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COVID-19 FAQs: For Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation


By , , , , , , , , , , and on Mar 26, 2020
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Executive Compensation, Health and Welfare Plans, Retirement Plans

Coronavirus (COVID-19) raises serious concerns for employers of all shapes and sizes, across all industries and in every business sector. As the impact of COVID-19 continues to grow, many employers are faced with new challenges that affect not only their businesses and their employees, but the health and welfare, retirement and executive compensation plans and...

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DOL and IRS Expand Access to Multiple Employer Plans and Propose to Eliminate the ‘One Bad Apple’ Rule


By and on Dec 17, 2019
Posted In Employee Benefits, Retirement Plans

Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) published final rules clarifying the circumstances under which “bona fide” groups or associations of employers and professional employer organizations (PEOs) may be permitted to sponsor single defined contribution multiple employer plans (MEPs). Concurrently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published proposed rules detailing an exception to the “one bad apple”...

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Finally! First Circuit Overturns the Sun Capital ERISA Multiemployer Plan Liability Case—But Risks Remain for Private Equity


By on Dec 5, 2019
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Retirement Plans

The First Circuit issued a decision holding that two private equity funds involved in a case are not required to pay for the withdrawal limit of a portfolio company. Despite the limited victory, the guiding rule with respect to defined benefit plan and multiemployer plan pension liabilities remains “buyer beware,” as applicable law continues to...

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Oracle Granted Partial Summary Judgment in 401(k) Fees/Investment Option Case


By and on Apr 2, 2019
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Fiduciary and Investment Issues

The US District Court for the District of Colorado granted partial summary judgment to 401(k) fiduciaries, holding that ERISA’s six-year statute of repose barred some claims and rejecting challenges to the plan’s fees. Access the full article.

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Still No Right to Jury Trial – MIT 401(k) Plan Participants Not Entitled to Jury Trial of ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims


By and on Mar 12, 2019
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

The District of Massachusetts court struck the plaintiffs’ jury-trial demand in their ERISA complaint for damages and equitable relief against 401(k) plan fiduciaries. The court followed the “great weight of authority” in ruling that there is no right to trial by jury in ERISA actions for breach of fiduciary duty. Access the full article.

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Piling On: Corporations Support the New York Times in Multiemployer Pension Calculation Dispute


By , , and on Feb 19, 2019
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Retirement Plans

Several large employers are disputing how much money the New York Times owes a union multiemployer pension fund. Recently, six companies—including US Foods Inc. and United Natural Foods Inc.—filed an amicus brief supporting the New York Times in its case before the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Ruprecht Co., an Illinois meat...

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Worker Classification: Complications Beyond the Front Page


By , , , and on Feb 7, 2019
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment

When California’s Dynamex decision rolled out the “ABC test”, it placed the burden on the employer to prove independent contractor (IC) status. In a presentation at the Employment and Employee Benefits Forum in California, McDermott’s lawyers discussed the implications of Dynamex, as it applies to various types of employers as well as those using staffing...

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Ninth Circuit Clarifies “Actual Knowledge” for ERISA’s Statute of Limitations


By and on Jan 15, 2019
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

Late last year, the Ninth Circuit held that in order to trigger ERISA’s three-year statute of limitations a defendant must demonstrate that a plaintiff has actual knowledge of the nature of an alleged breach. Accordingly, the court held that merely having access to documents describing an alleged breach of fiduciary duty is not sufficient to...

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IRS Provides 403(b) Plan Relief for Improper Exclusion of Part-Time Employees


By and on Dec 18, 2018
Posted In Retirement Plans

The IRS recently released Notice 2018-95 to provide transition relief to 403(b) plan sponsors that improperly excluded part-time employees from making elective deferrals under their plans. Employers must begin to operate the part-time employee exclusion under their 403(b) plans correctly for the plan year immediately following the transition relief period, which will mean as soon...

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First Circuit Holds Defendants Have Burden to Negate Loss Causation in ERISA Fiduciary Duty Cases


By and on Nov 8, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit has solidified a circuit split on who has burden of proving loss causation in ERISA breach of fiduciary duty cases. The First Circuit joined the Fourth, Fifth and Eighth Circuits holding that once a plaintiff demonstrates a fiduciary breach, the defendant has the burden to negate...

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