ERISA & Employee Benefits

Tax Reform Bill Passes Both Chambers; Awaiting President's Signature

House and Senate Republicans voted along party lines yesterday and into the early hours today to pass a tax reform bill, after weeks of wrangling by both Chambers to reconcile the respective versions of their bills (the "House Bill" and "Senate Bill", respectively.) The House vote was not without drama as the Senate parliamentarian objected to three provisions in the Senate Bill, one being the ...

Social Security Administration Revises 2018 Taxable Wage Base Cost-of-Living Adjustment

On November 27, 2018, the Social Security Administration issued a press release announcing its revision of the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax for 2018 from $128,700, as announced on October 13, 2017, to $128,400. The Social Security Administration indicated that the lowering of the 2018 cost-of-living adjustment to the Social Security wage base was a result of ...

DOL Extends Transition Period for BICE and Other Exemptions by 18 Months

The DOL finalized its proposed 18-month extension - from January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019 - of the Transition Period for the Best Interest Contract Exemption ("BICE"), Principal Transactions Exemption and PTE 84-24 (collectively, the "Fiduciary Compensation Exemptions" or "Exemptions"). The formal notice of DOL action will be published in the Federal Register on November 29, 2017.

Amendments to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; Senate Version of Tax Bill Unveiled

Yesterday, Senate Republicans unveiled their version of the tax bill (the "Senate Bill"). This comes one week after House Republicans first introduced the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "House Bill"), the highlights of which were the topic of our November 3, 2017 Alert, and can be read here. The House Bill has already been amended twice, first on November 2nd and then again yesterday. In general, the ...

Tax Cuts and Jobs Act: Good News for 401(k) Plans, Bad News for Nonqualified Deferred Compensation

Yesterday, the Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee introduced the tax-writing body's inaugural bill, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Act") outlining the federal tax reform plan. In general, the proposed changes are good news for 401(k) plans, since the Act did not include any provisions limiting employees' ability to make pre-tax contributions; nor did it reduce amounts that can be ...

IRS Announces 2018 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 2018, as detailed in Notice 2017-64.

Update Regarding EEOC Reporting Requirements

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") released an updated EEO-1 reporting form in August of 2016, which requires covered employers to provide employee pay data beginning in March 2018. The employer pay data was intended to provide information that would improve EEOC investigations into pay discrimination based on gender, race and ethnicity.

DOL Officially Proposes 18-month Delay Of Full Implementation Of BICE And Other Exemptions

Today, the DOL released its full proposal to extend the transition period by 18 months for the full implementation of the Best Interest Contract Exemption ("BICE"), the Principal Transactions Exemption, and PTE 84-24 (relating to sales of annuities and other transactions involving insurance companies and agents) (collectively, the "Fiduciary Compensation Exemptions" or the "Exemptions"). The ...

DOL Seeks 18-Month Delay of Best Interest Contract Exemption and Other Fiduciary Rule Exemptions

In an August 9, 2017 court filing, the U. S. Department of Labor ("DOL") announced that it had, on August 9, taken steps to delay the date for full implementation of the Best Interest Contract Exemption ("BICE") and other related prohibited transaction exemptions that provide relief from the application of DOL's recent regulation defining fiduciary and investment advice (the "Fiduciary Rule"). ...

Recently-Enacted State-Level Legislation Imposes New Obligations on Financial Institutions, Investment Advisers and Service Providers to 403(b) Plans

Legislation recently enacted by two states obligates financial institutions and investment advisers, as well as service providers to non-ERISA 403(b) plans, to meet new compliance requirements. Specifically, Nevada has enacted legislation that imposes a fiduciary duty on financial institutions and investment advisers rendering investment advice to Nevada-based clients. Similarly, the Connecticut ...