Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

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

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Robert Projansky

Robert M. Projansky is a partner in Proskauer’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group, head of the Health Care Reform Task Force and co-head of the Hiring & Terminations Group.

Rob has a broad practice advising both multiemployer and single employer clients on all issues related to the legal compliance and tax-qualification of ERISA-covered pension and welfare plans. Rob’s clients include the largest and highest-profile U.S. media and entertainment industry clients, as well as a broad range of Fortune 500 companies.

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DOL’s Latest ESG Proposal: The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same

On October 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (the “DOL”) published in the Federal Register a new proposed regulation (the “Proposed Rules”)[1] on fiduciary responsibility in selecting ERISA plan investments and exercising shareholder rights (proxy voting). The Proposed Rules reflect an effort to “warm” what the current DOL perceives as … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Special Financial Assistance for Multi-employer Pension Plans (Part 2)

This episode of The Proskauer Benefits Brief is the second of our three-part series analyzing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) guidance on the new special financial assistance program for troubled multiemployer pension plans that was created by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  Tune in as Rob Projansky and Justin Alex dig into more details on the guidance … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Special Financial Assistance for Multiemployer Pension Plans (Part 1)

This episode of The Proskauer Benefits Brief is the first of our three-part series analyzing the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) guidance on the new special financial assistance program for troubled multiemployer pension plans that was created by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  In this initial episode, partner Rob Projansky and senior counsel Justin Alex cover the … Continue Reading

PBGC Releases Guidance on New Special Financial Assistance Program for Troubled Multiemployer Plans

As a follow up to our previous alert on the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, we have summarized the key aspects of the recently released PBGC and IRS guidance on the new Special Financial Assistance Program for troubled multiemployer pension plans in our latest client alert, which can be found here.… Continue Reading

Temporary Relief for Witnessing Spousal Consent Extended for Another Year

Just when we were about to draft our blog reminding plans of the expiration of the temporary relief. . . The IRS has now issued Notice 2021-40 extending for another year the temporary relief from the requirement that spousal consent for plan distributions or loans be witnessed in person. As discussed in greater detail in … Continue Reading

The Wait is Over: Treasury and IRS Release COBRA Premium Subsidy Guidance

Today, the Treasury Department and the IRS released detailed questions and answers providing guidance on various implementation issues related to the COBRA premium subsidy under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). By way of background, ARP includes a 100% COBRA premium subsidy for qualifying individuals during periods of coverage from April 1, 2021 … Continue Reading

U.S. Department of Labor Steps into the Cybersecurity Discussion

Formally wading into the cybersecurity discussion for the first time, on April 14, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) posted on its website a suite of new guidance, including Tips for Hiring a Service Provider with Strong Cybersecurity Practices, Cybersecurity Program Best Practices, and Online Security Tips for Participants and Beneficiaries. By way of … Continue Reading

What Happens Abroad, Apparently Does Not Stay Abroad – DOL Revokes Trump Administration Guidance That Provided Relief to QPAMs for Convictions Under Foreign Law

On November 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of the Solicitor of Labor (the “DOL”) issued an opinion letter (the “2020 Letter”) to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (“SIFMA”) stating that it would not view a conviction under foreign law as a disqualifying event under Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 84-14 (the … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Stimulus Bill to Include Significant Pension Reforms and Expand Scope of 162(m) Compensation Deduction Limit

Today, the House of Representatives passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “ARPA”). The ARPA has already been approved by the Senate and is expected to be quickly signed into law by President Biden. We recently published a client alert addressing Title IX, Subtitle H of the new legislation, which includes … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Cyber-theft of 401(k) Accounts

In this episode of the Proskauer Benefits Brief, partner Robert Projansky and special guest Garrett Fenton, senior attorney at Microsoft Corporation, discuss cyber theft of 401(k) plan accounts.  Tune in as we discuss why 401(k) plans are vulnerable to cyber security breaches, what kinds of cyber security frauds we are seeing in 401(k) plans, evolving litigation on … Continue Reading

One Problem Solved: Notice 2020-42 Provides Temporary Relief for Witnessing Spousal Consents

This afternoon, the Treasury Department issued Notice 2020-42, ending the uncertainty surrounding spousal consents to retirement plan distributions and loans in the socially distanced COVID-19 world. As plan administrators know, when spousal consent is required for a plan distribution or loan, the law requires that the consent be witnessed by a notary public or plan … Continue Reading

Proskauer to Speak at the 65th Annual International Foundation’s Annual Employee Benefits Conference

Proskauer’s Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Group will be attending and speaking at the 65th Annual Employee Benefits Conference hosted by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans. Robert Projansky, Neal Schelberg and Anthony Cacace will be leading conversations around hot topics in the industry.  We welcome you to join any of our presentations, we … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Texas Judge Declares Affordable Care Act Unconstitutional

In this episode of the Proskauer Benefits Brief, partner Robert Projansky and associate Katrina McCann discuss the recent district court case, Texas et al. v. The United States of America, which declared the Affordable Care Act (ACA) unconstitutional. On December 14, 2018, a district court judge in the Northern District of Texas deemed the entirety of the Affordable Care Act … Continue Reading

District Court Declares Entire Affordable Care Act Unconstitutional – What It Means for Employers and Plan Sponsors

In a surprising turn of events, on Friday, December 14th, a district court judge in the Northern District of Texas declared that the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) individual mandate is unconstitutional and that, a result, the entire ACA is invalid. Although the ACA remains in effect for the time being and an immediate appeal to … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: QDROs in 10 Easy Steps

In this episode of the Proskauer Benefits Brief, Paul Hamburger, co-chair of Proskauer’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group, and partner Robert Projansky discuss ten basic steps for how to manage qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs). A QDRO is a judgment, decree or order for a retirement plan to pay child support, alimony or marital property rights to … Continue Reading

[Podcast]: Severance Pay Plans & ERISA

In a benefits law edition of The Proskauer Brief, senior counsel Anthony Cacace and partner Robert Projansky discuss how severance plans can be subject to ERISA. They also discuss the key advantages of having severance pay arrangements covered by ERISA and what employers can do to design plans that comply with the substantive and procedural requirements of ERISA, but … Continue Reading

IRS Once Again Extends Distribution (Not Filing) Deadline for ACA Reporting and Continues Good Faith Standard

Following the old “better late than never” axiom, the IRS recently announced (see Notice 2018-06) that once again it would be extending the distribution (but not filing) deadline for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting requirements set forth in Sections 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). Under Code Section 6055, health … 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

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

IRS Notice 2015-87 (Part 1) – IRS Issues New HRA Integration Rules

On December 16, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2015-87 containing guidance on a wide-range of topics under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition to providing guidance on affordability and COBRA matters (which will be described in subsequent blogs), Notice 2015-87 builds upon prior guidance to regulate further the use of health reimbursement … 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
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