Newsletter Archive

You may view and print back issues of the “Benefits Report,” our Newsletter. Many of the articles in these newsletters are available in the articles section of the website.

Special Alert

November, 2019

  • 2020 Pension Plan Limitations

Special Alert

October, 2019

  • DOL Proposes New E-Disclosure Regulations

Volume 28 No 9

September, 2019

  • Ninth Circuit Upholds 401(k) Plan’s Provision That Compels Arbitration and Prohibits Class or Collective Action

  • Individual Coverage HRAs: Practicalities and Potential Pitfalls for Employers (PART ONE)

Special Alert

September, 2019

  • Two Interesting New Rules Regarding Prescription Drugs — What Is Really Going On?

Volume 28 No 8

August, 2019

  • SECURE Retirement Legislation on Hold in the Senate

  • Defined Benefit Plan Actuarial Equivalence Litigation — A Formidable Threat or An Unfounded Theory?

Volume 28 No 7

July, 2019

  • Final HRA Regulations Issued – Key Highlights

  • PBGC’s Missing Participants Program for Defined Contribution Plans

  • Limited Expansion of the Determination Letter Program – Is Your Plan Eligible for Review?

Volume 28 No 6

June, 2019

  • IRS Issues Interim Guidance under Notice 2019-09 on Section 4960 Excise Tax for Tax-Exempt Organizations and Certain Governmental Entities

  • 401(k) Student Loan Matching Programs — Private Letter Ruling 2018-33012

Special Alert

April, 2019

  • IRS Makes Significant Improvements to EPCRS in Rev. Proc. 2019-19

Volume 28 No 4

April, 2019

  • Internal Revenue Service Provides Transition Relief to Code Section 403(b)
    Plans for Violations of the Once-In-Always-In Rule

  • U.S. Senate Committee Eyes Lack of Guidance on ERISA Cybersecurity

Volume 28 No 2

February, 2019

  • Second Circuit Breathes New Life Into Company Stock Litigation

  • IRS Issues Proposed Regulations Modifying Hardship Distribution Rules

Volume 27 No 12

December, 2018

  • Improper Delegation of Authority Could Cost a Plan its Deferential Standard of Review

  • 2019 Pension Plan Limitation Highlights

Special Alert

December, 2018

  • IRS Issues Initial Code Section 83(i) Guidance — Mostly Good News

Special Alert

November, 2018

  • Proposed Regulations for Health Reimbursement Arrangements — Impact of the Trump Administration on the Affordable Care Act

Volume 27 No 10

October, 2018

  • IRS Rules That Student Loan Program under 401(k) Plan Does Not Violate the Contingent Benefit Rule, but Important Compliance Issues Are Left Unanswered
  • Are ERISA Claims Subject to Arbitration?

  • The Saga Continues: An Update on University Plan Lawsuits with NYU’s Victory at Trial

Volume 27 No 8

August, 2018

  • Department of Labor Releases Final Association Health Plan Rule

Volume 27 No 5

May, 2018

  • The Drought Is Over: Recent Legislation Affecting Retirement Plans
  • IRS Issues FAQs Clarifying New Employer Tax Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave

Volume 27 No 2

February, 2018

  • Tax-Exempt Organizations Face New Tax Penalty on Excess Compensation — Due Diligence and Minimization
  • DOL Announces April 1, 2018 Applicability Date for Final Rule Amending Claims Procedure for Disability Benefits
  • Providing Certain Fringe Benefits Now Results in UBIT for Tax-Exempt Organizations

Special Alert

January 11, 2018

  • New Section 83(i) of the Internal Revenue Code — Qualified Equity Grant Programs Permit Employees to Elect to Defer Income Taxes on Stock Options or RSUs

Volume 26 No 12

December 2017

  • Be Prepared to Respond to IRS Employer Shared Responsibility Payment Assessments
  • Common Issues Discovered During Retirement Plan Audits: A Discussion with Diane Wasser
  • Disability Claims Regulations Delayed to April 1, 2018
  • Due Date for Providing ACA Coverage Forms to Employees/Participants Extended from January 31, 2018 to March 2, 2018

Special Alert

December 27, 2017

  • Tax Reform Provisions Affecting Employer-Provided Compensation and Benefits

Special Alert

December 20, 2017

  • Section 409A Relief for Tax Payments from Section 457A Plans

Special Alert

December 7, 2017

  • DOL Fiduciary Rule – Still Very Much Alive

Special Alert

November 16, 2017

  • UPDATE: Latest Senate Markup of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” Strikes Provisions that Would Have Drastically Changed Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Arrangements, While Retaining Revisions to 162(m) Limits on Executive Pay

Special Alert

November 13, 2017

  • Executive Compensation Programs Are Still on the Chopping Block in Senate Version of “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”

Volume 26 No 11

November, 2017

  • Compliance Alert: Disaster Relief Guidance for Health Plans
  • IRS Guidance on Pension Plan Mortality Tables and Funding Methods
  • Retirement Plan Limitations for 2018

Special Alert

October 2017

  • The Revolution of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance

Volume 26 No 8

August 2017

  • Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans May Need to Be Updated for Revised Claims Regulations Relating to Disability Determinations
  • 18-Month Delay for Fiduciary Rule’s Transition Period
  • 2018 Annual Open Enrollment Is Here – Are Your Health and Welfare Plans Ready?

Special Alert

August 18, 2017

  • Does the Trump Administration Control the Fate of the ACA?

Special Alert

August 2017

  • Breaking Down The Graham-Cassidy ACA-Replacement Proposal

Special Alert

June 2017

  • The Senate Takes a Crack at a Healthcare Reform Replacement Bill

Volume 26 No 6

June 2017

  • California to Move Forward with Auto-IRA Despite Loss of ERISA Safe Harbor
  • Cybersecurity and ERISA: Fiduciary Obligations to Safeguard Plan Participants’ Data

Special Alert

May 31, 2017

  • Fiduciary Rule To Go Live June 9, 2017

Special Alert

May 10, 2017

  • ACA Replacement Clears Its First Hurdle: An Analysis of What’s Next (Trucker Huss Webinar on May 24)

Volume 26 No 3

March 2017

  • (Mild) Relief for Safe-Harbor Hardship Administration
  • When Close Is Not Close Enough:  A Shift Towards Strict Compliance for ERISA Claim Procedures

Special Alert

March 31, 2017

  • ACA Update:  Major Changes for Employers Still Possible This Year — An In-Depth Look at What’s at Stake

Special Alert

March 15, 2017

  • DOL Issues Temporary Enforcement Policy Regarding the Fiduciary Rule

Special Alert

March 9, 2017

  • Examining the House ACA-Repeal Bill’s Potential Impact on Employers and Other Sponsors of Group Health Plans

Volume 26 No 2

February 2017

  • DOL Guidance on Shareholder Rights (A Political Ritual)
  • The State of Wellness Programs
  • DOL Proposes a 60-Day Delay in Implementation of the Fiduciary Rule

Special Alert

February 2017

  • The Fiduciary Rule Is Under Review, but What Does that Mean?

Volume 26 No 1

January 2017

  • New Wave of Retirement Fee Litigation: The University 403(b) Lawsuits
  • Back to Basics: Plan Governance
  • Proposed Regulations Allow for Use of Forfeitures to Fund QNECs and QMACs

Volume 25 No 12

December 2016

  • Missing Participants: Gone but Not Forgotten
  • DOL Finalizes Disability Benefit Plan Claims Regulations

Special Alert

December 2016

  • Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements Available for Small Employers

Volume 25 No 11

  • Repeal and Replace — What Health Reform Law Changes Might Be in Store for Employer-Sponsored Group Health Plans Under the Trump Administration
  • IRS Delays the Deadline to Furnish the ACA Forms 1095-C and 1095-B to March 2, 2017 and Extends the Good Faith Transition Relief from Reporting Penalties

Volume 25 No 10

  • Updates to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System
  • The Fifth Circuit Emphasizes that Conclusory Statements will not Satisfy the Pleading Standard for Stock Drop Lawsuits
  • Pension Plan Limitations and Other Applicable Limitations for 2017

Special Alert

October 2016

  • Tax-Exempt Entities and State/Local Governments Have New Flexibility in Designing Annual and Long-Term Bonus Incentive Plans

Volume 25 No 9

  • ERISA Forum Selection Clauses — Two Recent “Against-the-Trend” Cases and an Uncertain Future
  • Reasonableness Prevails: New IRS Procedure Allows Self-Certification for Late Rollovers

Volume 25 No 8

  • Ninth Circuit Clarifies Remedies for Failure to Provide Documents Relevant to a Benefit Claim
  • The DOL Finalizes Its Safe-Harbor Rule on State-Sponsored IRAs

Volume 25 No 7

  • Internal Revenue Service Provides Guidance on the Scope of the New Determination Letter Program for Individually Designed Plans
  • Form 5500 as a Compliance Tool: Changes Today, Changes Tomorrow
  • A Grab Bag of Recent Health Plan Guidance

Special Alert

July 2016

  • Newly Issued 457(f) Proposed Regulations Clarify Rules for Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Provided by Non-Profit and
    Governmental Entities

Volume 25 No 6

  • Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation Issues Proposed Rule for Multiemployer Plan Mergers and Transfers
  • ERISA Litigation Continues a Plaintiff-Friendly Trend

Volume 25 No 5

  • EEOC Issues Final Wellness Rules Under the ADA and GINA
  • Understanding How Medicare Coverage Affects HSA Eligibility to Avoid
    Surprise Tax Penalties
  • Reproposed Regulations on Financial Institution Incentive-Based Compensation

Volume 25 No 4

  • The Final Fiduciary Rule: Top Five Takeaways for Plan Sponsors
  • Be Prepared for Phase Two of the HIPAA Audit Program
  • Case Update:  Ninth Circuit Revisits Tibble v. Edison International
  • Ninth Circuit Decision Creates Uncertainty Regarding the Burden of Proof in Benefit Claim Cases

Special Alert

April 2016

  • DOL Issues Final Fiduciary Rule

Volume 25 No 3

  • Supreme Court’s Gobeille Decision Delivers a Win for Self-Funded Health Plan Sponsors
  • Derisking With Lump Sum Payments: Participant Disclosure

Volume 25 No 2

  • SCOTUS Smackdown: In Amgen v. Harris, the Supreme Court Reverses the Ninth Circuit a Second Time and Re­affirms Special Pleading Standard Applicable in ERISA Stock Drop Cases
  • IRS Notice 2015-87: A Grab Bag of ACA, HRA and FSA Guidance
  • IRS Provides Guidance on Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor Plans
  • DOL’s Newly Announced Investigation into Defined Benefit Plans for Failure to Pay Participants


Volume 25 No 1

  • IRS Provides Update on Pending Guidance on the Determination Letter Program
  • The Retro-Effect: Outstanding Issues in Qualified Plan Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage as Highlighted by Schuett v. FedEx
  • What Plans and Plan Fiduciaries Need to Know about Montanile: Supreme Court Narrows ERISA Plan Reimbursement Rights
  • New Filing Guidance Regarding the Retroactive Commuter Benefit Increase


Special Alert

January 2016

  • IRS Issues Guidance Addressing the Impact of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell Decision on Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans


Volume 24 No 12

  • Late Deposits – A Timely Topic
  • Discourage Costly Stockholder Derivative Lawsuits by Obtaining Stockholder Ratification of Reasonable Limits on Non-Employee Director Equity and Cash Compensation
  • EEOC’s Proposed Rule on GINA and Wellness Programs: Approving
    Spousal HRA Incentives and Clarifying Other Matters


Special Alert

December 31 2015

  • IRS Extends Due Dates for 2015 ACA Information Reporting by 2 to 3 Months


Volume 24 No 11

November 01, 2015

  • Department of Labor Proposes Update to Disability Benefit Claims Regulations
  • Various Filing Deadlines Updated in Transportation Bill


Volume 24 No 10

October 01, 2015

  • Buyers Beware!  Ninth Circuit Holds that a Company May Be Subject to Withdrawal Liability as a Successor Employer under the “Successorship Doctrine”
  • The DOL Clarifies Its Safe Harbor Guidance for Selecting Annuity Providers and Contracts for Defined Contribution Plans
  • Pension Plan Limitations and Other Applicable Limitations for 2016


Volume 24 No 9

September 01, 2015

  • At Last! IRS Issues Final ACA Reporting Instructions and Forms for Employers and Providers of “Minimum Essential Coverage”
  • New IRS Proposed Regulations Defining Minimum Value for Employer Share Responsibility Provisions
  • IRS Issues Final Regulations on the Determination of Minimum Required Contri­butions for Single Employer Defined Benefit Plans
  • Must Benefit Denial Letters Inform Claimants of a Plan’s Time Limit for Bringing a Lawsuit?


Volume 24 No 8

August 01, 2015

  • IRS Issues New Draft Forms and Instructions for ACA-Required Reporting in 2016
  • Plan Year Changes for Group Health Plans for Year-End 2015 and 2016
  • Opt-Out Payments and Health Coverage Affordability Issues


Volume 24 No 7

July 01, 2015

  • New ACA Guidance on Requirement to Cover Preventive Health Services
  • ACA Compliance Remains “Business as Usual” for Employers Following King v. Burwell
  • Supreme Court’s Tibble Decision Provides Little Guidance
  • Significant Changes to Qualified Plans Determination Letter Program Underway


Volume 24 No 5

May 01, 2015

  • DOL Proposed Fiduciary Rule: A Significant Second Take
  • Plan Sponsors Gear Up for Required ACA Reporting of Coverage
  • New Final ACA Rules Regarding Limited Wraparound Coverage as an Excepted Benefit


Volume 23 No 12

December 01, 2014

  • “An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth a Pound of Cure”: The Ninth Circuit’s Holding in Spinedex Lowers the Bar For Plaintiffs Seeking
  • The Impact of Dudenhoeffer on Lower Court Stock-Drop Cases
  • Gabriel Revisited


Volume 23 No 10

October 01, 2014

  • COBRA Compliance and the Health Flexible Spending Account Carryover
  • New FAQs Issued on ACA’s Cost-Sharing Limitations for Plans Using Reference-Based Pricing
  • IRS Closes Minimum Value Loophole and Kills Skinny Plans for Employers Subject to Play or Pay Mandate
  • IRS Releases Rev. Proc. 2014-61 Addressing FSA and Transportation Benefit Limits for 2015


Volume 23 No 9

September 1, 2014

  • A New Approach to Abuse of Discretion Review
  • Amendments to Excepted Benefits Regarding Dental Plans, Vision Plans and EAPs Finalized
  • New Mid-Year Section 125 Permitted Election Changes Help Facilitate ACA Marketplace Enrollment
  • IRS Announces PCORI Fee Increase


Volume 23 No 7

July 01, 2014

  • Determination of Employer “Pay or Play” Assessment Under Affordable Care Act Cast into Doubt Following Recent Court Split
  • Time to Restate 401(k) Prototype and Volume Submitter Plans
  • IRS Issues Draft Forms for the Reporting of Coverage under the Affordable Care Act


Volume 23 No 6

June 01, 2014

  • Not So Much: The Ninth Circuit Clarifies Whether the Supreme Court’s Decision in Amara Vastly Expanded Remedies Available Under ERISA § 502(a)(3)
  • Revenue Ruling 2014-9 and Revised Form 5310: Uncertain Compliance Standard for Rollover Contributions
  • Final 90-Day Health Plan Waiting Period Rules Issued