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Alexis Rosett is an associate in the Tax Department and a member of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group. Alexis earned her J.D. from the New York University School of Law, where she was an Articles Editor of the New York University Journal of Legislation & Public Policy.

The Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) recently issued guidance for group health plans outlining a “therapeutic equivalence” medical management technique for required preventive services coverage of contraceptives. The guidance, which was issued in the form of FAQs that can be downloaded here, builds on previous FAQs addressing required

The new “retirement security rule” package, issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) on October 31, 2023, is the latest chapter in an almost 15-year effort by the DOL to amend the five-part test in its 1975 regulation for determining whether a person is a “fiduciary” by reason of providing “investment advice” for a fee (the “Five-Part Test”). (For more on the history, see here, here, and here.) The package includes a proposed new fiduciary “investment advice” rule (the “Proposed Rule”) and proposed amendments to certain prohibited transaction exemptions.

Very generally speaking, the Proposed Rule would significantly expand the circumstances under which a person could be treated as providing “investment advice” that is subject to ERISA’s fiduciary standards (including the self-dealing prohibited transaction rules). In particular, the Proposed Rule would replace the Five-Part Test’s requirements that advice be provided (1) on a “regular basis” pursuant to (2) a “mutual agreement, arrangement or understanding” that (3) it would serve as “a primary basis for investment decisions” with a much broader test that is based on the retirement investor’s reasonable expectations and context. The Proposed Rule would specifically cover a recommendation to roll over an account from an employer-sponsored plan (e.g., a 401(k) plan) into an individual retirement account (an “IRA”).

In late July, the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services released proposed regulations implementing the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA).  Readers of our previous blog will recall that the proposed regulations include a new three-part framework for evaluating “non-quantitative treatment limitations” (NQTLs) imposed on plan benefits.  NQTLs

Background

The “golden parachute” excise tax regime under Internal Revenue Code Sections 280G and 4999 (“Section 280G” and “Section 4999”, respectively) is at the core of both public and private U.S.-based transactions. While often overlooked, it is crucial to remember that the issues raised by Sections 280G and 4999 can – and do – apply