Bloomberg BNA's Pension & Benefits Blog is a special resource offered by Bloomberg BNA to provide commentary and insight on news and trends reported in our publications: Pension & Benefits Daily, Pension & Benefits Reporter, and the Benefits Practice Resource Center. The authors of the blog are members of our Benefits Practice Resource Advisory Board and members of staff (who contribute summaries of some of their recent stories).
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February 26, 2014
by Sean Forbes
health plans or health insurance issuers offering group health insurance
coverage can't apply a waiting period that exceeds 90 days for individuals to
be eligible for benefits coverage under terms of their plans, according to new
final regulations under the Affordable Care Act and released jointly by three
December 13, 2013
by Kristen Ricaurte Knebel
plan community can expect guidance imminently on issues related to frozen
defined benefit plans, a Treasury Department official said during a webcast.
October 30, 2013
of Labor guidance providing that the terms “spouse” and “marriage” under the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act now include same-sex legally married
couples was a confirmation of earlier Internal Revenue Service guidance, but
some issues remain on the health and welfare plan side that could lead to legal
action down the line, practitioners told Bloomberg BNA in a series of
October 23, 2013
Employers hoping to offer health reimbursement arrangements
to employees to give them money to spend on the Affordable Care Act health
insurance marketplaces have found their hands tied following guidance issued
Sept. 13 by the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor, attorneys
said during a session of the Groom Law Group's Employee Benefits Seminar.
October 16, 2013
by Jacklyn Wille
considering the date on which a disability plan's contractual limitations
period begins to run, the U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned attorneys on a
wide range of issues, including federal law preemption, equitable doctrines,
potential harm and the purpose of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's
administrative exhaustion requirement.
October 11, 2013
by Joe Lustig
The Department of Labor is looking into fiduciary training as
part of the agency's investigations into retirement plans, attorneys at Trucker
Huss in San Francisco told Bloomberg BNA.The attorneys had taken part in a recent webinar on the
basics of retirement plan committees, and later Bloomberg BNA asked them to
share some of their real-life experiences relating to fiduciary training under
the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
October 1, 2013
by Andrea L. Ben-Yosef
Podcast (stream or download) by Steven Friedman and Ilyse Schuman: On Oct. 1, the Affordable Care Act marketplaces open for business. Then, starting in 2015, employers have a choice of whether to “pay or play,”-- to provide health care coverage or pay a penalty.
April 8, 2010
Since many ERISA plans are in the process of preparing their audited financials for the 2009 Form 5500, this is a good time to to reflect on the nature and responsibilities that the plan administrator has in connection with the audit process. (As chair of the Audit Subcommittee for the committee that is the plan sponsor and plan administrator of the Goodyear Retiree VEBA, I had to think through these issues for our plan.)
March 1, 2010
by Andrew L. Oringer
Today's decision on the merits by the 9th Circuit in the Golden Gate Restaurant Association v. San Francisco case upholding the employer spending requirements of the San Francisco ordinance as not preempted by ERISA is a most interesting read.
November 20, 2009
The DOL has withdrawn its investment-advice regulation, culminating a process that began with a firestorm of objection regarding the DOL's attempt to implement the PPA's new investment-advice exemptions. The PPA's exemptions were controversial when passed, and became more controversial when the Department interpreted certain fee-leveling requirements in a manner that was perceived to be narrow.
September 22, 2009
by Robert J. Bach
One of the purposes of ERISA was to provide participants with access to information so they could understand their rights and obtain their benefits from their plans.
June 2, 2009
It is not being controversial to say that there is a trend in the states in favor of permitting same-sex marriage. Previously, a broad array of employers had begun provide benefits for their employees' domestic partners. See generally Libert, Oringer & Raskin, "Same-Sex Marriage and Employee Benefits: The Approaching Revolution," 63 Empl. Ben. Plan Rev. 22.
January 29, 2009
On January 16, 2009, the Department of Labor announced that it had finalized its work under Sections 408(b)(14) and 408(g) of ERISA, which set forth the PPA's new investment-advice exemptions.
October 2, 2008
The DOL’s recent proposed class exemption for the provision of investment advice has re-ignited the debate over the need for and the role of investment advice in participant directed plans. The proposal would strike a good balance between the need to offer investment advice to plan participants and the importance of participant safeguards.
September 24, 2008
Full compliance with Section 409A is scheduled to be required in less than four months, by January 1, 2009. This deadline is the result of the considered and responsive review by personnel from Treasury, the IRS and the legislative branch last year, as 2007 ran its course.
August 15, 2008
Section 404(a)(1) of ERISA generally requires a fiduciary to act in the interest of participants and beneficiaries and to act prudently. ERISA also requires, under Section 103(b)(3)(A), an annual report which includes a financial statement containing, among other things, a statement of assets and liabilities "valued at their current value." Current value is to be determined in good faith by a trustee or named fiduciary.
Initiative Gathers Section 409A Data For Compliance Check, IRS Official Says
Recent SCOTUS Benefit Decisions Pose New Questions for Litigation, Panelists Say
Overview of U.S. v. Windsor and its Effect on Employee Benefits
Dudenhoeffer Ruling Benefits Both Sides, Attorneys Who Argued Case Agree
Obstacles Loom for House Legislation On Frozen Retirement Plans, Speaker Says