Coronavirus Implications to Short- and Long-Term Disability Plans

For a majority of employer-sponsored group disability plans, coverage for a disability linked to COVID-19 is likely to depend on each individual plan’s definition of “disability.” Although definitions may differ from plan to plan, most plans typically state that an employee is considered disabled if he or she is unable to perform the duties of his or her occupation. Employees that test positive for COVID-19 but only Read More

Recent IRS Guidance Proffers Guidance Allowing for Greater Dependent Care FSA Flexibility

On May 12, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-29, giving employers the option to make changes to a § 125 cafeteria plan that would allow eligible employees to make prospective midyear elections and changes to existing elections during 2020 as follows: With respect to employer-sponsored health coverage under fully insured and self-insured plans: Make a new election on a prospective basis, if the employee Read More

Federal Court Strikes Down Certain FFCRA Paid Leave Regulatory Provisions

On August 3, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York struck down several key provisions of the Department of Labor’s Final Rule regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which applies to employers with 500 or fewer employees. Under the FFCRA, employees are entitled to up to 80 hours of paid leave if they are: Under a government isolation or quarantine order Read More

Reg BI In Effect: Breakdown of Four Broker-Dealer Obligations

Reg BI - also known as Rule 151-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 - applies to the code of conduct for broker-dealers and their staff when making recommendations to retail customers regarding securities transactions, investment strategies, asset rollovers, and other related business. It also applies to hold recommendations that are implicit when coming from mutually arranged investment account Read More

IRS Issues Guidance on CARES Act Temporary Relief to Single Employer Defined Benefit Plan Funding Requirements

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) altered some of the rules for employer health and retirement plans, including allowing sponsors of single-employer defined benefit pension plans to delay 2020 contributions to January 1, 2021. On August 6, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-61 to provide clarification on the CARES Act relief provided to single-employer defined benefit plans. Impact Read More

DOL Issues Interim Final Rule on Lifetime Income Annual Benefit Statement Disclosure Requirements

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act) added new lifetime income disclosure requirements to benefit statement rules under ERISA.  The law now requires that a participant’s total accrued benefit be expressed as a lifetime income stream in the form of a single life annuity.  If the participant has a same-age spouse, the total accrued benefit must be expressed as a qualified Read More

LinkedIn 401(k) Plan Latest Target in Lawsuit Alleging Fiduciary Breach

A class action lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against LinkedIn Corporation, its Board of Directors, and its 401(k) Committee, for breach of fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Under ERISA, plan fiduciaries must act “solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries. The complaint alleges that the defendants Read More

Restricted Stock Units (RSUs): Popularity Soars for Incorporation in Long-Term Incentive Compensation Programs

According to The Ayco Company’s October 2019 survey of 325 companies, restricted stock units (RSUs) now represent the most common type of equity award in the U.S. The survey showed that 72% of companies responding to the survey award RSUs, while only 14% award straightforward restricted stock. Restricted stock units (RSUs) represent an unfunded promise by an employer to grant a certain number of stock shares to an Read More

IRS Increases User Fees for Various Qualified Retirement Plan Filings

The IRS has provided an early release of increases to user fees for certain letter ruling and determination letter requests submitted with Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements that are scheduled to take effect on January 4, 2021. Typically, user fees are announced in the IRS’s annual updates to its revenue procedures. However, for 2021, the IRS is giving advance notice of several fee increases affecting employee Read More

IRS Proffers Proposed Regulations for Qualified Plan Loan Offsets

The IRS has issued proposed regulations for determining whether an offset for an outstanding retirement plan loan receives the extended rollover period for qualified plan loan offsets (QPLOs) provided for by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA).  Plan loan offset rollovers If a retirement plan participant’s account assets are used to repay a plan loan, the amount used for this purpose - known as an offset - Read More