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ERISA

Plan fees often elicit complaint and sometimes serious action, as lawsuits and court rulings attest. A recent article discusses the Department of Labor (DOL) rules for controlling fees and what they require, as well as how to protect employees from excessive fees. There is a range of reasons for... READ MORE
A court challenge to California’s CalSavers program has reemerged, claiming the state-run mandatory auto IRA program for private sector workers poses a significant financial risk to taxpayers. The filing (titled somewhat unwieldly, “Plaintiffs’ opposition to Defendants’ motion to dismiss first... READ MORE
Missing participants, and the problems they occasion, are becoming a more prominent problem for plan administrators, argues ERISA attorney Heather B. Abrigo, Esq. “It’s really come to the forefront,” said Abrigo, a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, in a July 16 ASPPA webcast. “Plan... READ MORE
  Patrick Pizzella, the current Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor, will take over as the Acting Labor Secretary in the wake of Alexander Acosta’s July 12 resignation.   Pizzella, who has served as the Deputy Secretary since April 2018, will likely serve as the Acting Secretary until a... READ MORE
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take on yet another ERISA case this term. This case – Thole v. U.S. Bank, N.A., U.S., No. 17-1712, certiorari granted 6/28/19 – involves a suit by participants in U.S. Bank’s pension plan who, after the plan fiduciaries alleged mismanagement resulted in $750... READ MORE
The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is responsible for overseeing millions of employee benefit plans, including investigating retirement plans when necessary. A recent blog entry examines what an employer should know about that. In Thompson Coburn LLP’s blog... READ MORE
Former American Retirement Association President Marcy L. Supovitz has been named to the ERISA Advisory Council, which advises the Labor Department on policies and regulations regarding ERISA plans. The 15-member council (formally titled the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit... READ MORE
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) is seeking the approval of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) of a collection of information that will help it to determine if certain plans are covered by Title IV of ERISA. Plan sponsors or plan administrators would use the proposed form and... READ MORE
The Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans has recommended that the Department of Labor (DOL) issue new guidance on ERISA bonding, as well as a summary of the requirements for securing a fidelity bond that complies with DOL guidance. The recommendations are contained in “... READ MORE
Preparing and fling the Form 5500 Series is one of the more onerous tasks associated with administering retirement plans. But one should resist the impulse to just sign the thing and get it all over with, argues a recent blog entry. In “The IRS Form 5500 – Look Before you Sign!” an entry in... READ MORE
While noting that the case “presents novel legal questions concerning state-mandated retirement savings accounts,” and “implicates a significant body of judicial and regulatory interpretations of ERISA,” a federal judge has ruled – for the moment – that California’s state-run auto IRA retirement... READ MORE
A federal appeals court has affirmed summary judgment in a class action suit involving 270,000 plan participants across more than 13,000 plans. The suit was filed in 2015 by plaintiff John Teets, a participant in the Farmers’ Rice Cooperative 401(k) Savings Plan, which had contracted with Great-... READ MORE
Summary plan descriptions (SPDs) are not optional — at least not for plans to which ERISA applies. And that includes retirement plans. A recent blog entry discusses SPD requirements and how they relate to retirement plans, participants and beneficiaries. In “Summary Plan Descriptions: You Gotta... READ MORE
Of late, we’ve been getting a lot of questions about legislation that would create open multiple employer plans (MEPs). Here’s the update.  Ever since the Department of Labor issued an explicit ruling in 2012 that an open MEP is not a single employee benefit pension plan but a group of single... READ MORE
Plan fiduciaries have asked the nation’s highest court to weigh in on when ERISA’s three-year statute of limitations begins – and if disclosure alone is enough to start that clock.  In asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the case, plan fiduciaries at Intel said the question presented was “... READ MORE
The ratification of the 22nd amendment in 1951 may limit U.S. Presidents’ tenure, but that doesn’t mean their influence over a host of areas ends when their terms of office do. And that includes retirement readiness. In “How 5 U.S. Presidents Continue to Influence Your Retirement Readiness Today... READ MORE
In his First Quarter 2019 Washington Update, Robert Kaplan, the American Retirement Association’s Director of Technical Education, provided an overview of the new climate on Capitol Hill as well as recent regulatory developments affecting retirement plans. On the Hill With the changes that took... READ MORE
Legislation has been introduced in the Bay State that would expand the Commonwealth’s auto-IRA program for private sector workers and establish a 401(k) parallel, with an employer mandate. The first bill, SD 1902, introduced by state senator Patricia D. Jehlen, establishes the Massachusetts Secure... READ MORE
A sharp drop in stock price – and allegations of prior knowledge by senior management of misdealings – seem likely to produce additional litigation. The most recent example is a press release by the law firm of Zamansky LLC announcing that the firm has commenced an investigation of Johnson &... READ MORE
The American Retirement Association (ARA), in a Dec. 12 letter to Joe Canary, Director of the Office of Regulations and Interpretations of the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration, has suggested steps the agency can take to improve retirement security. The ARA sent the letter as part of... READ MORE

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