Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

The View from Proskauer on Developments in the World of Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation & ERISA Litigation

Justin Alex

Justin Alex

Associate

Justin Alex is an associate and a member of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group.

Justin represents public and private companies in all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation. His practice covers defined contribution plans, single-employer and multiemployer defined benefit plans, health and welfare plans, equity compensation, nonqualified deferred compensation plans, and executive employment agreements. He also handles benefits issues in the private investment fund area, including the rules provided under the ERISA "plan asset" regulations.

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Senator Warren Leads Coalition to Expand Scope of Limitations on Executive Compensation Tax Deductions

As we have previously reported (see here and here), bills to expand the scope of Section 162(m) and/or to narrow or eliminate the exceptions under Section 162(m) have been proposed in recent years, but have not become law. Recently, a new coalition named “Take On Wall Street” that is comprised of lawmakers (including Senator Elizabeth … Continue Reading

Sun Capital Court Finds Co-Investing Funds Part of Controlled Group and Liable for Portfolio Company’s Pension Liabilities

As we previously reported, in Sun Capital, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held in 2013 that a private investment fund, pursuant to the so-called “investment plus” test first articulated by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the PBGC), was engaged in a “trade or business” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act … Continue Reading

Trade Act Reinstates Expired Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC)

As of December 22, 2015, IRS Notice 2016-02 supersedes certain information in this blog entry. On July 6, 2015, President Obama signed the Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015.  Among other things, the Trade Act retroactively reinstated the Health Coverage Tax Credit (HCTC), which had previously expired on January 1, 2014, and extended its availability … Continue Reading

2015 PBGC Premium Filings Must Include Risk Transfer Disclosures

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the “PBGC”) recently finalized its premium filing requirements for 2015.  In addition to higher premium rates and other more minor changes, plan sponsors are now required to report information about the number of former employees involved in certain risk transfer activities (i.e., annuity purchases and lump sum windows) that occurred … Continue Reading

PBGC Issues Final Regulations Regarding Rollovers from Defined Contribution Plans to Pension Plans

The PBGC has recently initiated efforts to enhance retirement security for Americans by promoting lifetime income options (i.e., annuitized benefits).  As part of these efforts, as well as those of the IRS and U.S. Department of Labor, the PBGC issued final regulations regarding the treatment of rollovers from defined contribution plans to defined benefit plans … Continue Reading

Righting a Wrong: The “Claim of Right” Doctrine and Other Tax Considerations for the Repayment of Pension Plan Overpayments

Pension plan overpayments to participants and their beneficiaries are an all-too-common occurrence.  When overpayments occur, a plan administrator’s duties are fairly clear.  Typically, the plan administrator must seek repayment of the overpayment, plus interest, from the affected individuals, and if recovery from the individuals cannot be completed, recovery must be sought from the employer or … Continue Reading

Tax Reform Proposal Takes Aim at Executive Compensation

On February 26, 2014, U.S. Congressman Dave Camp released a comprehensive tax reform proposal that includes several provisions intended to limit or restrict executive compensation. Congressman Camp’s proposal includes the elimination of tax deductions for commission payments and qualified performance-based compensation under Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”); … Continue Reading

The PBGC Changes Flat-Rate Premium Due Date for Large Plans

The PBGC finalized a proposed rule that changes the flat-rate premium due date for large plans to the same as their variable-rate due date, which is 9.5 calendar months after the beginning of the premium payment year (October 15th for calendar-year plans), effective as of the 2014 plan year. Large plans are plans that had … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Rejects Claim for Reinstatement of Erroneous Benefit Payments to Ineligible Retiree

In Adams v. General Motors Company (Case No. 12-2084), the Sixth Circuit rejected an ineligible retiree’s claim for reinstatement of erroneous benefit payments under her former employer’s pension plan. The retiree received benefit payments for twenty-one months before the plan administrator realized that she was ineligible for benefits under the plan and ceased further benefit … Continue Reading

The PBGC Not Entitled to Administrative Deference for Involuntary Plan Termination

As we previously noted (http://www.erisapracticecenter.com/2013/04/28/pbgc-seeks-involuntary-plan-termination-before-plan-sponsors-proposed-share-sale/), the PBGC filed a complaint (E.D. Pa. Case No. 13-02069) to involuntarily terminate a defined benefit plan prior to a corporate transaction that would change the plan sponsor’s controlled group. The PBGC claimed that the plan sponsor, Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc., would join a financially weaker controlled group after it is … Continue Reading

Proposed Legislation Threatens Executive Compensation Tax Deductions

In early August, U.S. Senators Jack Reed and Richard Blumenthal introduced the “Stop Subsidizing Multimillion Dollar Corporate Bonuses Act” (S. 1476) in the U.S. Senate. The proposed bill would significantly expand the scope of Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code. Section 162(m) currently limits the deductibility of compensation paid in excess of $1 million … Continue Reading

Private Investment Funds May Be Liable For Portfolio Company’s Underfunded Pension Liabilities Under First Circuit Ruling

On July 24, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit ruled in Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Fund (No. 12-2312, 2013 WL 3814984) that a private equity investment fund was engaged in a “trade or business” under ERISA, and, therefore, could be part of … Continue Reading

Benefit Issues in Puerto Rico: Impact of the ACA, ERISA and the PBGC

This article highlights some recent developments that employers with Puerto Rico employee benefits arrangements should consider concerning compliance with U.S. federal laws on health care reform and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), fiduciary duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) coverage issues.  … Continue Reading

PBGC Releases 4062(e) Enforcement Guidelines

ERISA section 4062(e) addresses situations in which an employer ceases operations at a facility in any location and, as a result, separates more than 20% of its employees who participate in the employer’s defined benefit plan. If a 4062(e) event occurs, the employer is subject to a liability that equals the plan’s unfunded benefit liabilities … Continue Reading

PBGC Seeks Involuntary Plan Termination before Plan Sponsor’s Proposed Share Sale

On April 18, 2013, PBGC filed a complaint (PBGC v. Saint-Gobain Corp. Benefits Comm., E.D. Pa. Case No. 13-02069) to involuntarily terminate a defined benefit plan sponsored by Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc. before Ardagh Group, S.A. acquires Saint-Gobain through a share purchase. PBGC alleges that the plan is underfunded by approximately $523.7 million and that the … Continue Reading

PBGC Withdraws Two Territorial Coverage Opinion Letters Impacting Puerto Rican Plans

The status of PBGC coverage for Puerto Rico defined benefit plans is one that has been the subject of review and analysis by the PBGC for quite some time. Most recently, on April 19, 2013, the PBGC withdrew two older opinion letters (Opinion Letters 77-172 and 85-19), which addressed whether defined benefit plans established and … Continue Reading
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