New Challenges to Pension Risk Transfers

STEPHANIE PLATENKAMP, April 30 2024 Plan sponsors have found it increasingly difficult to predict and manage the cost of their defined benefit pension plans (“DB plans”) due to fluc­tuating interest rates, investment returns, increased costs, and participant longevity. As a result, pension de-risking has become a common way for plan sponsors to manage risk and […]

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Clarifies Pleading Standards Applicable to Suits for Violations of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

STEPHANIE LAO, April 30 2024 In Ryan S. v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc., 2024 WL 1561668 (9th Cir. Apr. 11, 2024), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently overturned a California district court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought on behalf of a putative class of group health plan participants against UnitedHealth Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries […]

Trucker Huss Lawyers Recognized as 2024 Best Lawyers®and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch®

BULLETIN, August 30, 2023 Trucker Huss is pleased to announce that Best Lawyers® has recognized 13 of our lawyers:  ten have been included in the 2024 edition of The Best Lawyers in America® and three have been named to the 2024 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® list. Since it was first published in 1983, Best […]

Washington Update — the DOL Regulatory Agenda

CRAIG P. HOFFMAN Reproduced from the NIPA (National Institute of Pension Administrators) publication Strictly Business for TPA Business Owners The Department of Labor’s recent regulation regarding association retirement plans could significantly affect retirement plan policy for many years to come. However, the most recent guidance plan filed by the Department of Labor (Department or DOL) […]

IRS Releases Rev. Proc. 2014-61 Addressing FSA and Transportation Benefit Limits for 2015

SONYA M. GORDON, October 2014 — On October 30, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released its annual inflation adjustment guidance for over 40 federal tax provisions, including annual contribution limits for tax-qualified health flexible spending arrangements (“Health FSAs”) and monthly limits for qualified transportation benefits. These and the other tax adjustment limits were covered in […]

Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans: Additional Windsor Implementation Guidance

On May 15, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Notice 2014-37, providing guidance concerning mid-year amendments to safe-harbor 401(k) and safe-harbor 401(m) plans reflecting the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, which invalidated Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”). Notice 2014-37 follows the April release of Notice 2014-19, […]

New IRS Relief Allows Form 8955-SSA to be Filed Late through the Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (DFVCP)

The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has provided relief to late annual report filers through Notice 2014-35, which allows the Form 8955-SSA, Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits, to be filed late without late filing penalties. Prior to the 2009 plan year, the information reported on Form 8955-SSA was filed with […]

IRS Issues Guidance on Deadline for Qualified Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

On Friday, April 4, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Notice 2014-19 (the “Notice”) and a set of six frequently asked questions (“FAQs”), providing guidance on when qualified retirement plans must start recognizing same-sex spouses for federal tax purposes following the June 26, 2013 United States Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor and […]

Long Train Runnin’: All Aboard the Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program

For San Francisco Bay Area employers, there’s a new sheriff in town: The Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Its new regulations require Bay Area employers to offer qualifying commuter benefits to employees, as well as register which benefits will be offered, by September 30, 2014. As much of our attention centers on the January […]

Recent Update: United States Supreme Court Decision in Quality Stores Case

The United States Supreme Court has issued its decision in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., 12-1408, 2014 WL 1168968 (U.S. March 25, 2014), reversing the decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The Sixth Circuit had held that certain severance payments made to employees who were involuntarily terminated were […]

Streamlined Procedures for Correcting Employment Tax Overpayments Post-Windsor

In September, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) and U.S. Department of Treasury issued Notice 2013-61, which provides special streamlined administrative procedures that employers may use to claim a refund or credit for the overpayment of income and employment taxes on account of same-sex spousal benefits for 2013 and prior calendar years open under the statute […]

IRS Initiates Internal Controls Outreach Campaign, Signaling New Emphasis in Plan Audits

Recent publications and public forums sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) indicate that the agency has initiated an outreach campaign emphasizing plan sponsors’ internal controls in the administration of tax-qualified retirement plans. In the November 14, 2012 issue of the Employee Plans News (“Newsletter”), Monika Templeman, Director of EP Examinations stated as follows: “When […]

Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Same-Sex Marriages for ERISA Purposes

Background On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled, in United States v. Windsor, that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines the term “marriage” as “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife,” is unconstitutional. The ruling applies to all federal tax […]

IRS Announces Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage for All Federal Tax Purposes under “State of Celebration” Approach

The IRS announced in Revenue Ruling 2013-17 that same-sex couples who are legally married in any state or other jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriages (including the District of Columbia, a U.S. territory or a foreign country) will be treated as married for all federal tax purposes, even if the couple lives in a jurisdiction that […]

Sixth Circuit Determines That Certain Severance Benefits Are Not Subject to FICA Taxes — Creates Circuit Split

On September 7, 2012, a unanimous panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held in United States v. Quality Stores, Inc., 110 AFTR 2d ¶2012-5253 (CA6 9/7/12) that payments which were made pursuant to two separate employer severance plans, to employees upon their involuntary termination of employment because the employer was […]

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