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Rick Stepanovic focuses his practice on employee benefits and executive compensation matters. He has experience working on matters related to tax-qualified pension plans, health and welfare plans, and deferred compensation arrangements. He also has experience handling correction and administrative matters before the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor. Read Rick Stepanovic's full bio.

IRS Announces HSA Contribution Limit Increase for 2018


By , , and on May 1, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

On April 26, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) increased the 2018 maximum deductible Health Savings Account (HSA) contribution for taxpayers with family coverage under a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to $6,900. The $6,900 contribution limit for 2018 was originally published in Revenue Procedure 2017-37, but was reduced earlier this year by $50 to...

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ESOP Litigation Trends: Department of Labor Voids Fiduciary Indemnification Agreements to Reach Settlements


By , , , , and on Apr 12, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Fiduciary and Investment Issues

The US Department of Labor has taken the position that certain indemnification clauses are void against public policy under Section 410 of ERISA. This policy has been adopted by private plaintiff classes; as evident from a recent settlement, a policy that voids indemnity provisions can limit defense budgets, make settlements more likely and potentially create...

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Federal Appellate Court Finds That Title VII Bans Sexual Orientation Discrimination


By and on Mar 15, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Health and Welfare Plans, Retirement Plans

On February 26, 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (covering Connecticut, New York and Vermont) ruled that workplace discrimination on the basis sexual orientation violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). The language of Title VII does not expressly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual...

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Going Up but Never Down | 2018 ERISA Penalties


By , and on Feb 15, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Health and Welfare Plans, Retirement Plans

The Department of Labor announced increased penalties for employee benefit plans under ERISA. The increases generally apply to penalties that involve employee benefit reporting and disclosure failings if the penalty is assessed after January 2, 2018, and if the violation occurred after November 2, 2015. We’ve compiled a resource outlining the ERISA penalty amounts assessed...

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Fringe Benefits: What Tax Reform Means to the Employer


By , and on Jan 18, 2018
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

The new tax reform legislation includes important changes to the tax treatment of employer-sponsored benefit programs, including transportation benefit programs and moving expense reimbursements. The law also creates a new tax credit for employers who provide paid family and medical leave to their employees. Continue Reading.

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Settling the Standard for Prudence? Fall Brings New Guidance for ESOP Trustees


By , , , , and on Dec 5, 2017
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Fiduciary and Investment Issues, Retirement Plans

Through a series of recent settlements, the US Department of Labor has outlined the process steps fiduciaries should follow in connection with a transaction involving a purchase from, or sale to, an employee stock ownership plan. Continue Reading.

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Treasury Issues New Guidelines on Searching for Missing Retirement Plan Participants


By , and on Nov 28, 2017
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), Retirement Plans

The US Department of the Treasury recently issued guidance that retirement plan sponsors should consider as part of their obligation to take reasonable steps to locate missing participants. Specifically, the Treasury issued a memorandum which sets forth guidelines that prohibit auditors from challenging qualified plans as failing to satisfy the required minimum distribution standards under Internal Revenue...

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Fringe Benefits: What the Proposed Tax Bills Mean to the Employer


By , and on Nov 21, 2017
Posted In Employee Benefits, Health and Welfare Plans

Both the House and Senate versions of tax reform propose significant changes that may reduce or eliminate the tax benefits of many popular employer-provided fringe benefits, such as dependent care assistance programs, on-premises gyms and bicycle commuting expense reimbursements. In addition, many common deductions for work-related activities—including certain meal and entertainment expenses—may see sweeping changes....

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Senate Finance Committee Modifies Executive Compensation Provisions in New Modified Mark of Tax Reform Bill


By , and on Nov 17, 2017
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment, Executive Compensation

On Tuesday night, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) released a new modified mark of the Senate version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that modifies provisions related to Internal Revenue Code (Code) Sections 409A and 162(m). The Chairman’s modification adds a transition rule for the elimination of employer deductions for payments over...

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Tax Breaks in the New Hurricane Legislation for Employers and Taxpayers


By , and on Nov 14, 2017
Posted In Employee Benefits, Employment

The Disaster Tax Relief and Airport and Airway Extension Act of 2017 provides a new favorable tax credit for eligible employers affected by recent hurricanes, as well as expanded charitable deductions and tax credits for certain taxpayers. Continue Reading.

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