The plaintiffs’ expectations surely suffered a blow after reading the Supreme Court’s initial observation in their case: “If [the plaintiffs] were to lose this lawsuit, they would still receive the exact same monthly benefits that they are already slated to receive, not a penny less. If [the plaintiffs] were to win this lawsuit, they
Articles about the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and other issues relating to employee benefit topics
We previously wrote about the Department of Labor’s proposed expansion of its safe harbor for electronic delivery of certain retirement plan disclosures required under ERISA. The wait is finally over, with publication of the final rule (the “New Rule”) helped along by the DOL’s desire to alleviate some of the
As cash flow and decreased revenue concerns rise, many employers are looking for ways to cut costs. This article generally identifies the circumstances that allow a safe harbor 401(k) plan sponsor to suspend safe harbor contributions and the related consequences of such suspensions.
On May 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced publication of its long-awaited guidance on electronic participant disclosures. The good news is that the DOL has taken a step in the right direction in easing some of the difficulties that were present in the prior electronic communications safe
On May 12, 2020, the IRS issued guidance temporarily suspending long-standing federal regulations that limit when an employee can make mid-year changes to employer-sponsored health coverage.
Under the normal IRS rules, employees elect health coverage before each plan year during open enrollment, and may not change those elections except
In accordance with emergency powers granted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and US Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance temporarily extending a number of benefit plan-related deadlines and providing other relief for participants and plan sponsors having difficulty complying with these
On May 20, 2020, in Revenue Procedure 2020-32, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced the annual contribution limits for 2021 for health savings accounts (HSA). The IRS also announced the 2021 definitional limits per Internal Revenue Code Section 223 for high deductible health plans (HDHP).
Many employers facing economic challenges because of COVID-19 have considered several possibilities for reducing their contributions to their 401(k) plans. Whether freezing safe harbor matching or nonelective contributions or deciding against making discretionary matching and/or profit-sharing contributions, the goal has been the same: reduce their employee benefits costs.
The IRS has changed its position and will allow employers to receive a tax credit for paying health care plan premiums for employees on furlough.
Northrop Grumman has agreed to pay $12,375,000 to settle a class action brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) by participants in its 401(k) plan. The parties reached the initial terms of this settlement last year minutes before the start of the trial.
The IRS has released a Private Letter Ruling (“PLR”) 201833012, in which it approved a student loan repayment program as a 401(k) benefit. Although the PLR can only be applied by the taxpayer/plan sponsor requesting it, it is a promising development for employers seeking to provide stronger incentives for a workforce increasingly saddled with student loan debt.
On February 23 and March 7, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued memoranda to examination agents addressing review of substantiation provided in support of safe harbor hardship distributions under 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Although the memoranda cannot be relied upon as official guidance, they are good reference points to help plan sponsors and third party administrators (“TPAs”) avoid issues on audit.
In the last six months, several clients called me regarding substantial balances in a so-called “forfeiture account” in their 401(k) plans. A few of these clients have forfeiture accounts that violate the ERISA requirements. It is imperative that forfeitures be handled properly since both the IRS and the Department of Labor (DOL) on audit generally review how forfeitures have been handled by the plan.
Preapproved (prototype or volume submitter) defined contribution plans must be restated for the Pension Protection Act by April 30, 2016.
What could be in the next stimulus bill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Congress reportedly is working on a bill (dubbed “Stimulus 3.5”) that includes additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program created by the CARES Act. Will the new stimulus bill address long-awaited reforms to the multiemployer pension