Retirement Plans

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations Modifying Hardship Distribution Rules

BRYAN CARD, February, 2019   The new year brings significant changes to hardship distributions under Section 401(k) plans and Section 403(b) plans. Following the passage of the Bipartisan Budget Act (the “Act”) in February 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released proposed regulations in November 2018 which provide implementing guidance for the new rules and modifications […]

2019 Pension Plan Limitation Highlights

SHANNON OLIVER, December, 2018    On November 1, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2018-83, 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, 2019.  Below are some of the highlights. Limitations That Have Increased The limitation on the annual […]

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

J. MARC FOSSE, December 10, 2018      The IRS has provided initial guidance in Notice 2018-97 (the “Notice”) about certain statutory requirements for private corporations granting options and restricted stock units (RSUs) which they intend to treat as qualified equity grants under section 83(i) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). If an option or RSU […]

IRS Rules That Student Loan Program under 401(k) Plan Does Not Violate the Contingent Benefit Rule, but Important Compliance Issues Are Left Unanswered

NICHOLAS J. WHITE, October, 2018   Research shows that student loan debt is now second only to mortgages in consumer debt. More than 44 million Americans owe collectively $1.5 trillion in student loan debt, with the average student in the Class of 2016 owing over $37,000. Many of these individuals cite their outstanding student loans (or […]

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

ANGEL L. GARRETT and EMILY L. GARCIA, October, 2018   In January 2017, we informed you that fiduciaries of 12 university retirement plans had recently been hit with lawsuitsalleging defendants breached their fiduciary duties to their 403(b) retirement plans by offering what plaintiffs described as overly expensive, poorly performing funds, and/or by allowing their plans to […]

The Drought Is Over: Recent Legislation Affecting Retirement Plans

BENJAMIN F. SPATER and SUSAN QUINTANAR, May, 2018   New legislation provides several significant modifications affecting retirement plans, effectively eliminating the legislative drought experienced in recent years. Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (the “Act”) Hardship Withdrawals Effective for plan years beginning after December 31, 2018, the Act liberalizes the hardship withdrawals provisions for plans that include […]

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

J. MARC FOSSE and ANGEL L. GARRETT, January 11, 2018   New section 83(i) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) permits eligible private corporations1 to adopt qualified equity grant plans for issuing stock options or restricted stock units (RSUs) to eligible employees to obtain “qualified stock” (as defined below) in exchange for the performance […]

Disability Claims Regulations Delayed to April 1, 2018

YATINDRA PANDYA and JAHIZ NOEL AGARD, December, 2017   On November 24, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) delayed the applicability of the final rule which revises the regulations governing disability benefit claims (the “Final Rule”) to April 1, 2018, from the original January 1, 2018, effective date. Published in the Federal Register on December 19, […]

Common Issues Discovered During Retirement Plan Audits: A Discussion with Diane Wasser

CALLAN G. CARTER, December 27, 2017   I talked with Diane Wasser of EisnerAmper LLP, a national certified public accounting firm with a practice group specializing in the audit of retirement plans, about common issues that Diane and her team discover during their audits of retirement plans. Diane is the Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Pension Services […]

Tax Reform Provisions Affecting Employer-Provided Compensation and Benefits

J. MARC FOSSE, December 27, 2017   The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) recently signed into law affects many employer-provided benefits and employee compensation, beginning as soon as next week. This alert highlights the affected benefits and provides a short summary of how the Act will change the tax treatment of those benefits and […]

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

J. MARC FOSSE and YATINDRA PANDYA, December 20, 2017   On December 8, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS) released Notice 2017-75 (the “Notice”), which provides limited relief from cer­tain penalties under section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) for tax payment distributions from a Code section 457A nonqualified deferred compensation arrangement (a […]

IRS Guidance on Pension Plan Mortality Tables and Funding Methods

KEVIN E. NOLT, November 2017   Recent guidance by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impacts the funding rules applicable to defined benefit pension plans. As described below, the guidance changes the mortality tables used for minimum funding (and other) purposes and the process used to modify a plan’s funding methods. We recommend that plan sponsors […]

Pension Plan Limitations for 2018

SHANNON OLIVER, November 2017   On October 19, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2017-64, containing the cost-of-living adjustments applicable to retirement plan limitations under the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). These changes will take effect on January 1, 2018, and are based on the fact that the Consumer Price Index increased by 2.2% last […]

18-Month Delay for Fiduciary Rule’s Transition Period

ADRINE ADJEMIAN, August 2017   On Thursday, August 31, 2017, the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) published a proposed extension of the transition period and applicability date for the fiduciary regulation’s (the “Fiduciary Rule”) best interest contract exemption (the “BICE”) and the principal transaction exemption. The DOL proposed amendment would also extend the applicability date of […]

Fiduciary Obligations to Safeguard Plan Participants’ Data

ARIEL GAKNOKI, June 2017    There have been numerous instances of high-profile cybercrime cases over the past couple of years spurring lively discussions in the ERISA community about the potential threat this type of crime poses to plan assets and personal data of plan participants and beneficiaries. Except when there has been a high profile […]

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