How the DOL is Changing Association Health Plans

Association Health Plans (AHPs) are both group health plans and multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWA). However, unlike typical plans offered by employers, this benefit is sponsored by a group association of employers. Recently, the Department of Labor (DOL) has provided new guidance and regulation regarding association health plans. Association Health Plans, in General As an employee welfare benefit plan Read More

Understanding the Revised Employer Definition for MEPs and MEWAs

Multiple employer plans (MEPs) and multiple employer welfare arrangements (“MEWAs”) allow workers greater access to retirement programs. However, the Department of Labor recently proposed a revised definition of the term “employer” that may bring about changes to MEPs and MEWAs. Companies that currently participate in MEPs or MEWAs, or who wish to participate in such a plan, need to learn more about the revised Read More

Executive Compensation Plans: How to Attract, Motivate, and Retain the Employees You Want

Recruiting the right executives requires companies to develop the right compensation plans. In fact, the task can be daunting, especially in a tight employment market. However difficult it may seem, it just takes a little analysis and thought to create executive compensation plans that attract, motivate, and retain key employees.     Designing an Executive Compensation Plan that Attracts and Read More

What You Need to Know About HIPAA and Federal Nondiscrimination Laws

Two issues hit close to home for most people: privacy and equality or fair treatment. Our federal government has enacted legislation and put regulations in place to protect an individual’s right to keep medical information private. In addition, those laws closely correlate to federal nondiscrimination laws. It’s important for employers and plan administrators to understand the nexus between HIPAA and federal Read More

Does Your ERISA Fiduciary Liability Insurance Offer Enough Protection?

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”) does not explicitly require that fiduciaries carry fiduciary liability insurance. However, given the risks taken by fiduciaries, the insurance may be considered money well spent. In fact, plan administrators and others may consider the existence of fiduciary liability insurance before hiring a service provider for their plan. In this article, Read More

Executive Compensation and the IRS

Executive compensation packages often include alternative forms of compensation on top of a salary arrangement. In fact, strategically-designed and legally-compliant executive compensation programs are the key to long-term business stability and growth. However, including compensation like stock options, deferred compensation, fringe benefits may alter how the Internal Revenue Service views and treats the Read More

The Fiduciary Role in the Post-DOL Fiduciary Rule Era

In 2016, the United States Department of Labor published a new regulation commonly called the Fiduciary Rule. Also known as the Conflict of Interest Rule, the regulation was intended to expand the definition of investment advice fiduciary under ERISA to include additional professionals associated with finance. However, in March 2018, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals heard a case brought by the U. S. Chamber of Read More

Is Your Benefit Plan Subject to ERISA?

Employee benefit plans are often used to attract and retain key employees, as well as providing significant tax advantages to employers. Although benefit plans are not mandated by the government, federal laws do address the administration of certain plans. For example, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and its subsequent amendments impose a number of rules and minimum standards. An employer that Read More

The Fate of Qualified Retirement Plans During a Merger or Acquisition

What happens to qualified retirement plans when companies go through a merger or acquisition? That may depend on the answers to the following questions: Is the plan a qualified retirement plan? A retirement must comply with the Internal Revenue Code in order to be considered qualified. Not only must the plan documents meet IRS requirements, but the company must follow the plan’s provisions. When in doubt, companies Read More

Avoid These ERISA Compliance Pitfalls

ERISA consists of the initial law, several amendments, and a massive number of regulations. Compliance is mandatory for most plans. Non-compliance usually results in harsh penalties or even criminal indictments. This article explores some common ERISA compliance pitfalls. Failing to Provide COBRA Notices Employees who no longer qualify for employer-paid health insurance may continue their coverage under the Read More