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

Texas District Court Decision: Repeal of Penalty Renders ACA Unconstitutional – What’s Next?

On March 3, 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (“ACA” or “Obamacare”) was signed into law. Since then, numerous lawsuits have been filed against ACA. One lawsuit reached the United States Supreme Court, which upheld the personal mandate to buy health insurance. However, the flow of litigation did not cease. Attorneys general from Texas filed a new lawsuit in the U. S. District Court of North Read More

How Will the Midterm Elections Affect Retirement Policy?

The November 2018 midterm elections promise nothing if not change. As the Republican’s hold on the Senate strengthened, the Democratic party took a majority in the House of Representatives. The Democrat and Republican parties historically hold very different positions in several important areas. As such, the change in leadership in the House may lead to sweeping changes in every area, particularly when it comes to Read More

HIPAA Violations in ABC Medical Documentary Result in $999,000 Settlement

The federal government takes a very serious and firm stand on compliance with its laws and regulations. Government laws designed to protect the average American include ERISA, ACA, and HIPAA. Strict attention to detail may help your company avoid the costly mistakes three Boston hospitals made while participating in the filming of an ABC medical documentary. HIPAA Violations Happen The Health Insurance Portability Read More

How ACA Affects AHPs

The ability to pay for healthcare insurance weighs heavily on many American’s minds. Rising insurance premiums and rising medical costs forced some to forego insurance altogether. In March 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) was enacted. Also known as PPACA or Obamacare, the new law brought about the creation of a Marketplace for consumers to find the insurance they needed. Before ACA, Read More

Complying with FICA’s Special Timing Rule

Taxes collected under Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) are levied on wages paid by an employer to an employee regarding their employment. Collecting the tax on basic wages is fairly simple. However, nonqualified deferred compensation plans present special problems for compliance with the law, especially considering FICA’s special timing rule.   What Is the Special Timing Rule? The Internal Revenue Read More