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

COVID-19 and Employee Terminations: Avoiding COBRA Noncompliance Issues

With all the COVID-19-related employee furloughs, layoffs, and reductions in hours, employers are no doubt finding it challenging to keep abreast of their obligations under the new and varied federal and state government regulations tied to the pandemic. With all these changes, it can be easy to overlook long-standing responsibilities like making the proper COBRA notifications to workers who are no longer Read More

COVID-19 and Layoffs: Has Our Company Triggered a Partial Retirement Plan Termination?

Many employers have been forced to reduce their workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic through layoffs or furloughs. These workforce reductions may trigger a partial retirement plan termination, which then requires 100% vesting of affected participants. Employers that rehire laid off or furloughed workers by the end of 2020 may be wondering if they have still triggered a partial termination. The IRS recently Read More

3 Tips for Responding to Cases of COVID-19 in the Workplace

By now, many employers have had at least one case of COVID-19 in their workplace. Especially considering the sweep of tort lawsuits across the country, employers’ responses to the presence of an infection in the workplace is of crucial importance to managing both legal and reputational risk exposure. As your legal risk management partner, HBL offers the following three strategies for responding to cases of Read More

New Cross-Plan Offsetting Class Action Lawsuit Highlights Exposure to Self-Insured Health Plan Sponsors

A class action lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota against UnitedHealth Group over an overpayment recovery process known as cross-plan offsetting that the plaintiffs claim is a prohibited transaction under ERISA. Cross-plan offsetting is a common practice that has been used for years by insurers and third-party administrators (TPAs) to recover overpayments made to health service Read More

First Five Years of ACA Penalty Collections Disappoint: Treasury Auditors Advise More Aggressive ACA Penalty Enforcement

The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) recently released a heavily redacted audit report – Improvements Are Needed to Ensure That Employer Shared Responsibility Payments Are Properly Assessed – in which it faults the IRS for being too lenient on Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer shared responsibility mandate reporting and compliance. The ACA shared responsibility mandate requires that Read More

Plan Participant Personal Information: Retirement Plan Asset?

Earlier this year, a lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas against Shell Oil Company by several participants in the company’s 401(k) plan, claiming that Shell allowed its plan recordkeeper – Fidelity Investment Institutional Operations Company, Inc. (FIIOC) – to use the participants’ personal information to cross-sell other financial products and services outside the plan in Read More