ERISA & Employee Benefits

Deal-Breaking M&A Issues Related to Employee Benefit Plans and Executive Compensation

Employee benefit and executive compensation issues can disrupt merger and acquisition transactions when overlooked until the last minute, or cause major post-transaction problems if not properly addressed before closing. The list below is intended to facilitate the detection, negotiation, and resolution of possible employee benefit plan and executive compensation-related problems. As a general ...

An Ounce of Litigation Prevention for Executive Benefits...and Severance: Lessons from an Employer's Quagmire in New Jersey

There are three instructive takeaways from the April 24th decision in Weller v. Linde Pension Excess Program (D. NJ). In that case, the employer failed in its effort to end the case before significant discovery and expense would result. Worse for the employer: the litigation arose after the executive had terminated employment, collected severance, and signed a general release of claims. So what ...

PBGC Requests OMB Approval for Data Collection for ERISA Title IV Coverage Analysis

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ("PBGC") issued a notice (84 Federal Register 20168 (Wednesday, May 8, 2019)) informing the public that the PBGC has requested the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") approve a collection of information necessary for the PBGC to determine, upon request by the plan, whether (or not) a plan is covered under Title IV of the Employee Retirement Security ...

IRS Expands Determination Letter Program - Revenue Procedure 2019-20

In Revenue Procedure 2016-37, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") eliminated the long-standing program under which a plan sponsor could request a determination that its individually-designed plan satisfies the tax-qualification requirements of Internal Revenue Code Section 401(a), except for initial qualifications and qualifications upon plan termination. Plan sponsors and employee benefit ...

Multiemployer Plan Reforms are Needed Before it's Too Late

The President's proposed 2020 Budget, released March 11, 2019, would shore up the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's ("PBGC") multiemployer pension plan insurance fund by increasing premiums, including "variable-rate" and "exit" premiums in addition to the current "flat-rate" premiums. The PBGC's separate single-employer insurance program has included such premiums for years. The ...

Rabbi Trusts - When to ask. What to get.

A recent Law360 headline brought rabbi trusts immediately to mind. It reads "Ex-Manufacturing Co. CEO Says He's Owed $4.4M in Benefits" (4/10/2019).* Litigation sprung because the retired CEO expected to receive monthly supplemental retirement benefits over a period of 10 years, but his company suspended payment after 15 months. The disagreement seems to involve whether life insurance provided ...

Multiple Employer Plans and PEOs

In recent years, much activity has centered around the idea of open MEPs - that is, multiple employer plans that do not require any relationship among the participating employers in the plan. In 2018, bills were introduced in Congress to permit open MEPs, including the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act in the Senate and the Family Savings Act in the House, and similar bills have already been ...

PBGC Issues New Staff Interpretations

In mid-2018, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ("PBGC") began posting Q&As for practitioners on its website. Last week, PBGC posted an update, including several additional Q&As. The Q&As are available on the PBGC's "Staff Responses to Practitioner Questions" page, which can be found by clicking here. These "PBGC-curated" Q&As substitute for the Q&As that were developed by the American Bar ...

Is the Partial Government Shutdown Affecting Your Benefit Plans?

Benefit professionals need to be very careful about how they respond to the partial government shutdown. Potential areas of concern include, but are not limited to, the following:

457(f) Landmine Lurks for All Tax-exempt Organizations…Even the Small Ones!

“Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow, but someday” … you are likely to have a golden parachute problem.