Diane Morgenthaler

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Diane M. Morgenthaler focuses her practice on employee benefits and executive compensation. She represents clients in matters before the US Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation. Diane serves as employee benefit counsel to Fortune 500 corporations and other global corporations, and represents both public and private clients. She regularly designs and implements a variety of employee benefit plans and programs. Diane has extensive experience in employee benefit issues involved in acquisitions, reorganizations and divestitures and in the design of employee benefits plans following such transactions. She also advises clients in matters involving multi-employer withdrawal liability, fiduciary liability and benefit claims. Read Diane Morgenthaler's full bio.

A Light in the Dark: Seventh Circuit Helps Clarify New Pleading Standards for 401(k) Fee Cases


By , and on Sep 29, 2022
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

A recent US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit case supplies answers to many questions left open in 401(k) fee litigation cases after the US Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this year in Hughes v. Northwestern University. Specifically, to survive a motion to dismiss in the Seventh Circuit, the recent ruling in Albert v. Oshkosh...

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Save It for a Rainy Day: Recent Amendment Extensions for Qualified Retirement Plans, 403(b) Plans and Individual Retirement Accounts


By , and on Sep 21, 2022
Posted In Executive Compensation, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued needed relief to extend some amendment deadlines for non-governmental qualified retirement plans and 403(b) plans, and for individual retirement accounts (IRAs) under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act), the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 (Miners Act), and certain provisions of...

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Homework and Deadlines Matter: New IRS Pre-Audit Compliance Program for Retirement Plans


By , and on Jun 16, 2022
Posted In Employee Benefits, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

Retirement plan sponsors should be aware of a new Internal Revenue Service (IRS) pilot program, which permits plan sponsors to conduct a pre-examination “check-up” of retirement plan administration before the IRS begins a plan examination. As part of the program, the IRS will send a letter notifying a plan sponsor that its retirement plan has...

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Inflation and ERISA Penalties: Hand in Hand for 2022


By on Apr 6, 2022
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Employment, Executive Compensation, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Health and Welfare Plans, Labor, Retirement Plans

The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 directs the US Department of Labor (DOL) to make annual inflation adjustments to specified Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) violations. The increased penalties generally apply to reporting and disclosure failures if the penalty is assessed after January 15, 2022, and if the violation occurred after...

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New IRS Guidance for Tax-Qualified Pension Plans with Rehired Retirees Due to COVID-19


By on Dec 9, 2021
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently updated its guidance for retiree distributions under a defined benefit plan. Specifically, the new IRS guidance addresses rehires following a bona fide retirement due to COVID-19. As a background, a defined benefit plan may make distributions to a retiree only in the case of a “bona fide retirement,” which...

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Need a Do-Over? IRS Expands and Updates Qualified Plans Correction Guidance


By , and on Sep 8, 2021
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Revenue Procedure 2021-30, which provides an updated version of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). EPCRS is the IRS’s comprehensive program for plan sponsors to correct tax-qualified plan errors. This EPCRS update expands plan sponsors’ ability and methods to correct overpayments and to self-correct certain plan failures...

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Making Sure It Hurts: 2021 Increased Penalties for ERISA Violations


By and on Feb 24, 2021
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans, Labor, Retirement Plans

The Department of Labor (DOL) made inflation adjustments to a wide range of penalties for Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) violations by employee benefit plans and plan sponsors. The new penalty amounts that apply in 2021 are included herein. Access the article.

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Securing Retirement: Additional SECURE Act and Miners Act Guidance for Retirement Plans


By and on Dec 9, 2020
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Employment, Executive Compensation, Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued practical and helpful guidance in a question-and-answer format for tax-qualified retirement plans and for an Individual Retirement Arrangement (IRA), regarding the legislative changes under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the “SECURE Act”) and the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 (the “Miners...

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More Caring: New CARES Act Guidance for Retirement and Nonqualified Plans


By and on Jul 15, 2020
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Executive Compensation, Retirement Plans

New Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidance expands the availability of Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) distributions and loans under eligible retirement plans, and it provides important clarifications regarding how to administer and report CARES Act distributions and loans. The guidance also provides welcome relief for a participant who receives a CARES...

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COVID-19 Ate My Homework – Recent Extensions and Relief for Retirement Plans


By , and on May 18, 2020
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Employment, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

In recognition of the difficulties faced by retirement plan sponsors, participants and beneficiaries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, new guidance extends the deadlines for notices and disclosures required by Title I of ERISA and extends deadlines for retirement plan participants and beneficiaries to submit benefit claims and benefit appeals. The new guidance also provides some...

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