“SECURE Act”: Open MEPs Still in Play?

Between the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019" (the SECURE Act) currently under review in the House and the similar Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2019 from the Senate, the stage is being set for small businesses to have more access to multiple employer plans (MEPs). MEPs allow unrelated employers, who would otherwise be too small to access competitive benefits packages, to Read More

“SECURE Act” Aims to Make Significant Retirement Plan Upgrades

Short for "Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement," the SECURE Act of 2019 (the “Act”) that recently passed through the House Ways and Means Committee, and the similar Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2019 from the Senate, aim to make significant retirement plan upgrades. The bill passed through committee unanimously and quickly, and it contains a handful of improvements for 401(k) plans and a Read More

Seminal Fiduciary Breach Case Settles for Eight Figures

ERISA fiduciary breach cases regarding plan fees and other fiduciary problems have been in the news lately, especially as cases come up for trial and settle. Benefit plan administrators are watching these cases closely and trying to make proactive changes to the plans they administer to avoid future litigation. Recently, Tussey v. ABB, Inc., a long-standing case that was the first ERISA case to go to trial regarding Read More

Court Invalidates Rule on AHPs and DOL Responds

In October 2017, President Trump signed an executive order that included a directive to the Department of Labor (DOL) to expand Association Health Plans (AHPs). AHPs are health plans that are offered to employer groups and professional associations in an effort to provide more coverage for small businesses. The DOL published a final rule governing AHPs in June 2018, expanding access to AHPs to small and single-person Read More

Recent Federal Ruling Regarding Cost-Sharing Reduction Reimbursements

Health insurance providers recently won a number of cases on summary judgement against the federal government regarding cost-sharing reduction reimbursements. The Court of Federal Claims in four recent cases ruled that health insurance providers were entitled to recover unpaid cost-sharing reduction reimbursements from the government. The federal government argued that neither the Affordable Care Act, nor any of the Read More

Study Finds That Determination of Fiduciary Breach Often Hinges on Whether Fiduciary Followed a “Prudent” Process

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College recently released a study outlining the major causes of 401(k) lawsuits. In particular, the study focuses on the fact that these types of lawsuits often hinge on whether the plan fiduciary was following a “prudent” process and how one would define a process as prudent. With most companies now offering 401(k) plans as their primary retirement offering, it’s wise to Read More

A Case Study in Health and Welfare Benefits

This blog is an excerpt of Anne Tyler Hall’s book “Case Studies in ERISA: Why It Matters And How It Benefits You, A Plan Sponsor’s Guide To Employee Benefits Legal Compliance”  request your free digital copy of the book here. Most private sector health plans are strictly governed by ERISA which provides: Protection for participants and beneficiaries (participant rights); and The right to access to plan Read More

Snapshot of the Status of 403(b) Plan Fiduciary Litigation

A recent uptick in litigation over retirement plans and, specifically, the fees those plans are being charged for administration and management, has many businesses working to renegotiate plan fees. Plan fiduciaries are closely watching the status of 403(b) plan litigation both to see what further steps they need to take to protect the plans they manage. In particular, this type of litigation has shown that there are Read More

The Importance of the ERISA Plan SPD

Most benefit plans offered by businesses and non-profits are subject to regulation under ERISA. As part of administering these plans, Summary Plan Description documents (SPDs) are required. These documents are supposed to contain the most important plan information a participant would need to know, including eligibility and operational details. ERISA further regulates when these documents should be provided. Since Read More

Is Repeal of the Cadillac Tax Inevitable?

Many provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are still being debated, especially as our country decides what direction to go next and government agencies shift in the ways they’re creating and applying regulations to enforce the law. One provision of the ACA, often referred to as the “Cadillac Tax,” that is currently under discussion, places a 40% excise tax on “high-cost” employer-sponsored health plans. While Read More