On December 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “Act”). The Act, which consists of over five thousand pages, addresses many areas (e.g., providing funding for the government and for COVID-19 vaccines). This article, however, focuses solely on its provisions affecting retirement plans. Disaster-Related Distributions:  Under the Act, the […]

On December 9, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-86 (the “Notice”). This new guidance expands on sections 102 and 103 of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (the “SECURE Act”), both of which apply to safe harbor plans. Those plans make legally-required employer contributions (in the form of matching contributions […]

Given the continuing wave of ERISA litigation, this article has become a mainstay of The Speed Reader. A sample of recent cases is provided below. The most common type of ERISA case for approximately the past fifteen years has involved retirement plan participants’ allegations that plan fiduciaries caused participants to pay excessive recordkeeping and investment […]

As the end of 2020 quickly approaches, retirement plan sponsors should promptly consider several important potential tasks. Examples include the following: December 1 Deadline for Certain Plan Communications to Participants: Depending on a plan’s design, one or more of the following annual notices might be required: safe harbor notice, qualified default investment alternative (“QDIA”) notice, […]

On October 14, 2020, the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) published a Fact Sheet summarizing its fiscal-year 2020 compliance enforcement activities regarding employee benefit plans. Here are the highlights: The DOL closed 1,122 civil investigations, with 754 of those cases (67%) resulting in over $2.6 billion in recoveries to plans and participants. Amounts restored to […]

On October 26, 2020, via Notice 2020-79, the IRS announced the effect of cost-of-living adjustments on certain 2021 dollar limits for various retirement plans (e.g., 401(k) plans and 403(b) plans). Certain limits will increase for 2021 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met statutory thresholds that trigger their adjustment. Here are the most notable […]

The IRS recently released Private Letter Ruling 202023007 (the “PLR”). The PLR applicant, who owned an IRA, requested a waiver of the Internal Revenue Code’s 60-day rollover requirement.  (As a general rule, a participant who receives a qualified plan distribution via a check made payable to him or her has 60 days to roll that […]

ERISA Litigation Update:  Given the continuing wave of ERISA litigation, this article has become a mainstay of The Speed Reader. A sample of recent cases is provided below. The most common type of ERISA case for approximately the past fourteen years has involved retirement plan participants’ allegations that plan fiduciaries caused participants to pay excessive […]

On September 22, 2020, the DOL issued a proposed regulation intended to help employers analyze whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (the “FLSA”). As background, courts and the DOL have generally applied several factors to consider when performing that analysis. Those factors, which are non-exclusive, […]

Wednesday, September 3010:00 – 11:00 a.m. On September 30, 2020, I will be a panelist in a Webex presentation that will include a retirement plan auditor, the Regional Sales Director for one of the nation’s largest retirement plan recordkeepers, and an investment advisor. Topics will include how to prepare for a plan audit, key elements […]