Retirement Plans

Missing Participants: The Search Continues

JOELLE TAVAN, February 22, 2022  For a number of years, the Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA), the Department of Labor (DOL)’s branch responsible for administering and enforcing the fiduciary, reporting, and disclosure provisions of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), has made missing plan participants one of its key […]

2022 Pension Plan Limitation Highlights

SHANNON OLIVER, December 15, 2021  On November 4, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2021-61, containing the cost-of-living adjustments related to retirement plan limitations under the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). These changes will take effect on January 1, 2022. Below are some of the highlights. I.  Limitations That Have Increased The limitation on […]

Internal Revenue Service Updates the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System under Revenue Procedure 2021–30

T. KATURI KAYE and NICOLAS DEGUINES, August, 2021  On July 16, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2021-30, an updated version of the Employee Plans Comp­liance Resolution System (EPCRS), which we will refer to in this article as the “EPCRS Update.” This article summarizes the significant changes and revisions made by the […]

Mitigating Fiduciary Risk: Lessons Learned About the Prudent Person Rule After Fifteen Years of Fee Litigation

DYLAN D. RUDOLPH and ROBERT R. GOWER, July, 2021  The uptick in lawsuits now commonly referred to as “excessive fee” fiduciary breach litigation began on September 11, 2006, when a St. Louis firm, Schlichter Bogard & Denton, filed its initial tranche of lawsuits against the fiduciaries of multiple large corporate 401(k) plans. In the fifteen […]

IRS Q&As Clarify COVID-19 Partial Plan Termination Relief

BRYAN J. CARD, June, 2021  On April 27, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published guidance in the form of five questions and answers (the “Q&A Guidance”) on the partial plan termination relief provided under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “Act”), which was signed into law on December 27, 2020. This partial plan termination […]

DOL Issues New Cybersecurity Guidance — What Plans and Service Providers Need to Know

JENNIFER WONG and NICOLAS DEGUINES, April 29, 2021  On April 14, 2021, the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) issued its first cybersecurity guidance for plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, recordkeepers, and plan participants.1 Intended to complement EBSA’s regulations on electronic records and disclosures to plan participants and beneficiaries, the guidance is comprised […]

Participant Data: Plan Asset or Fair Game for Recordkeepers to Use to Market Non-Plan Products?

CATHERINE REAGAN and R. BRADFORD HUSS, April 29, 2021   In an emerging theory of liability, plan fiduciaries’ treatment of participants’ personal data is coming under scrutiny. Over the last five years, we have seen how the collection of many individuals’ personal data can become a valuable asset in the right hands — whether it’s used […]

Retirement Plan Relief in Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021

T. KATURI KAYE and CATHERINE L. REAGAN, January 14, 2021   Signed by the President in December, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (CAA) combines COVID-19 stimulus relief with a number of year-end appropriations bills, and it includes numerous provisions that will impact retirement plans. The retirement plan relief provisions in the CAA are divided between (1) […]

A Pecuniary Focus: Department of Labor Issues Final Rule on Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments

ROBER R. GOWER, November 12, 2020  On October 30, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a final rule (the “Final Rule”) amending the investment duties regulation under Section 404(a) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The significant and much-anticipated Final Rule updates the existing investment duties regulation framework to provide […]

IRS Guidance on Coronavirus-Related Distributions and Plan Loans

BRYAN J. CARD, August 27, 2020  On June 19, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2020-50 (the “Notice”), which provided much needed guidance on Section 2202 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). Section 2202 of the CARES Act provides economic relief to certain individuals who have been […]

Final Rule on E-Disclosures: The DOL Provides Retirement Plans with an Additional Safe Harbor for Electronic Disclosure of Required Plan Notices Under ERISA

YATINDRA PANDYA, July 9, 2020   Background On May 27, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its final rule on electronic disclosures, creating an additional voluntary fiduciary safe harbor for electronically providing participant disclosures required under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA). The effective date of this final rule is […]

DOL Proposes to Formally Regulate ESG Investing

ROBERT R. GOWER, July 9, 2020   On June 30, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) published a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register seeking to formalize guidance concerning environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations in selecting investments for plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Background ESG considerations […]

IRS Issues Coronavirus-Related FAQs for Retirement Plans and IRAs

ADRINE ADJEMIAN and ROBERT R. GOWER, June 8, 2020    On May 4, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a limited set of FAQs providing administrative guidance addressing the special “coronavirus-related distribution” (CRD) and plan loan provisions under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”). As anticipated, the guidance draws […]

DOL Announces Publication of Final E-Disclosure Rule

FREEMAN L. LEVINRAD and NICHOLAS J. WHITE, May 26, 2020    On May 21, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its final rule on electronic disclosures, which is scheduled to be published on May 27th. The final rule allows employers to deliver participant disclosures primarily electronically. The DOL anticipates this will reduce plan costs by […]

The DOL Provides Limited Relief to Retirement Plans and Their Fiduciaries in Dealing with the COVID-19 Pandemic

RON ASSADI and NICHOLAS J. WHITE, May 18, 2020    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic (the “Pandemic”), on April 28, 2020, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued Disaster Relief Notice 2020-01 (the “Notice”). The Notice addresses the following issues as impacted by the Pandemic: (i) deadlines for providing participant disclosures and notices; (ii) […]

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