ERISA & Employee Benefits

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.

Asset Purchasers Beware - Constructive Notice of Seller's Union Pension Liability

A recent 9th Circuit decision called out a common misconception -- in the form of "incorrect legal advice" that the buyer received prior to closing -- that "[a]bsent an express assumption of liability, the Buyer does not assume the [withdrawal] liability" for a multiemployer pension plan. The decision went on to hold a private equity fund liable for $480,000 of withdrawal liability, even though ...

GM Layoffs and a Smart Reduction-in-Force Strategy

It is never easy to downsize a workforce. The best companies aim to combine a considerate exit for those who leave, with morale-building incentives for those who remain. What better way to start than by using what GM has done as an example, as reported in a November 28th CNBC article, quoted below:

Lame Duck House Tax Proposal Includes Numerous Retirement Plan Provisions

On November 26, 2018, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) introduced a substantial tax package consisting of two main divisions: the Taxpayer First Act of 2018, and the Retirement, Savings, and Other Tax Relief Act of 2018. Chairman Brady released an amendment late yesterday evening that added a new provision to the tax package. The Taxpayer First Act of 2018 would ...

DOL Guidance on Auto Portability

On November 7, 2018, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a news release inviting public comment on a proposed exemption related to the consolidation of small retirement savings accounts in 401(k) plans and IRAs when workers change jobs. The DOL indicated that the goals of an auto portability program are to improve asset allocations by consolidating small retirement savings accounts, do away ...

IRS Announces 2019 Retirement Plan Limitations

The Internal Revenue Service announced cost-of-living adjustments affecting certain dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related limitations for 2019, as detailed in Notice 2018-83. Please click here for a chart that details the 2019 retirement plan dollar limitation cost-of-living adjustments.