Retirement Plans

Derisking With Lump Sum Payments: Participant Disclosure

BARBARA PLETCHER, March 2016 – We are seeing a renewed interest in derisking of defined benefit pension plans by implementing a “lump sum window,” and wanted to share with you the employee communication below. For purposes of this article, a “lump sum window” is a limited period of time during which participants in a defined […]

IRS Provides Guidance on Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor Plans

T. KATURI KAYE, February 2016 – On January 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Notice 2016-6 (the “Notice”), providing important guidance on mid-year changes to safe harbor plans under Sections 401(k), 401(m) and 403(b) (collectively referred to as “safe harbor plans”) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). The Notice is welcome guidance […]

DOL’s Newly Announced Investigation into Defined Benefit Plans for Failure to Pay Participants

ADRINE ADJEMIAN, February 2016 On January 22, 2016, during a panel discussion (which included Brad Huss) at the Los Angeles Advanced Pension Conference, Elizabeth Hopkins, Counsel for Appellate and Special Litigation, Office of the Solicitor, Plan Benefits Security Division, United States Department of Labor (“DOL”), stated that the DOL has initiated an investigation into large […]

IRS Provides Update on Pending Guidance on the Determination Letter Program

KEVIN E. NOLT, January 2016 On January 4, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Notice 2016-03, which provides that the Department of Treasury (“Treasury”) and the IRS will issue guidance in anticipation of the elimination, effective January 1, 2017, of the five-year remedial amendment cycle system for individually designed retirement plans under the IRS […]

The Retro-Effect: Outstanding Issues in Qualified Plan Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage as Highlighted by Schuett v. FedEx

ROBERT R. GOWER, January 2016 – On January 4, 2016, an order issued by U.S. District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton in Schuett v. FedEx Corp., (No. 15-CV-0189-PJH, 2016 WL 104267 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 4, 2016)) brought light to a long anticipated question surrounding the retroactive application of the United States Supreme Court opinion in United […]

New Filing Guidance Regarding the Retroactive Commuter Benefit Increase

FREEMAN L. LEVINRAD, January 2016 To help those employers that allowed employees to exclude more than $130 in nontaxable monthly transit benefits for 2015, the IRS issued Notice 2016-6 to facilitate their adjustment of employees’ federal nontaxable wages following the recent retroactive increase in excludable transit benefits. On December 18, 2015, the President signed the […]

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

ROBERT R. GOWER and ERIC J. SCHILLINGER, January 2016 — On December 9, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Notice 2015-86, providing guidance on the application of the June 26, 2015 United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges (“Obergefell”) to qualified retirement plans under Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) section 401(a) and health […]

Late Deposits — A Timely Topic

SUSAN QUINTANAR, December 2015 —  Plan sponsors need to remain attentive about ensuring that elective deferrals are deposited into their 401(k) plans on a timely basis. Plans may be subject to a higher risk for audit where late deposits are concerned, especially in those cases where there has been a pattern of recurring delinquent deposits […]

Transportation Bill Update

MIKAELA C. HABIB, December 2015 — On Friday, December 4, 2015, the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (“FAST”) Act of 2015 was signed into law. The FAST Act repealed the additional one month extension of the Form 5500 filing deadline introduced by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015. As a […]

Various Filing Deadlines Updated in Transportation Bill

MIKAELA C. HABIB, November 2015 — The recently enacted Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (the “Act”) includes changes to various reporting deadlines for corporations, partnerships, and certain tax-exempt entities. Included are the filing deadlines for the Form 5500 (Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan), the Form 990 (Return of […]

The DOL Clarifies Its Safe Harbor Guidance for Selecting Annuity Providers and Contracts for Defined Contribution Plans

NICHOLAS J. WHITE, October 2015 — In 2008, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a safe-harbor regulation for plan investment fiduciaries regarding a prudent process for selecting and monitoring annuity providers and contracts for defined contribution plans (the “Safe Harbor Rule”). In Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2015-2 (the “FAB”), issued this past summer, the DOL […]

Pension Plan Limitations and Other Applicable Limitations for 2016

SHANNON OLIVER and KEVIN E. NOLT, October 2015 — The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) has announced the annual cost-of-living adjustments applicable to dollar limitations for retirement plans and other items for Tax Year 2016. The retirement plan limitations generally are unchanged in 2016 because in most cases the slight increase in the cost-of-living index […]

IRS Issues Final Regulations on the Determination of Minimum Required Contributions for Single Employer Defined Benefit Plans

T. KATURI KAYE, September 2015 — On September 9, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued final regulations on determining minimum required pension contributions under Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) section 430 for single employer defined benefit pension plans for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2016. Code section 430 was added by the […]

Significant Changes to Qualified Plans Determination Letter Program Underway

ROBERT R. GOWER, July 2015 — On July 21, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released Announcement 2015-19, announcing a significant curtailment of the IRS determination letter program for individually designed retirement plans. Announcement 2015-19 eliminates the five-year remedial amendment cycle for individually designed retirement plans and restricts the IRS determination letter program to limited […]

Time to Restate 401(k) Prototype and Volume Submitter Plans

JENNIFER D. BROOKS, July 2014 — If your 401(k), or other defined contribution plan document is a prototype or volume submitter plan, then it may seem like just yesterday you were contacted by your document provider and asked to restate your plan document for Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (“EGTRRA”). In […]

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