DOL Issues Proposed Rule for ESG Investing

On June 23, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule to clarify investment duties for plan fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) when it comes to environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing. Under ERISA, plan fiduciaries are required to act solely in the financial best interests of plan participants and beneficiaries. The DOL has issued prior Read More

IRS Offers Guidance on RMDs considering CARES Act and SECURE Act

On June 26, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-51, which provides guidance on the waiver of required minimum distributions (RMDs) for 2020 from certain retirement plans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) and the required beginning date for RMDs under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (“SECURE Act”). The SECURE Act extended the age for beginning RMDs Read More

Stock Drop Litigation Cases and COVID-19: Retirement Plans Beware!

During times of stock market volatility, there is typically an increase in the number of ERISA claims filed seeking recovery of investment losses. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly qualifies as a market volatility event, giving plaintiffs an opportunity to bring breach of fiduciary claims based on company stock losses in qualified retirement plans. In these cases, plaintiffs typically assert that, based on Read More

Recent Cybersecurity Breach Case Proves Risks Are Rife for Both Retirement Plan Sponsors and Service Providers

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) became law before the computer age, so there are no provisions in the Act dealing with cybersecurity. In addition, there is no formal guidance from the IRS or Department of Labor on cybersecurity responsibilities either, leaving it to the courts to determine responsibilities under ERISA when a cybersecurity breach occurs that results in theft from a Read More

Health Law Daily Wrap Up, STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVES: Health law takes center stage at U.S. Supreme Court, (Oct. 5, 2020)

STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVES: Health law takes center stage at U.S. Supreme Court An Affordable Care Act (ACA) case and a federal preemption case involving Medicare and ERISA are before the High Court, with possibly more health law cases to come.  By Cathleen Calhoun, J.D. In the 2020-21 term, the U.S. Supreme Court justices will decide at least two important health law cases. The first is an Affordable Care Act Read More

What A Biden Win Could Mean For Employer Health Insurance

By Eric Schillinger and Anne Tyler Hall Over 155 million Americans — nearly half of the country's entire population — are covered by employer-sponsored health insurance.  During his campaign, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has proposed numerous significant changes to the U.S. health care system.  Although many of those proposals relate to Medicare, Medicaid and the individual insurance market Read More

Agencies Release FAQ Group Health Plan Guidance for CARES Act and FFCRA

Recently, the U.S. Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury released FAQ guidance relating to group health plans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Highlights from the FAQ guidance include the following: Covered Plans and Products COVID-19-related provisions under the CARES Act and Read More

CMS Narrows ACA Nondiscrimination Rules

On June 19, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS) Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) published proposed final rules in the Federal Register that narrow or eliminate a number of nondiscrimination requirements under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Under Section 1557, certain healthcare insurers, providers, and benefit plans are prohibited from discriminating Read More

IRS Provides for COVID-19 Leave Donation Program

On June 11, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-46 to address potential tax issues arising from employer leave-based donation programs that help victims of the COVID-19 pandemic in “affected geographic areas” that include all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.  Leave donation programs typically allow employees with accrued vacation, sick, or leave time to donate their hours to be used by Read More

DOL Allows Private Equity Investments in 401(k) Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued an information letter stating that a fiduciary that complies with the requirements of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) may include private equity as an investment option for 401(k) plan participants. In its information letter, the DOL noted that, “Private equity investments...present additional considerations to Read More