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DISCLAIMER: This blog is published for general information only - it is not intended to constitute legal advice and cannot be relied upon by any person as legal advice.  U.S. Treasury Regulations require us to notify you that any tax-related material in this blog (including links and attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties, and may not be referred to in any marketing or promotional materials.  While we welcome you to contact our authors, the submission of a comment or question does not create an attorney-client relationship between the Firm and you. 

Entries in ERISA (22)

Tuesday
Feb192019

ERISA Preemption of State Slayer Statutes: Does it Matter?

Over the last decade, courts around the country have been asked to decide whether ERISA preempts state slayer statutes – state laws that prohibit a murderer from collecting benefits as the beneficiary of the victim’s estate or as the surviving spouse of the victim under an insurance policy or benefit plan.  Courts have come down on both sides of the issue – some finding that ERISA preempts the state law, others holding that the state law governs.

And some courts have decided that the question is moot because, even if the state’s slayer statute is preempted, federal common law prohibits a killer from being rewarded for his or her crime as a beneficiary so the outcome is the same.  This post will review the current state of the law regarding slayer states as they relate to ERISA plans, and offer some comfort to employers who find themselves having to deal with the issue.

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Tuesday
Oct232018

Join Us for Managing 401(k) Plan Fiduciary Risk on 11/8

In today’s ever-changing and challenging 401(k) environment, plan sponsors find themselves in a new and seemingly complex environment. Regulations are becoming increasingly complicated, the number of class action lawsuits continues to rise, and employees insist on access to less expensive options with better performance, without understanding what the fees include. Retirement plan sponsors have an obligation and responsibility to reduce their fiduciary risk and improve the effectiveness of their retirement program for their participants.

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Tuesday
Aug072018

New Disability Claims Procedures Affect Retirement Plans and Deferred Compensation Plans Too

Much has been written about the Department of Labor’s final rule regarding disability benefit claims procedures (the “Final Rule”), which took effect on April 2, 2018.  And by now, most employers – and all disability insurance carriers – have taken steps to implement changes in disability plan administrative procedures and plan documents necessary to comply with the Final Rule.  However, many employers have been somewhat slower to react to the implications of the Final Rule for their retirement plans and deferred compensation plans that include a benefit or payment based on disability.  Plan sponsors generally have until December 31, 2018 (for calendar year plans) to adopt amendments that would be retroactively effective to April 2, 2018.  Plan sponsors should take the time now to determine whether their retirement plans and deferred compensation plans may be affected by the Final Rule.

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Monday
Jul232018

Voluntary Compliance with ERISA Does Not Preclude Church Plan Status 

The IRS has once again confirmed that an employee benefit plan maintained by a church or church-affiliated organization is not subject to ERISA unless the plan sponsor makes an affirmative written election to have ERISA apply to the plan.  That is the case even if the plan historically has been administered and operated as though it were an ERISA plan.

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Wednesday
Jun062018

Near Unanimity Among the Circuits: Anti-Assignment Provisions are Enforceable

U.S. Courts of Appeals in all but four Circuits have now held that anti-assignment provisions in health insurance plans governed by ERISA are enforceable.  In American Orthopaedic & Sports Medicine v. Independence Blue Cross Blue Shield, No. 17-1663, 2018 WL 2224394 (3d Cir. May 16, 2018) the Third Circuit joined the First, Second, Fifth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals in holding that an anti-assignment provision effectively prevents a plan participant from assigning her right to sue for benefits under ERISA to a third party. 

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