Tag: Retirement plans

Fiduciary Duties Are Myriad, So Safeguards Matter

Monitoring the performance of service providers, making required disclosures to participants and beneficiaries, keeping good records and filing reports with the government are just a few of the important functions a fiduciary must ensure are properly executed, an enforcement official at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration unit told a group of […]

Decision in Same-sex Spouse Pension Case May Violate ERISA

FedEx Corp. may have violated ERISA by not awarding pension death benefits to the same-sex spouse of an employee who died one week before the U.S. Supreme Court ended bans on gay marriage, although the company reasonably interpreted its plan’s limitation of benefits to opposite-sex spouses before the 2013 High Court ruling, a federal district […]

Private Sector Criticizes DOL Proposal to Let States Run Retirement Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor laid the groundwork for states to run ERISA-covered auto-enrollment individual retirement accounts and multi-employer retirement plans for people without workplace savings options, issuing proposed rules and an interpretive bulletin for that purpose. The so-called open MEPs give employers that don’t want to offer their own 401(k) plan a way to join with other companies […]

BP Litigation: Plan Sponsor Not Liable for Employees’ Failure to Inform

Fiduciary status under ERISA “is not an all-or-nothing concept,” according to a recent federal district court ruling that found BP and its North American unit were not liable for their retirement plan employees’ breaches of fiduciary duty. The lawsuit arose from a BP company stock plan available as investment to plan participants that plunged in […]

How Beneficiary Dispute Is Resolved Determines Overpayment for Death Benefits

By Todd Castleton Another recent court dispute among would-be beneficiaries highlights the options facing retirement plan administrators when distributing a deceased participant’s benefit. If two or more parties are claiming to be the rightful beneficiary of a deceased participant’s benefit, one option is to review all the facts and make a determination applying the plan’s terms through […]

Novant Health Settles ‘Excessive Fee’ Participant Suit for $32M

A hospital company accused of using participant funds to pay “excessive fees” for retirement plan administration services agreed to a $32 million class-action settlement and extensive adjustments in the way it selects and reviews the plan’s portfolio. As more participant suits are filed accusing defined contribution plans of overpaying for investment and administration services, it’s […]

DOL Rescinds ERISA Guidance Discouraging Sustainable Investments

The U.S. Department of Labor on Oct. 21 reversed 2008 guidance that discouraged retirement plan fiduciaries and their investment advisers from considering environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when choosing companies for their portfolios. The reversal, made through a new interpretive bulletin that reinstates 1994 guidance, recognizes a growing consensus that fiduciary duty may in […]

Investment Adviser Penalized $15M for Failing to Diversify

A novel approach to determining damages owed by an investment adviser to two defined contribution retirement plans in an ERISA fiduciary-duty breach was part of a decision including a $15 million reimbursement request handed down recently by a New York federal judge. Plan sponsors should note that the defendant, WPN Corp., was ordered by the […]

QLACs could increase younger workers’ retirement readiness, EBRI

Qualifying longevity annuity contracts in 401(k) plans could significantly increase the retirement readiness of younger workers with longer life expectancies, the Employee Benefit Research Institute reported recently. Modeling two scenarios involving the recently approved QLACs, EBRI found that, while the general population might experience a “small reduction” in retirement readiness by purchasing a QLAC with […]

IRS Details Procedures for e-Filing Hardship Waivers

IRS on Sept. 14 released a new revenue procedure guide for retirement plan administrators seeking to avoid filing certain annual forms electronically, usually for economic hardship reasons. The changes are most likely to apply to small plans. In Revenue Procedure 2015-47, IRS provided some clarity on when some filers can continue using paper to submit […]