21 01, 2021

Biden team to review Labor Department ESG rule

2021-01-21T13:53:40-08:00January 21st, 2021|Categories: ESG|Tags: , , |

The Biden administration will review a recent Department of Labor rule stipulating that ERISA plan fiduciaries cannot invest in "non-pecuniary" vehicles that sacrifice investment returns or take on additional risk. In his first few hours in office Wednesday, President Joe Biden signed a flurry of executive orders, including one titled "Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis." In the order, Mr. Biden directed all executive departments and agencies "to immediately review and, [...]

20 01, 2021

Labor Department names new ERISA Advisory Council members

2021-01-20T11:18:16-08:00January 20th, 2021|Categories: ERISA|Tags: , |

The Department of Labor on Tuesday appointed five members to its ERISA Advisory Council. It also announced that Glenn Butash will remain chairman of the 15-member council in 2021, a position he's held since July, and James Haubrock will serve as vice chairman. Mr. Butash is managing counsel for U.S. compensation and benefits at Nokia Corp., where he provides legal advice in connection with the design and operation of large, complex defined benefit, defined contribution and welfare benefit plans. [...]

26 06, 2020

DOL proposal could hurt prospects for ESG in ERISA plans

2020-06-26T14:53:25-07:00June 26th, 2020|Categories: ERISA, ESG|Tags: , , |

A proposal from the Department of Labor stipulates that ERISA plan fiduciaries cannot invest in ESG vehicles that sacrifice investment returns or take on additional risk, which sources say could curb environmental, social and governance investments. "Private employer-sponsored retirement plans are not vehicles for furthering social goals or policy objectives that are not in the financial interest of the plan," Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said in a news release. "Rather, ERISA plans should be managed with unwavering focus on [...]

11 02, 2016

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

2016-02-11T01:42:52-08:00February 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

2015-02-10T22:49:46-08:00February 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

2015-01-07T22:36:07-08:00January 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 [...]

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