Recent Updates to U.S. Equity Compensation FAQs

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) maintains a comprehensive list of U.S. Equity Compensation FAQs. On December 19, 2018, ISS issued updates to its FAQs based, in part, on recent changes to the Internal Revenue Code of 1984, as amended (the “Code”) and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”).   Effect of Section 162(m) Deduction Removal on Compensation Programs Removal of Section 162(m) of the Code Read More

Timing Your Company’s Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan

Companies provide different types of benefits to meet the interests and needs of their employees. One option to consider is a nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plan. A NQDC allows employees to earn wages and other types of compensation over the course of one tax year then defer those earnings and income tax obligations to a later year. Common examples of deferred compensation plans are supplemental executive Read More

Cybersecurity Best Practices for Employee Benefit Plans

Employee benefit plans typically gather, use, and maintain confidential data about plan participants. Employers, plan sponsors, and fiduciaries must use cybersecurity best practices to protect this information. In this article, we will explore some cybersecurity techniques applicable to employee benefit plans. At this time, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”) provides no clear Read More

Avoid HIPAA Noncompliance Penalties by Consulting ERISA Counsel

Noncompliance with government regulations can occur simply by lack of understanding the finer points of those regulations. For example, it’s simply impossible for a quick read of ERISA to give you all the information you need to avoid HIPAA noncompliance penalties. In this article, we will examine how consulting with ERISA counsel can give you the in-depth information you need.   Top HIPAA Noncompliance Read More

ERISA-Qualified Government Health Plans Under Attack by Plaintiff’s Bar

In recent years, we have seen challenges to the exemption for church-sponsored pension plans contained in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). A U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2017 (Advocate Health Care Network et al. v. Stapleton et al.) seemed to settle the argument that plans offered by church-affiliated hospitals still qualified for the exemption. However, it now appears that Read More

The Pros and Cons of Arbitrating ERISA Fiduciary Claims

Arbitration is an oft-used form of alternative dispute resolution. Two or more parties fail to resolve a disagreement, they may turn to arbitration. But is it better to litigate or arbitrate? The answer to this question depends on a number of factors. When it comes to arbitrating ERISA fiduciary claims, the situation becomes even more complex. Is arbitration the best solution? Are there any downsides to solving an Read More

2019 Hardship Distribution Rules Are Changing

Occasionally an employee may experience a serious financial need. With no other help available, raiding a retirement plan may be the only option. Prior to 2019, employees and employers alike may have faced hurdles when wrestling with a hardship distribution. Due to new laws, however, hardship distribution rules are changing in 2019.     Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 On February 9, 2018, President Trump Read More

DOL Hot on the Trail of Missing ERISA Plan Participants

Missing people, missing money. It’s hard to believe people would leave retirement funds behind when they move to a new job. But it happens. In fact, many people fail to roll over retirement plans when they move to a new employer. Plan administrators and sponsors then are faced with a dilemma – and sometimes unclear or evolving guidance from government agencies that oversee employee retirement plans. Currently, the Read More

Recent Class Action Lawsuit Challenges Health Plan Fiduciary Fees

Employer-sponsored health and welfare plans often hire independent administrators to manage the plan as fiduciaries. In fact, plans may employ various fiduciaries, including plan trustees, plan administrators, and plan investment committee members who shoulder many responsibilities. They also need to charge for their services. However, disagreements over health plan fiduciary fees have spawned a number of lawsuits, Read More