ERISA & Employee Benefits

The Wagner Law Group

The DOL’s New Cybersecurity Audits and Informal Guidance

by Jon Schultze, Susan Rees and Barry Salkin

Cybersecurity Guidance Welcome, but Unanswered Questions Remain

By Stephen Wilkes and Barry Salkin

IRS Updates Guidance Regarding Correction of Tax-Qualified Plan Errors Under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS)

By Jon Schultze, Barry Salkin and Dan Brandenburg Mistakes happen, even with respect to tax-qualified plans and 403(b) plans that have implemented internal controls designed to reduce, if not eliminate, the likelihood of plan failures. Under the Internal Revenue Code and IRS regulations, those mistakes could result in the loss of a plan’s tax-qualified status, even if those errors were relatively ...

Must Death Distributions Under 10-Year Rule Be Taken Annually?

By Kimberly Shaw Elliott and Barry Salkin New Pub 590B Prompts Surprise Just in the nick of time for filing 2020 federal income tax returns, the IRS issued a revised Publication 590-B (2020), Distributions from Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) (“Pub 590-B”). In it, the IRS in an example suggests that taxpayers who inherit IRAs and are not eligible designated beneficiaries must take a ...

Participant Directed Investments Through Brokerage Windows: The Last Frontier or a Trap for the Unwary?

By Ivelisse Berio LeBeau and Stephen Wilkes

When Will a Plan Administrator's Denial of Benefits be an Abuse of Discretion - In Discrete Circumstances Says the Ninth Circuit

Almost every ERISA employee benefit plan contains so-called "Firestone language," which grants discretionary authority to determine eligibility for benefits and construe the terms of a plan. If a plan contains such language, then a plan administrator's interpretation of the plan terms is reviewed under an abuse of discretion standard, which, as discussed below, is a standard that participants ...

Does Your Plan use a LIMITED SCOPE AUDIT for Form 5500 Financial Reporting?

There has been a significant new development for employee benefit plan administrators of large plans who opt for a "limited scope audit" by the plan's auditor for Form 5500 reporting of the plan's financial information, as permitted by ERISA Section 103(a)(3(C). This new development only applies in the event that information on the plan's assets is provided by and certified to by a bank or other ...

Proposed IRS Regulation Would Eliminate "One Bad Apple" Rule for Multiple Employer Defined Contribution Plans

On July 3, 2019, the IRS proposed a new regulation addressing one problem experienced by multiple employer defined contribution plans (DC MEPs) which are tax qualified as single plans under Section 413(c) of the Internal Revenue Code (the "Code"). Under 413(c), the failure by one contributing employer to meet the qualification rules would result in the disqualification of the entire plan. The ...

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 ...