Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

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

Seth Safra

Seth Safra

Partner

Seth Safra is a partner in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group, where he counsels clients on all aspects of employee benefits and executive compensation.

Seth advises clients on ERISA and other related laws with respect to the design and administration of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans, including traditional defined benefit plans, cash balance plans, floor-offset arrangements, ESOPs, profit sharing and 401(k) plans. In addition, Seth counsels clients on their health & welfare plans, including advising on issues related to health care reform.

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Department of Labor Officially Proposes Delaying Fiduciary Rule’s Exemptions for 18 Months

On August 30, 2017, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) officially proposed delaying the applicability date of exemptions to its fiduciary rule until July 1, 2019. The proposal was expected after DOL stated in a court filing earlier this month that a delay proposal was under review by the Office of Management and Budget. This proposal … Continue Reading

Court Throws Monkey Wrench Into Wellness Programs

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ordered the EEOC to reconsider its final regulations on the extent to which an employer may offer incentives to participate in a wellness program without violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA).  The court, however, declined to vacate … Continue Reading

Department of Labor Requests Additional 18-Month Delay of Certain Fiduciary Rule Requirements

On August 9, 2017, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) stated in a court filing that the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) is reviewing a proposal to extend the applicability date for certain requirements under DOL’s fiduciary rule until July 1, 2019. As discussed here and here the fiduciary rule’s “impartial conduct standards” have been … Continue Reading

DOL Again Seeks Comments on New Fiduciary Rules and Exemptions

On June 29, 2017, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) requested another round of public comment on its fiduciary rule—this time in the form of a Request (“RFI”) for Information.  The RFI seeks input on (a) whether to extend the January 1, 2018, applicability date for parts of the rule that are not yet in effect, and … Continue Reading

Department of Labor’s New Fiduciary Rule Will Go Into Effect June 9th

The Department of Labor has announced that the new fiduciary conflict of interest rule and related exemptions will begin taking effect on June 9, 2017, ending speculation of further delay. At the same time, the Department announced a relaxed enforcement standard for the rest of 2017.  See our blog post on the delayed effective date … Continue Reading

The Time is Right to Contact Recordkeepers About Hardship Substantiation

If your 401(k) plan recordkeeper has not talked to your company lately about hardship distributions, it may be time to reach out to the recordkeeper.  The short story is that the IRS recently issued an internal memorandum (found here https://www.irs.gov/pub/foia/ig/spder/tege-04-0217-0008.pdf) providing guidance to its employee plans examination group on the substantiation requirements for hardship distributions … Continue Reading

Protecting Your Qualified Retirement Plan Now that the IRS Determination Program is (Mostly) Closed

A lot has been written over the last few months about what to do now that the IRS has closed its determination letter program for ongoing individually designed tax-qualified retirement plans. Some see this as cause for celebration because we no longer have to go through the trouble of collecting documents, filling out forms, and … Continue Reading

DOL Fiduciary Rule Delayed, But At Least Parts Might Be Here to Stay

On April 4, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule postponing applicability of the conflict of interest rule and related exemptions for sixty days, until June 9, 2017.  The stated purpose of the extension is to allow more time to:  (i) complete the examination required by President Trump’s February 3, 2017 memorandum, … Continue Reading

U.S. DOL Proposes Delay of Conflict of Interest Rule and Related Exemptions

On March 1, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed a 60-day delay of the conflict of interest rule and related exemptions (currently set to be applicable on April 10, 2017). The Department opened two comment periods related to the rule: A 15-day comment period (ending March 17, 2017) on whether enforcement of the rule … Continue Reading

UPDATE: District Court Denies Preliminary Injunction in AARP Suit to Block Final Rules on Employee Wellness Programs

The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Judge Bates) has denied AARP’s request to block the implementation of the EEOC’s final wellness regulations pending a decision on the merits. As we have discussed previously, the regulations address the extent to which an employer may offer incentives to participate in a wellness program without violating … Continue Reading

AARP Files Suit to Block the EEOC’s Final Rules on Employee Wellness Programs

As we have previously discussed in detail in several blogs (New EEOC Regulations Provide Roadmap for Wellness Programs; EEOC Issues Final Rules On Employer-Sponsored Wellness Program Compliance Under the ADA and GINA; and District Court Decision Upholds Employer’s Wellness Program But Signals Support for EEOC Positions Going Forward), the EEOC issued final rules in May 2016 on the … Continue Reading

District Court Decision Upholds Employer’s Wellness Program But Signals Support for EEOC Positions Going Forward

In EEOC v. Orion Energy Systems, Inc.,  the Eastern District of Wisconsin rejected the EEOC’s claims that Orion Energy’s wellness program violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”).  Although the court upheld the employer’s past practice, the court signaled that the EEOC’s recent regulations on wellness plans (discussed here and here), which limit the incentive … Continue Reading

New EEOC Regulations Provide Roadmap for Wellness Programs

For large employers, the quest to reduce the cost of medical benefits relies in part on helping employees get healthier. Enter the “wellness program,” where employers offer incentives to employees and their families to be more proactive about their health in various ways, such as more exercise, quitting smoking, diagnosing high cholesterol and high blood … Continue Reading
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