Tag Archives: Department of Labor

Adding Value to Your Organization: Benefits Best Practices to Avoid Common Mistakes

In a recent webinar, Jake Mattinson and Sarah Raaii discussed the practices that benefits professionals can adopt to add value to their organizations and avoid common mistakes.  Jake and Sarah discussed recommended practices for ERISA benefit claims and inquiries, how to review plan compensation definitions and payroll codes, best practices for corrections using the Voluntary … Continue Reading

The Quandary of Publicly-Traded Employer Stock in a 401(k) Plan

Offering employer stock in a 401(k) plan investment lineup can seem like a win-win situation. It can enable employees to become company owners—real, skin-in-the-game, participants in their employer’s economic future—through a simple deferral election. The U.S. Supreme Court has even recognized the value of employer stock funds, confirming that Congress sought to encourage their creation … Continue Reading

State-Run Retirement Plans – What Labor Allowed

With approximately 68 million US employees without access to a retirement savings plan through an employer, there has been increased movement by states to sponsor retirement type arrangements for private sector employees. Partner Andrew Liazos presented “State-Run Retirement Plans – What Labor Allowed” discussing insights and strategies for retirement, health and executive compensation plans. He … Continue Reading

DOL Health & Welfare Plan Audit Response and Protection: Reducing Risk Exposure to Avoid Costly Penalties

In a recent presentation, McDermott attorneys discussed how to prepare responses for a Department of Labor (DOL) investigative audit of a company’s health and welfare plan, including required documentation and procedures, DOL audit triggers, and key legal provisions that employers and employee benefits advisers should monitor regularly and review prior to responding to a DOL … Continue Reading

Three Key Employee Benefit Plan Issues for Health Systems in 2017

Health system employers should make sure they are familiar with three key employee benefit issues: (1) the new Department of Labor (DOL) fiduciary rule that currently becomes effective April 10, 2017 (but may be delayed in the near future under the new administration); (2) recent excessive fee litigation filed against universities (and now health care … Continue Reading

Proposed Changes to Form 5500 Would Significantly Increase Reporting Obligations for Health and Welfare Plan Sponsors

On July 11, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced a proposal to implement significant changes to the forms and regulations that govern annual employee benefit plan reporting on Form 5500. The proposed changes, which were published in the Federal Register on July 21, 2016, would considerably increase the annual … Continue Reading

Proposed Changes to Form 5500 Reporting Requirements May Have Significant Impact on Retirement Plan Sponsors

On July 11, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced a proposal to implement sweeping changes to the forms and regulations that govern annual employee benefit plan reporting on Form 5500. The proposed changes, which were published in the Federal Register on July 21, 2016, … Continue Reading

View From McDermott: Fifth Circuit Focuses on Process in ESOP Valuations

Though the Supreme Court’s 2014 unanimous ruling in Fifth Third Bank v. Dudenhoeffer announced the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) standards for stock valuation in the context of a large public employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), the vast majority of ESOPs are still grappling with valuation issues. ESOPs that hold stock of closely-held corporations—approximately … Continue Reading

Webinar: New DOL Guidance on Joint Employment: Navigating Heightened Scrutiny and Minimizing FLSA Liability

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 1:00-2:30 pm EDT Join McDermott partner Kristin E. Michaels at this CLE webinar, which will review the far-reaching impact of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) recent guidelines greatly expanding joint-employer status. The discussion will include the agency’s analysis of horizontal and vertical joint employment and the factors that point to joint-employer … Continue Reading

Summary of Benefits and Coverage Templates Finalized

On April 6, 2016, the US Department of Labor posted final versions of the updated summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) template and instructions, updated uniform glossary and other associated materials. In previous guidance, the US Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services provided that health plans and issuers who maintain an open enrollment period … Continue Reading

DOL Official Says Office Is Investigating Large Defined Benefit Plans Regarding Locating and Paying Terminated Vested Participants

Recent comments from an official with the Department of Labor (DOL) indicate that the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has begun investigating large defined benefit plans to review how plan administrators are keeping track of benefits owed to terminated vested participants and if they are really paying participants like they should be.  According to … Continue Reading

The Directed Trustee in the Post-Dudenhoeffer World

Court cases challenging the actions of Employee Retirement Income Security Act fiduciaries have continued unabated since the scandal of Enron in 2002.  Since then, a large number of cases are in the “stock drop” area, which encompasses cases relating to employer securities investments when the stock price drops severely.  The litigation has focused on whether … Continue Reading

DOL Revises Guidance on Participant Fee Disclosures for Brokerage Window Investments

by Diane M. Morgenthaler, Elizabeth A. Savard and Maggie McTigue The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued new and welcome guidance for fiduciaries of account-based retirement plans by withdrawing its controversial guidance on fee disclosures for brokerage windows, self-directed brokerage accounts and similar arrangements (SDBAs).  For now, the DOL has reverted to its prior … Continue Reading

New DOL Guidance Amplifies Participant Fee Disclosure Rules

by Elizabeth A. Savard, Karen A. Simonsen and Lisa K. Loesel For most defined contribution plans, initial annual fee disclosures are due to participants by August 30, 2012. In order to facilitate compliance with the new fee disclosure rules, the U.S. Department of Labor recently issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2012-02, which provides helpful commentary on … Continue Reading

The Dodd-Frank Act’s Impact on Pension Plan Investment Options

by Maureen O’Brien, Karen A. Simonsen and Adrienne Walker Porter Pension plans use swaps to manage interest rate risks and other risks and to reduce volatility with respect to funding obligations.  The Dodd-Frank Act established a comprehensive regulatory framework for swaps.  The legislation was enacted to reduce risk, increase transparency and promote market integrity within … Continue Reading
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