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 […]

  The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently released an Information Letter (“IL”), dated December 22, 2016, addressing default investment options in plans covered by ERISA. As background, many individual account retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans) provide that if a participant fails to designate how his or her account is invested, then his or her […]

  On June 30, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) published final regulations mandating, among other things, increases in certain civil monetary penalties administered by the DOL to enforce Title I of ERISA. These increases will be effective for penalties assessed after August 1, 2016, if associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015. Penalty increases […]

Upcoming Speaking Engagement Thursday, June 30, 2016 11:30a.m. – 1:00p.m. Strategies Capital Management 1900 Wazee Street, Suite 1535, Denver 80202 On Thursday, June 30 from 11:30a.m. – 1:00 p.m., I will present at the downtown Denver office of Strategies Capital Management, during a lunch seminar regarding the DOL’s new fiduciary rules, including topics such as: “Fiduciary […]

As the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) continues its enforcement activity, here is a list of several of its ERISA cases that were recently decided: Perez v. Rose (U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan): The defendant, a plan fiduciary to a 401(k) plan, a health plan, and a dental plan, failed to […]