Erin Steele Erin Steele

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Erin Steele focuses her practice on employee benefits and executive compensation. She has experience working on matters related to employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), code section 401(k) plans, health and welfare arrangements, and Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) litigation. She has also assisted in employee benefits matters as part of corporate transactional due diligence work. Read Erin Steele's full bio.

DOL Issues New Proposed Rule for Electronic Disclosures of Retirement Plan Notices


By , and on Oct 31, 2019
Posted In Employee Benefits, Retirement Plans

The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule that, if finalized, would expand its existing guidance and liberalize rules for electronic disclosure of retirement plan notices under ERISA. The proposed rule, which sets forth a notice and access safe harbor, would permit electronic disclosure as the default method of delivery while permitting participants to...

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Transgender Health Benefits: Best Practices and Legal Considerations


By , and on Sep 3, 2019
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Health and Welfare Plans

A growing number of medical organizations, courts and administrative bodies have stated that transition-related medical care is medically necessary and should be covered by employer-sponsored medical plans. Access to employer-sponsored healthcare coverage for transgender workers has become an issue of focus for civil rights advocacy groups such as Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties...

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7 Severance Structuring Tips for Tax-Exempt Colleges and Universities


By , and on Aug 20, 2019
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Executive Compensation

In-house counsel and human resources professionals at tax-exempt colleges and universities often face a variety of challenges when structuring, and determining obligations due under, severance arrangements. There are some key considerations to bear in mind, which are outlined in this article. Access the full article.

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IRS Expands Scope of Preventive Care Under Health Savings Account Rules


By , and on Jul 25, 2019
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

A new IRS notice will allow many with chronic health conditions who participate in high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) with health savings accounts (HSAs) to receive necessary care that may otherwise be out of financial reach. The notice expands the list of preventive care benefits that can be covered by an HDHP prior to a participant...

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IRS Expands Self-Correction Program, Provides Welcome Relief for Plan Sponsors


By , and on May 23, 2019
Posted In Employee Benefits, Retirement Plans

The IRS recently released an updated version of EPCRS, the IRS’s program for correcting errors that occur under tax-qualified retirement plans. The latest version of EPCRS makes it easier for plan sponsors to self-correct certain types of plan loan, operational and plan document failures without filing a VCP submission. Access the full article.

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ERISA Health Plan Fiduciaries Defeat DOL’s Excessive Fee Claims


By , and on Mar 26, 2019
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

In one of the first ERISA cases to address claims against fiduciaries for excessive health plan fees, the court entered judgment in favor of the defendants on all counts. The decision addresses health plan fiduciary standards for reviewing plan fees and expenses. 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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Georgetown University Defeats Retirement Plan Fee Litigation and “If a Cat Were a Dog, It Would Bark”


By , , and on Jan 29, 2019
Posted In Benefit Controversies, Employee Benefits, Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

Recently, the US District Court for the District of Columbia dismissed a proposed class action lawsuit brought by former Georgetown employees under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) over fees and investments in its two retirement plans. Plaintiffs alleged that Georgetown breached its fiduciary duty of prudence under ERISA by selecting and...

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Clear as Mud: Defined Benefit Plan Liability with Facility Sales, Restructurings and Cessations


By , and on Jan 8, 2019
Posted In Employee Benefits, Retirement Plans

In certain cases of a facility sale, restructuring or cessation, recently released information by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) leaves many unanswered questions about plan sponsor liability for single-employer defined benefit plans. Given the lack of clarity, these plan sponsors should continue to consult their lawyer in any type of transaction, restructuring or cessation...

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Free Parking Only Exists in Monopoly: New IRS Guidance Makes Employer-Provided Parking More Costly and Burdensome Than You Think


By , , , , , and on Dec 20, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits

As part of its comprehensive 2017 tax reform bill, Congress repealed deductions for Qualified Transportation Fringes including for employer-provided parking, while also requiring that tax-exempt organizations increase their unrelated business taxable income by the nondeductible parking expenses. Recently released IRS Notice 2018-99 addresses some of the year-end tax filing and tax planning concerns for affected...

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