Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

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

Category Archives: Department of Labor

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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

U.S. DOL To Issue Final Rule and Exemptions on Fiduciary Standards

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor will release its highly-anticipated Final Rule and Exemptions addressing when a person providing investment advice with respect to an employee benefit plan or individual retirement account is considered to be a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and the Internal Revenue Code.  According to a … Continue Reading

How to Settle an ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case and Sleep at Night: A Checklist for Plan Trustees to Consider

Plan trustees often look to settle ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought against them as a way to put the past behind them.  Assuming there is enough fiduciary liability insurance coverage available to pay the proposed settlement sum, the trustees may be prepared to put aside their desire to vindicate themselves for a challenged course of … Continue Reading

DOL’s New Audit Focus? Health Plan Claims and Appeals and Hard to Value Assets

In recent talks and appearances, representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor have issued a warning about new areas of focus of DOL audits and enforcement actions.  While there are a number of different enforcement priorities, we discuss two of them—health plan claims and appeals and valuation of hard to value assets— here because these … Continue Reading

DOL Proposes Change to FMLA Definition of Spouse to Accommodate Same-Sex Marriage

As was expected, the U.S. Department of Labor has issued a proposed regulation changing the definition of “spouse” for FMLA purposes in order to protect the FMLA rights of employees with same-sex spouses. The proposed regulation adopts a “place of celebration” rule, consistent with the current DOL interpretation in the context of other federal laws. … Continue Reading

Final Regulations on Orientation Periods Released

On June 20, the Federal regulatory agencies in charge of health care reform guidance (the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services) released final regulations (“Final Regulations”) clarifying the relationship between a group health plan’s eligibility criteria and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) 90-day limit on waiting periods. Specifically, the Final Regulations (published … Continue Reading

Death, Taxes and …ERISA Disclosure Regulations?

There are few sure things in life, and although it is probably safe to say that ERISA disclosure regulations would not be considered one of them, there has certainly been a steady stream of new ERISA-related disclosure and reporting obligations being imposed on plan fiduciaries. The latest installment from the U.S. Department of Labor came … Continue Reading

New Guidance on COBRA and ACA Marketplace Coverage: The Gap in Coverage is (Not Quite) Filled

There has been much confusion and concern about the interplay between the COBRA continuation coverage rules and the new Health Insurance Marketplace established under the Affordable Care Act (the “Marketplace”). One important question has been how individuals could transition from COBRA continuation coverage to (often cheaper) Marketplace coverage. Also, many individuals are confused about whether … Continue Reading

Recent Guidance on Wellness Programs Clarifies Premium Surcharges for Tobacco Use

As previously reported, the federal agencies responsible for drafting the rules implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (the U.S. Labor Department, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury Department (together, the “Departments”)) on January 9, 2014 issued FAQ Part XVIII, regarding implementation of the market reform provisions of the ACA. … Continue Reading

New FAQs Provide Guidance Regarding Effect of ACA on the MHPAEA

As previously reported, the federal agencies responsible for drafting the rules implementing the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) (the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Treasury Department) recently issued FAQ Part XVIII, regarding implementation of the market reform provisions of the ACA. Question 12 in FAQ Part … Continue Reading

New FAQs on ACA Extend Fully-Insured Expatriate Health Plan Transitional Relief by “At Least” Another Plan Year and Clarify Scope, 6-Month Requirement

As reported, the U.S. Labor Department, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury Department (together, the “Departments”) recently issued additional FAQs regarding implementation of the market reform provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). FAQs 6 and 7 include new guidance on the temporary transitional relief issued last year (discussed … Continue Reading

Recent Guidance on Fixed Indemnity Plans—FAQ’s Relax Standards

As previously reported, the federal agencies responsible for drafting the rules implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (the U.S. Labor Department, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury Department (together, the “Departments”)) on January 9, 2014 issued FAQ Part XVIII, regarding implementation of the market reform provisions of the ACA. … Continue Reading

Departments Release New FAQ Guidance on ACA and MHPAEA Implementation Issues

On January 9, 2014, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Departments”) published the eighteenth installment of a series of answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). The FAQ provides guidance on … Continue Reading

DOL Updates Model COBRA Notice in Light of Health Care Reform

Come 2014, the Health Insurance Exchanges will provide another option to COBRA “qualified beneficiaries” who are considering whether to elect to continue health coverage under an employer’s group plan. In an effort to ensure that qualified beneficiaries understand this option, the U.S. Department of Labor has revised its model COBRA Election Notice to refer specifically … Continue Reading
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