On August 5, 2020, the DOL issued a regulation regarding information that must be provided on defined contribution plan participants’ benefit statements under section 105 of ERISA, as amended by the SECURE Act. The regulation requires plan administrators of those plans to express a participant’s current account balance as a single life annuity (a lifetime […]

On June 3, 2020, the DOL issued Information Letter 06-03-2020 (the “IL”). The IL addresses the use of private equity investments within professionally managed asset allocation funds that are investment alternatives in participant-directed individual account plans (e.g., 401(k) plans). The two investment funds involved here would be offered as collective investment trusts that invest in […]

On October 23, 2019, the DOL published eagerly-awaited guidance. The guidance, in the form of a proposed regulation, deals with an area that for many years has imposed significant administrative burdens on plan sponsors and administrators: distributing a wide array of disclosures to retirement plan participants for plans that are subject to ERISA. In connection […]

On September 27, 2019, the DOL published final regulations that increase the salary thresholds used to determine if executive employees, administrative employees, and professional employees must be paid overtime. As background, the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) requires covered employers to pay employees a minimum wage and, for employees who work more than 40 hours […]

  The DOL recently released a Fact Sheet detailing monetary recoveries that its Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”) obtained for its 2018 fiscal year, which ended on September 30, 2018. These recoveries all dealt with employee benefit plans covered by ERISA. The total of approximately $1.6 billion consisted of recoveries from enforcement actions (e.g., plan […]

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) recently published Advisory Opinion 2018-01A (the “Opinion”), which deals with an interesting approach for handling retirement plan participants’ small accounts that have been distributed from a retirement plan and automatically rolled over into an IRA. As background, many retirement plans provide that if a terminated participant’s vested account […]

As discussed in previous editions of The Speed Reader, the DOL’s so-called “fiduciary rule” was enacted via regulations and other voluminous guidance during the Obama administration. Overall, the fiduciary rule significantly expanded the class of individuals and firms that were considered ERISA fiduciaries when providing investment advice to retirement plans and IRAs. However, in a March […]

ERISA-covered employee benefit plans must establish and maintain reasonable procedures governing participants’ benefit claims (e.g., providing notification of initial benefit determinations and appealed benefit determinations). Under ERISA, a claimant cannot file a lawsuit against a plan until he or she has exhausted the plan’s procedures for claiming benefits. Also, if a plan does not adhere […]

On August 4, 2017, the DOL released another set of Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) addressing certain provisions of its voluminous new fiduciary rule, which became generally effective on June 9, 2017. Here are the highlights of these FAQs: Section 408(b)(2) of ERISA requires contracts between service providers and ERISA plans to be reasonable and to […]

On April 7, 2017, the DOL announced that the applicability dates for its final fiduciary rule and related prohibited transaction exemptions (“PTEs”) would be delayed from April 10, 2017 to June 9, 2017, with certain provisions in the PTEs further delayed to January 1, 2018. On May 22, 2017, the DOL confirmed that as of […]