What steps can retirement plan sponsors take to mitigate Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 litigation risks? McDermott Partner Andrew Liazos presented on this topic and shared best practices during the Plan Sponsor Council of America’s National Conference.
Even though it is the employer’s responsibility to track down former employees and let them know of leftover retirement benefits, it doesn’t always work out that way. In recent years, the US Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has demanded companies improve their methods for finding former workers.
In this article published by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, McDermott Partner Jeffrey M. Holdvogt said regulators “put a lot of pressure, in a good sense, on plan administrators to really up their games.” Holdvogt shared his comments in a May webinar hosted by the Pension Action Center at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
The Department of Labor provided interim guidance on the new required annual lifetime income disclosures to participants in defined contribution plans, including plans covered under section 401(k) or 403(b) of the Internal Revenue Code, profit-sharing plans and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). The Lifetime Income Disclosure Rule is currently scheduled to go into effect on September 18, 2021. Given this timeframe, sponsors of defined contribution plans should start planning for these new disclosure requirements now.
The COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged 2020 spurred workers to take advantage of telemedicine and mental health benefits more frequently, and demand for those services isn’t expected to wane in the near future, experts say.
A recent article in Law360 examined three ways the pandemic had an impact on employee benefits over the past year, with McDermott partner Jacob Mattinson weighing in.
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 Act”).
Teal Trujillo, an incoming associate in our Chicago office, also contributed to this On the Subject.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for various employer-sponsored retirement and welfare plans for 2021. Nearly all of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2020 will remain the same, with only a few amounts experiencing minor increases for 2021.
With mass layoffs commonplace during the COVID-19 pandemic, employers asked the Internal Revenue Service for advice on how to deal with the partial termination rule relating to employer contributions to their employees’ 401(k) workplace retirement accounts.
It’s an obscure issue, but it’s a big deal for the employees that it affects: It could mean thousands of dollars more credited to an employee’s 401(k) account. It’s also important that employers get it right. In a recent article by Forbes, McDermott Will & Emery partner Jeff Holdvogt advises that IRS auditors can catch this issue looking back at prior years.
“This is a complicated rule, and it’s not top of mind, so we could absolutely see employers realizing, ‘Hey, it turns out we incurred a partial termination. We have to go back and provide additional vesting,’” Holdvogt says.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by US Congress in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, permits a “qualified individual” to increase the amount they can borrow from a 401(k). Such individuals may borrow 100% of their account balance up to $100,000 (less any outstanding loans).
The deadline for taking enhanced loans is September 22. In a recent article by Forbes, McDermott Will & Emery partner Jeff Holdvogt highlights some of the tax implications individuals should consider.
What do unused paid-time-off (PTO) days, student loan debt and the coronavirus have in common? An opportunity for employers to provide financial relief to employees who are increasingly putting off vacations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a recent article by the Society of Human Resource Management, Jeff Holdvogt, a partner in McDermott’s Chicago office, explained that more employees, particularly Millennials, are telling employers that benefits to help pay off student loan debt would go a long way to attracting and retaining them.
Prior to the pandemic, ultra-low unemployment at roughly 3.3% put a spotlight on ‘lifestyle benefits’ for employees such as gym memberships and pet sitting. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, the focus immediately shifted for many plan sponsors.
Some employers are now offering high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) paired with health savings accounts (HSAs). Scaling back on company matches to 401(k) plans and contributions to profit sharing accounts are two other areas where employers are trying to save money, said Lisa Loesel, an employee benefits partner at McDermott.
“Depending on what kind of plan they have and the terms set forth for them, we have seen plan sponsors delay the timing of their contributions, change the amount, move from a fixed to a discretionary amount or even cut their contributions indefinitely,” Loesel said in a recent article for PLANSPONSOR Magazine.
Among sponsors offering a pension plan, more are de-risking their plans. “The market happens to be favorable for doing this right now,” she says.