Four Compensation Committee Best Practices

Executive compensation and compensation programs will always be under review as management and ownership aim to align compensation, especially at the highest levels, with performance. While the goals and metrics may differ by company, best practices for compensation committees can be applied across the board to increase compensation effectiveness (and, as a byproduct, company growth) and improve Read More

Disclosure of PHI on Yelp Results in $10,000 HIPAA Settlement

This past October, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights (OCR), the entity responsible for policing HIPAA violations, announced a settlement with a Texas dental practice. The dental practice disclosed protected health information (PHI) on Yelp and was subject to a $10,000 fine. This information was disclosed in response to online reviews posted by the patient. In addition to the Read More

Time for Your Beginning of Year Benefit Check-Up

Benefit administrators work hard to avoid the unexpected costs and frustration associated with an IRS audit. One way to do so is to perform a periodic check-up of your organization’s benefit plans, associated documentation, and procedures. This should be performed with the help of benefits legal counsel to take into account the laws and regulations that could impact your business, employees, and dependents. Update Read More

District Court Concludes No Right to Jury Trial in ERISA Fiduciary Breach Case

In a recent federal district court decision that featured ERISA plan participants suing for breach of fiduciary duty, Moitoso v. FMR LLC, the court concluded that a jury trial is not required.. The argument for a lack of jury trial when the plan participants won the argument was that the participants’ winnings were not legal damages but an equitable surcharge, and thus they did not require a jury trial. The court did Read More

IRS Provides Guidance on 2019 Updates to Retirement Plans

Over the 2019 calendar year, the IRS, in conjunction with the Department of Labor (DOL), issued guidance on retirement plans that was largely focused on self-correction, determination letters, hardship distributions, and multiple employer retirement plans (MEPs). The following provides an overview of retirement plan governmental guidance during 2019: Self-Correction for Loan Failures: Guidance from April 2019 Read More

ERISA 403(b) and 457 Plans the Subject of New SEC Investigations

403(b) retirement plans are generally provided for government and public university employees. While like 401(k) plans in some ways, these retirement plans are designed specifically for tax-exempt entities.  457 plans are often offered to government workers and nonprofit groups, and they and allow bigger catch-up contributions than their counterparts. Recently, 403(b) plans have come under fire from lawsuits Read More

401(k) Student Loan Repayment Programs at Top of 2020 IRS Priority List

Student loans remain a major issue for younger professionals. Many of these professionals now choose to prioritize student loan payments over saving for retirement, something that makes sense presently but can lead to financial consequences in the future. When businesses look for ways to attract top talent, they want to be able to address the concerns the talent has by offering benefit packages that are in line with Read More

IRS Clarifies ACA ‘Pay or Play’ Rules to Individual Health Reimbursement Arrangements (IHRAs)

New proposed regulations from the IRS are designed to clarify the nondiscrimination rules pertaining to Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs). Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer shared responsibility provisions apply to all Applicable Large Employers (ALEs), which are generally employers who have an average of 50 or more full-time employees during the preceding calendar year. The new proposed Read More

IRS and DOL Issue Myriad of Changes for MEPs Over the Past Year

Multiple employer plans (MEPs) are a hot topic of conversation both in government and with the small businesses and business associations hoping to benefit from new regulations. Over the course of the past year, new legislation and regulations from the IRS and the Department of Labor (DOL) have created a number of changes for MEPs with which plan sponsors should be familiar. Department of Labor Regulations Final Read More

HSAs: Health Version of a 401(k)?

Many employers offer a variety of health plan options including high-deductible health plans (HDHP) coupled with health savings accounts (HSAs) that employers as well as employees can contribute to. While employees are not required to have an HSA to accompany their HDHP, it can be an excellent way to save for future healthcare costs. Recent research by the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) shows that in Read More