Even though it is rare for participants and service providers in a 401(k) plan to become involved in litigation, it does happen. Always be prepared for the worst situation, and you will be ahead of the game. In the April 2020 edition of 401(k) Advisor, Jeffrey Herman identifies the basic standards that apply to 401(k) plan litigation. Click here to read the full article in the publication.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant burdens for employers and employees alike. While some businesses struggle to survive, others are fortunate enough to be in a position to help employees as they face hardships created by the crisis. Many employers in the latter category are looking for ways to best help employees who are facing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
One possible approach for these employers is a disaster relief fund under Section 139 of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 139 disaster relief funds allow employers to make qualified disaster relief payments to employees to help with certain expenses they incur as a result of a qualified disaster.
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act. The CARES Act includes the following provisions that impact retirement plans and provide relief to plan sponsors and plan participants.
- Participants may take “coronavirus-related distributions” from qualified retirement plans.
- A coronavirus-related distribution is exempt from the 10 percent penalty that otherwise applies to early distributions from qualified retirement plans.
A poorly drafted contract with a service provider can spell doom for a retirement plan in a worst-case scenario. All provider contracts should be carefully reviewed and negotiated to ensure the maximum possible protection for your retirement plan. In the September 2019 edition of 401(k) Advisor, attorney Jeff Herman addresses some of the specific concerns and provisions to watch out for in your contracts. Click here to read the full article in the publication.
Retirement accounts are a seemingly simple and effective way to protect assets from future creditors, but the subtle nuances of what is protected under Missouri law and what is protected in bankruptcy can be complex. In the July/August 2019 edition of the Journal of the Missouri Bar, attorneys Keith Herman and Jeffrey Herman analyze how you can use retirement accounts for asset protection and the potential loopholes to avoid.
A U.S. Court of Appeals determined that arbitration on an individual basis is the proper forum for a participant’s claim that Charles Schwab breached its fiduciary duties and engaged in prohibited transaction under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) by holding proprietary funds in its 401(k) plan.
Certain treatments for chronic conditions can now be covered by high deductible health plans (HDHPs) as preventive care before the deductible is met. Pursuant to an executive order, a new IRS notice will allow individuals with certain conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, to obtain coverage for treatments and medications, such as inhalers and insulin, without first meeting their high deductible.
On Friday, June 28, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear a case involving a hotly debated ERISA topic: standing to bring breach of fiduciary duty claims in defined benefit plans. The court will review Thole v. U.S. Bank, Nat’l Ass’n, 873 F.3d 617, 628 (8th Cir. 2017), which the Eighth Circuit decided on statutory standing grounds. In accepting the case, the Supreme Court also certified the additional issue of whether the defined benefit plan participants have demonstrated Article III standing.
After more than two years since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its last decision* in a case involving the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the court’s next term looks to be flush with ERISA issues. On June 10, 2019, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in a Ninth Circuit case addressing the “actual knowledge” standard in the statute of limitations for fiduciary breaches. Intel Corp. Investment Policy Committee, v. Sulyma, No. 18-1116. The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in two ERISA cases in as many weeks, and it seems likely the court may grant review in at least one other case. Below is a summary of the cases that are or may be in front of the Supreme Court in the coming term.
On May 24, 2019, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) announced that it is issuing proposed revised regulations under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act that remove the redefinition of “sex” and certain regulatory burdens, including language taglines. The changes substantially roll back the original Obama-era regulations.