11 02, 2016

Verizon participants petition SCOTUS on right to sue over de-risking deal

2016-02-11T01:42:52-07:00February 11th, 2016|Categories: ERISA|Tags: , , |

The Supreme Court is being petitioned to review a claim that could clarify when participants in defined benefit pension plans have a right to sue sponsors under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The case, Pundt v. Verizon, derives from the landmark case, Lee v. Verizon, which challenged the $8.4 billion pension buyout contract the telecommunications giant purchased from Prudential in 2012. Last August the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Verizon. Participants had alleged the buyout annuity violated ERISA [...]

22 10, 2015

Department of Labor Allows Pension Funds to Factor Human Rights, Governance and Environmental Protection into Investment Decisions

2015-10-22T20:33:53-07:00October 22nd, 2015|Categories: Corporate Governance|Tags: |

Calling it “a move that will ignite billions in smarter long term investing,” Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights praised the Department of Labor for eliminating certain restrictions on ERISA fiduciaries that kept pension funds from factoring human rights as well as environmental sustainability and good governance into their investment decisions. […]

21 07, 2015

State-run retirement savings plan gets boost

2015-07-21T18:01:44-07:00July 21st, 2015|Categories: Retirement|Tags: , , |

A state attempt to create a retirement savings plan for 6 million private-sector California workers not offered one on the job, Secure Choice, got a boost last week during the White House Conference on Aging. President Obama said he has directed his labor department to propose rules showing states how to create what in California could be an “automatic IRA,” a payroll deduction that puts money into a tax-deferred savings plan unless workers opt out. The rules are expected [...]

8 06, 2015

Department Of Labor Issues Final Regulations On Annual Funding Notices

2015-06-08T20:37:16-07:00June 8th, 2015|Categories: ERISA|Tags: , , |

The Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor (hereinafter, the “DOL”) recently released final regulations related to the provision of annual funding notices under Section 101(f) of ERISA. The regulations finalize the proposed regulations on annual funding notices but do not address some of the additional intervening guidance on annual funding notices released after the proposed regulations and before these final regulations. Background Prior to the passage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (“PPA”) multiemployer defined [...]

29 05, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Game-Changing Decision for 401(k) Plans

2015-05-29T18:35:23-07:00May 29th, 2015|Categories: 401(k)|Tags: , |

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously on May 18 that employers have a continuing duty under ERISA to monitor investments and to remove imprudent ones. TIbble v. Edison International (the subject of a previous report on LBN) is the first 401(k) ever decided by the Court. The Supreme Court’s ruling overruled a Court of Appeals decision limiting the number of employees who could make claims. The decision could make it easier for 401(k) participants to sue their employers for [...]

10 02, 2015

We’re Living Longer — Get Ready to Pay for It

2015-02-10T22:49:46-07:00February 10th, 2015|Categories: Retirement|Tags: , , |

ERISA attorney Marcia Wagner says increased life expectancy raises financial risks for clients, requires careful planning. Attention advisors: A mostly unheralded change in actuarial tables suggests the need to plan for longer retirements for your clients and could also make a delay in claiming benefits advantageous for some clients. That is the upshot of a recent client communication from ERISA attorney Marcia Wagner of the Wagner Law Group. […]

7 01, 2015

Pension reforms left undone

2015-01-07T22:36:07-07:00January 7th, 2015|Categories: Pension Reform|Tags: , , |

One of the final pieces of legislation passed by the last Congress included provisions to help troubled multiemployer pensions and, it is hoped, shore up the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. Called the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014, it lets employees and retirees approve cutting their own benefits to help plans avoid insolvency. The legislation had its critics, but there was much bipartisan as well as union-management support. Among the leading advocates was Randy DeFrehn, executive director of the National [...]

13 06, 2014

Execs eagerly awaiting guidance from PBGC on liability issue

2014-06-13T23:53:54-07:00June 13th, 2014|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , , |

PBGC guidance on how agency officials enforce pension liability rules cannot come soon enough for some pension plan sponsors and their advocates. In a June 3 letter, several trade associations representing corporate defined benefit plans asked the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.’s board of directors to intervene and drastically curtail the PBGC’s authority in cases where companies experience major operational change. PBGC officials are expected to release their guidance sometime this summer. […]

19 05, 2014

Cuts to Detroit Pensions Set Dangerous Precedent

2014-05-19T16:41:47-07:00May 19th, 2014|Categories: Pension Funding|Tags: , , , |

Detroit’s bankruptcy, the largest municipal case in U.S. history, has attracted wide media commentary as an example of the country’s “unsustainable” public pension obligations. But it’s time to train a magnifying glass on the substance of the bankruptcy itself, particularly with regard to how it will affect workers and their retirements — in Detroit and around the country. Traditional legal interpretations of pensions have viewed their obligations as sacrosanct, especially once the passage of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of [...]

25 03, 2014

Helping DB, DC and 403(b) Plans Comply with ERISA

2014-03-25T17:31:37-07:00March 25th, 2014|Categories: 401(k), Defined Benefit Plans|Tags: , , , , , |

Financial and retirement services provider Prudential has released a checklist to help plan sponsors of defined benefit (DB), defined contribution (DC) and 403(b) retirement plans to better comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). “We know how important it is for plan sponsors to comply with ERISA and the ever-changing reporting and disclosure requirements mandated by the federal government,” say the authors of Prudential’s Compliance Checklist for 2014. “The checklist incorporates DB, DC and 403(b) requirements and [...]