ERISA Plan Administration

Occasionally qualified plan administrators discover that their plans have incurred an operational error.  The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) recognizes that it needs the help of plan administrators to police the administration of qualified plans and has correspondingly published guidance to help plan administrators take appropriate corrective action where necessary.

IRS Correction Alternatives

Revenue Procedure 2016-51

It is well-established under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) that when an employee benefit plan grants the plan administrator discretion to decide questions of eligibility for benefits or to construe plan terms, judicial review of the plan administrator’s denial of benefits is generally limited to the deferential abuse of discretion standard

In 2017, the IRS released the 2018 inflation-adjusted figures for contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs).  The contribution limits for HSAs associated with High Deductible Health Plans was increased to $3,450 for individuals with self-only coverage and to $6,900 for individuals with family coverage.  In December, the President signed the tax reform bill commonly known

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) publicized last year its stepped up enforcement efforts inquiring about procedures used by larger defined benefit plans for locating, and then beginning payment of benefits to, terminated vested participants who have reached the age when the plan mandates benefits must begin. Those audit activities are continuing. For years, the

In Halo v. Yale Health Plan, decided in April of 2016, the Second Circuit expressly rejected the “substantial compliance” doctrine with respect to alleged violations of the ERISA Claims Procedure regulation. Instead, the Court held that, in order to preserve otherwise properly reserved discretionary authority, the decisionmaker must demonstrate that any deviation from the

When an ERISA plan provides the plan administrator with discretion to interpret the terms of the plan, the administrator’s claims and appeals decisions are generally reviewed by courts under a lenient standard of review such as “abuse of discretion.” In such cases, courts generally will not upset the plan administrator’s decision absent a clear error.

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On June 27, 2014, the IRS released Information Letter 2014-0012, which contains guidance for employees who have had the value of same-sex spousal coverage under employer health plans — which until recently was required to be included in gross income — reported on their Forms W-2.

BACKGROUND

Historically, the employer cost of opposite-sex

The Department of Labor is allowing defined contribution retirement plan administrators to reset the timing for annual fee disclosures to participants (see our earlier blog post reminding readers of the disclosure requirement and contemplating possible relief). 

DOL has issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2013-02 announcing the temporary enforcement policy. The participant-level fee disclosure regulation, implemented last year

Two decisions issued by the United States Supreme Court on June 26, 2013 expand same-sex marriage rights and carry significant implications for employee benefit plans and employers sponsoring the plans. In United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307 (June 26, 2013), the Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996