Retirement Plans

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 […]

California to Move Forward with Auto-IRA Despite Loss of ERISA Safe Harbor

T. KATURI KAYE, June 2017    On May 18, 2017, California State Treasurer John Chiang and Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) issued a press statement announcing that California remains on track to implement the California Secure Choice Retirement Savings Program (“Secure Choice” or the “Program”), a state-sponsored program requiring employers that […]

Fiduciary Rule to Go Live June 9, 2017

NICHOLAS WHITE, ROBERT GOWER and ADRINE ADJEMIAN, May 2017    Following months of uncertainty stemming from a February 3, 2017, Presidential memorandum ordering the Secretary of Labor to conduct a review of the final fiduciary advice regulatory package (the “Final Rule”), including a 60-day delay in its applicability date, it seems all but certain the […]

DOL Guidance on Shareholder Rights (A Political Ritual)

BARBARA PLETCHER, February 2017    On December 28, 2016 (at the end of the Obama administration), the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (IB 2016-1) to document DOL views regarding shareholder rights such as voting of proxies and shareholder activism/ engagement. This Interpretive Bulletin also addresses maintenance of and compliance with investment […]

Proposed Regulations Allow for Use of Forfeitures to Fund QNECs and QMACs

FREEMAN L. LEVINRAD, January 2017   On January 18, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released proposed regulations (the “Proposed Regulations”) broadening the definition of employer contributions that will qualify as qualified nonelective contributions (“QNECs”) and qualified matching contributions (“QMACs”). This broadened definition allows for the use of forfeitures to fund QNECs and QMACs. QNECs […]

Back to Basics: Plan Governance

CALLAN CARTER, January 2017   Plan governance is the administrative oversight that assists in ensuring you are managing an effective and compliant employee benefit plan. It provides the structure, authority and processes for implementing and operating benefit plans. Thus, proper plan governance is crucial to plan sponsor functions pertaining to plan design and amendment, as […]

Pension Plan Limitations and Other Applicable Limitations for 2017

SHANNON OLIVER and KEVIN E. NOLT, October 2016   The Internal Revenue Service has announced the annual cost-of-living adjustments applicable to dollar limitations for pension plans and other items for Tax Year 2017. Many of the pension plan limitations were increased, as the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory limits that initiate their adjustment. […]

Updates to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System

KEVIN E. NOLT, October 2016    The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Revenue Procedure 2016-51 on September 29, 2016 which updates the current version of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (“EPCRS”), effective January 1, 2017. The current EPCRS, issued in 2013 in Revenue Procedure 2013-12, had become outdated due to changes made to the program […]

Reasonableness Prevails: New IRS Procedure Allows Self-Certification for Late Rollovers

GISUE MEHDI, September 2016 Background In general, when a distribution from an individual retirement arrangement (“IRA”) or a retirement plan is paid directly to an individual, the individual has 60 days from the date on which he or she receives the distribution to roll it over to another plan or IRA, in order to qualify […]

The DOL Finalizes Its Safe-Harbor Rule on State-Sponsored IRAs

NICHOLAS J. WHITE, August 2016 — On August 25, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule on the circumstances in which state payroll deduction savings programs with an automatic enrollment feature would not give rise to the establishment of an employee benefit plan under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, […]

Form 5500 as a Compliance Tool: Changes Today, Changes Tomorrow

ROBERT R. GOWER, July 2016 Sponsors of calendar-year qualified plans working to complete the 2015 Form 5500 (Annual Return / Report of Employee Benefit Plan) by the extended filing deadline of October 15, 2016 may have noticed a handful of revisions to the Form 5500 for the 2015 plan year. These “compliance-focused” revisions indicate areas […]

Internal Revenue Service Provides Guidance on the Scope of the New Determination Letter Program for Individually Designed Plans

T. KATURI KAYE, July 2016 — The IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2016-37 on June 29, 2016, which provides much anticipated guidance on the elimination of the determination letter program for individually designed retirement plans effective January 1, 2017. The following is a summary of Revenue Procedure 2016-37 in order to assist plan sponsors with making […]

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 […]

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