015

The Central States Pension Fund has announced that it will adopt a “rescue plan” under which certain participant benefits will be reduced. The Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (MPRA), which was signed into law on December 16, 2014, includes a controversial provision allowing deeply troubled multiemployer pension plans to voluntarily reduce benefits.

Multiemployer Pension Reform

Employers and unions locked into failing multiemployer pension plans received an 11th-hour reprieve in late December when Congress passed legislation revising laws that had hobbled these plans for years. Titled the “Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014,” the reforms give multiemployer trustees and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) new tools to address plan underfunding, and seek to eliminate reasons employers abandon these plans prematurely.

New Fiduciary Regulations Require Retirement Investment Advisers to Act in Clients' Best Interests

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued new proposed regulations that changed the definition of “fiduciary investment advice” as currently found in DOL Regulation 2510.3-21(c). These proposed rules also formally withdraw the prior proposed regulations issued in 2010. According to the DOL, these latest proposed rules will improve the protections provided for persons saving for retirement by ensuring that fiduciaries provide advice that is in their clients’ best interests.

IRS Traded in Your Chevy for a "Cadillac (ac-ac-ac-ac-ac) Tax": Agency Issues First Guidance on the Implementation Code Section 4980I

On February 23, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the first piece of guidance that discusses the excise tax, better known as the “Cadillac Tax,” imposed by Section 4980I of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, on employers that offer high-cost health coverage.