For those with an eye on ERISA and its fiduciary rules, the past few years have caused whiplash when it comes to environmental, social, and corporate governance (“ESG”) investments in retirement plans.  With a new rule from the Department of Labor imminent, let’s review where we are, how we got here, and what’s next.

ERISA

It started sometime last year and, in hindsight, was inevitable.  Clients with 401(k) plans and a crypto-savvy employee population began asking whether they could offer cryptocurrency as a plan investment option.  In the 401(k) world, where even a self-directed brokerage window with built-in investment limitations can be too risky, the answer seemed obvious – watch

Hot button ERISA fiduciary issues remain a focus for investment committees of 401(k) plans in 2022.  From “excessive” fee litigation – including litigation over the duty to monitor the fees charged by various mutual funds made available to plan participants (the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed this duty in January 2022) – to the U.S. Department

Most group health plan sponsors understand that the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) requires that coverage for mental health conditions and substance use disorders be no more restrictive than coverage for other medical and surgical conditions.  In 2020, Congress changed the law to require plans to perform and document comparative analyses of

The CAA Transparency Rules Will Let Plans and Participants Know.  The Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the IRS (collectively the Departments) recently released the Interim Final Rules with a request for Comment (IFC), Prescription Drug and Health Care Spending.  These rules implement Section 204, Title II, another phase of the transparency provisions

News Flash:  There’s no actual statutory mandate that employers offer group health coverage at all, much less coverage for specific conditions.  However, federal law requires health plans that provide mental health and substance use disorder coverage to ensure that the financial requirements (like coinsurance) and treatment limitations (like visit limits and provider access) applicable to

In April, we posted about the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issuing cybersecurity guidance for employee retirement plans. That is, April 14, 2021. Shortly thereafter, the DOL updated its audit inquiries to include probing questions for plan fiduciaries about their compliance with “hot off the press” agency guidelines.

So, what

By now, plan fiduciaries and their service providers likely have heard about the DOL’s cybersecurity guidance. The Department of Labor’s stepping into cybersecurity in this way – a posting of best practices on the agency’s website – has left plan fiduciaries with some questions. Here are a few:

  • “When is this effective?”
  • “Does this

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) issued much anticipated cybersecurity guidance for employee retirement plans. This comes more than four and a half years after the ERISA Advisory Council, a 15-member body appointed by the Secretary of Labor to provide guidance on employee benefit plans, shared with the federal