ERISA & Employee Benefits

Supreme Court Concludes Defined Benefit Pension Plan Participants Do Not Have Standing To Bring Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claim

The Supreme Court has long recognized that one of ERISA's principal purposes was to make “sure that if a worker has been promised a defined pension benefit upon retirement - and if he has fulfilled whatever conditions are required to obtain a vested benefit - he actually will receive it.” See e.g., Nachman Corp. v. Pension Ben. Guar. Corp., 446 U.S. 359, 375 (1980). On June 1, 2020, the Supreme ...

Retirement Plan Provisions of CARES Act Updated to Reflect IRS Guidance Issued May 4, 2020

The third COVID-19 Stimulus package has provisions regarding retirement plans, including expanded and penalty-free withdrawal rights, expanded loan rights, extended rights to repay loans and withdrawals, and the deferral of mandatory distributions.  New guidance released on May 4, 2020, states that the IRS will be issuing more detailed guidance in the near future.  To the extent that the ...

Cybersecurity and Retirement Plans: What Plan Sponsors Should Do

Cybersecurity breaches of retirement plan participant accounts have occurred with increasing frequency in recent years.  Just this past April, a plan participant filed a complaint alleging ERISA breaches of fiduciary duty and violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act against Abbott Laboratories, the plan sponsor, and Alight Solutions, the plan’s third party administrator and record keeper, ...

The Impact of the Economic Downturn on Retirement Plans

The current volatility in the economy due to the coronavirus pandemic has created various issues for retirement plans that need to be addressed in an expedited and efficient manner.  The significant impacts on defined contribution and single employer defined benefit pension plans have been summarized in outlines prepared by Jon C. Schultze, Esq., available by clicking on the respective links ...

ERISA Litigation – Lessons for Today from the Great Recession

Many of us older hands lived through the financial collapse of 2008 and, with any luck, learned a lesson or two from the experience that may come in handy now. When 2008 began, my legal practice was basically one half IP litigation, one half ERISA litigation and one half insurance coverage and bad faith counseling and litigation (yes, I know that adds up to one and a half, but that’s how it felt ...

Withdrawals and Loans from Defined Contribution Retirement Plans

In reaction to the current volatility in the economy due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have been receiving a large number of questions from defined contribution plan sponsors regarding ways participants can access money in their accounts. While recognizing such leakage may cause future headaches for participants in their retirement, many individuals do not have the resources to weather this ...

The CARES Act: Relief for Small Businesses

On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act (the “Act”) was passed. The bill is expected to provide relief for eligible small business through a loan guarantee program, the postponement of certain tax payments, and a tax credit. The Act states that the Administrator at the Small Business Administration (SBA) should issue guidance to lenders and agents ...

Retirement Plan Provisions of CARES Act

The third COVID-19 stimulus package has provisions regarding retirement plans, including expanded and penalty-free withdrawal rights, expanded loan rights, extended rights to repay loans and withdrawals, and a deferral of mandatory distributions. Coronavirus-Related Distributions The 10% early distribution penalty from retirement plans and IRAs under Section 72(t) of the Internal Revenue Code ...

Suspending or Reducing Safe Harbor Contributions in Defined Contribution Retirement Plans

In reaction to the current volatility in the economy due to covid-19, we have been receiving a large number of questions from retirement plan sponsors regarding whether it is permissible to suspend or reduce required safe-harbor contributions during the plan year.  Many companies have to reduce their expenses and improve cash flow.  In recent years many of these companies adopted safe harbor ...

Suggested Administrative Practices in Light of Intel Decision - Ensuring "Actual Knowledge"

by Stephen Wilkes and Livia Aber