Last year, Congress passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019, often called the “SECURE Act”.
Articles Discussing Retiree Benefits.
The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued the long-awaited electronic disclosure final regulations providing employers with two new safe harbor methods for electronic delivery of retirement plan disclosures. The final rules are effective July 27, 2020; however, plan administrators may rely on them prior to that date. This Client Alert provides a summary of these new rules.
The United States Department of Labor (the “DOL”) recently issued a proposed rule on the fiduciary requirements under the federal pension law, ERISA, that apply to the selection and monitoring of environmental, social, and corporate governance (“ESG”) investments in retirement plans. Under the proposed rule, which would be effective 60
The Internal Revenue Service has relaxed spousal notarization and plan representative witness requirements in 2020 for retirement plan elections in IRS Notice 2020-42. The notice addresses the physical presence requirement for notarization or witnessing of certain plan elections and provides temporary relief permitting remote notarization and witnessing subject to certain
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
Following oral arguments that were held in February 2018, in a long-anticipated decision in the National Retirement Fund v. Metz Culinary Management Inc., the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that a multiemployer pension fund’s use of a lower interest rate that was adopted after the statutory withdrawal liability measurement date violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
On Friday, December 20, 2019, President Trump signed into law the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Act of 2019 (the “SECURE Act”) as part of a spending bill to fund the government through September 30, 2020 (H.R. 1865, the “Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020”). The SECURE Act, which is undoubtedly the most significant pension reform in over 13 years, includes almost 30 provisions aimed at increasing coverage of American workers in employer-sponsored plans, modifying distribution rules, easing administrative requirements for safe harbor 401(k) plans, and more. Most notably, many of the new law’s provisions became effective on January 1, 2020.
Wrongful use of retirement plan participant data was among the claims made by a class of 40,000 participants against the plan sponsor and others in Cassell et al. v. Vanderbilt University et al. Specifically, the plan participants claimed that the University inter alia breached its “loyalty and prudence” duty by failing to protect confidential employee retirement plan participant information, allowing the plan’s recordkeeper to obtain access to participant’s personal information and to profit from that access.
As reported by CBC, B.C. Pension Corporation announced a data breach involving pension plan records after discovering a box containing microfiche could not be found following a recent office move.
Collective bargaining agreements, including those that establish ERISA plans, should be interpreted according to ordinary principles of contract law, the U.S. Supreme Court has reaffirmed in a per curiam opinion. CNH Industrial N.V. v. Reese, No. 17-15 (Feb. 20, 2018).
According to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), one-third of American workers do not have the option to participate in a retirement savings plan through their employers.1 To help employees save for retirement, more states are passing or exploring legislation that requires employers to automatically enroll their workers in state-sponsored payroll deduction savings programs. The employee may then opt out, or change the beginning contribution amount, if the employee wishes to do so. Generally, this legislative trend affects only employers that do not offer access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
Executive Summary: On April 6, 2016, the U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a long-awaited final rule expanding the definition of “fiduciary” under ERISA as well as the duties of investment advisors who qualify as fiduciaries thereunder. In addition, the DOL issued two related prohibited transaction exemptions that have the effect of minimizing the compliance burden imposed on investment advisors who now, under the final rule, qualify as fiduciaries, by (1) permitting firms to receive certain common types of compensation if they contractually commit to putting their clients’ best interests first, and (2) permitting certain principal transactions between those fiduciary-advisors and their customers.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule to re-define who is rendered a “fiduciary” of an employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) by providing investment advice to a plan or its participants or beneficiaries. More than five years in the making, issuance of a final rule to address conflicts-of-interest in retirement advice has been a priority for the White House and DOL to advance its “middle-class economics” agenda in the face of criticism in Congress and by a number of stakeholders. According to a DOL fact sheet, “this final rulemaking fulfills the Department’s mission to protect, educate, and empower retirement investors as they face important choices in saving for retirement in their IRAs and employee benefit plans.”
An IRS plan audit uniquely focuses an employer’s mind on the core identity of its qualified retirement plan, which is that of a tax exempt organization, but one whose exemption (or “qualification”) requirements are far pickier than those applicable to one’s favorite charity. Any single material operational violation or non-conforming written plan provision risks disqualification and loss of the related special tax benefits.
Citing the threat of future insolvency, a New Jersey Teamsters Local Pension Fund has applied to the U.S. Treasury Department for permission to reduce by 40 percent the vested member benefits in the Fund.