Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

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

Tag Archives: Department of Labor

No Emergency Injunction Appeal in Chamber’s Challenge to DOL Rule

On March 20, 2017, a federal court in the Northern District of Texas denied the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s emergency motion for an injunction pending appeal challenging implementation of the Department’s conflict of interest rule and related exemptions. The court applied the standard for evaluating a preliminary injunction motion and concluded that: (i) the Department already … 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

USDOL Prevails in Kansas in Another Decision on Fiduciary Rule

On February 17, 2017, a federal district Court in Kansas upheld the U.S. Department of Labor’s conflict of interest rule and related exemptions in a suit brought by Market Synergy Group, Inc. This ruling on the merits follows the court’s prior ruling in November 2016 denying Market Synergy Group’s request for a temporary injunction.  The … Continue Reading

Update on the USDOL Conflict of Interest Rule and Related Exemptions

There were two key developments last week concerning the ongoing challenges to the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) conflict of interest rule and related exemptions:  a Presidential Memorandum calling for a review of the rule, and a ruling by a federal court in Texas rejecting the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s challenges to the rule. Presidential … Continue Reading

D.C. Court of Appeals Denies Emergency Request to Halt Conflict of Interest Rule and Related Exemptions

On December 15, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied the emergency request from the National Association for Fixed Annuities (“NAFA”) for an injunction blocking the implementation of the Department of Labor’s conflict of interest rule and related exemptions.  Nat’l Ass’n for Fixed Annuities v. U.S. Dep’t of Labor, … Continue Reading

DOL Prevails in Kansas Litigation Challenging Conflict of Interest Rule and Related Exemptions

On November 28, 2016, Judge Crabtree in the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas ruled in favor of the U.S. Department of Labor and denied the motion for a preliminary injunction filed by the Market Synergy Group, Inc., challenging implementation of the Department’s conflict of interest rule and related exemptions.  Mkt. Synergy Grp., … Continue Reading

DOL Prevails Again and NAFA Moves on to the Circuit Court Challenging the Conflict of Interest Rule and Related Exemptions

On November 23, 2016, Judge Moss in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia again ruled in favor of the Department and denied the renewed motion for a preliminary injunction brought by the National Association for Fixed Annuities (“NAFA”) challenging implementation of the Department’s conflict of interest rule and related exemptions. Nat’l Ass’n … Continue Reading

DOL Prevails In First Challenge to the Conflict of Interest Rule and Related Exemptions

On November 4, 2016, Judge Moss in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the U.S. Department of Labor’s motion for summary judgment and dismissed claims brought by the National Association for Fixed Annuities (“NAFA”) challenging the Department’s conflict of interest rule and related exemptions. Nat’l Ass’n for Fixed Annuities v. Perez, … Continue Reading

Update on Lawsuits Challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

In this update on the litigation challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule, we note that there has been a sixth lawsuit filed and oral arguments in two other cases.  (Our previous reports are available here, and our Client Alert on the new rule is available here.) Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a Christian … Continue Reading

Update on Lawsuits Challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

As we previously reported, there are five pending lawsuits challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule.  Our Client Alert on the new rule outlines the significance of the rule and the implications of the expanded definition of “fiduciary” for investment advisors and other related service providers. First, with respect to the litigation pending … Continue Reading

Pension Consultant Found Not to be an ERISA Fiduciary

The Tenth Circuit held that a pension plan consultant, who misstated the amount of monthly pension payments that a pension plan participant would receive in retirement, was not a fiduciary under ERISA. Plaintiffs Trent and Wendy Lebahn, who were participants in the National Farmers Union Uniform Pension Plan, claimed that the Plan, its Pension Committee … Continue Reading

Update on Lawsuits Challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule

As we previously reported here, there have been five lawsuits challenging the U.S. Department of Labor’s new fiduciary rule.  (Our Client Alert on the new rule is available here.) On July 8, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) filed its first formal response to these lawsuits in The National Association for Fixed Annuities v. … Continue Reading

Lawsuits Filed Challenging The USDOL’s Final Fiduciary Rules

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor released its Final Rule addressing when a person providing services to an employee benefit plan or individual retirement account (IRA) is considered to be providing investment advice that is subject to ERISA’s fiduciary standard.  As discussed in our Client Alert, available here, the rule expanded the … 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

DOL Proposes to Bring ERISA Disability Denials in Line with the Affordable Care Act

On November 18, 2015, the Department of Labor (the “Department”) published a notice of Proposed Rulemaking at 80 Fed. Reg. 222 (the “Proposed Rule”) to amend ERISA’s claims procedures (29 C.F.R. 2560.503-1) as they apply to claims for disability benefits.  One of the purposes of the Proposed Rule is to make ERISA’s claims procedures for … Continue Reading

ACA Automatic Enrollment Mandate Repealed by Bipartisan Budget Act

On Monday, November 2nd, the President signed the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA).  Some legislators had hoped that a budget deal would at least include a repeal of the controversial 40% excise tax on high-cost health care (the so-called “Cadillac Tax”).  However, the BBA left the Affordable Care Act (ACA) largely intact, with the … Continue Reading

New Final Regulations and FAQs Provide Guidance on Preventive Services Coverage

Through new FAQs and final regulations, the U.S. Departments of Labor (“DOL”), Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and the Treasury (the “Departments”) have further clarified various issues related to the preventive care coverage requirement for non-grandfathered group health plans under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) as related to preventive care coverage. Background The ACA requires … Continue Reading

Reminder: Non-Grandfathered Plans Must Implement Embedded Out-of-Pocket Maximums

As employers and plans prepare for 2016 open enrollment, they must be sure to address in their benefit design and with their third party vendors the new embedded out-of-pocket maximum limitations on individuals that were announced at the end of May by the U.S. Departments of Labor (“DOL”), Health and Human Services (“HHS”) and the … Continue Reading

EEOC’s Proposed Wellness Regulations Add Burdensome Notice Requirement; Still Prohibit Mandatory HRAs

On April 16, 2015, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released proposed regulations covering wellness programs that involve disability-related inquiries or medical examinations.  The release of the proposed regulations follows months of EEOC enforcement actions against employers alleging that wellness programs sponsored by the employers violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) despite compliance with … Continue Reading

The U.S. Department of Labor’s New Proposed Rules Defining Fiduciary Investment Advice

On April 14, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its highly anticipated re-proposed regulation addressing when a person providing investment advice with respect to an employee benefit plan or individual retirement account (IRA) is considered to be a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed Fiduciary Rules

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its highly anticipated re-proposed regulation addressing when a person providing investment advice with respect to an employee benefit plan is considered a fiduciary under ERISA.  The DOL stated that it believes its proposal is necessary because the current regulatory scheme no longer adequately protects plans, participants, beneficiaries, and … Continue Reading

U.S. District Court Rules that Float Income Earned by Fidelity Is Not a Plan Asset

Four class actions were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts challenging whether float income earned on monies pending a transaction was a “plan asset.” In re Fidelity ERISA Float Income, No. 13-10222, 2015 WL 1061497 (D. Mass. March 11, 2015). Plaintiffs argued that if float was a plan asset, then … 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
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