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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District Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Mental Health Parity Act Putative Class Action

In the latest volley between participants and group health plans over mental health services coverage, a federal district court in California denied United Healthcare’s motion to dismiss a putative class action challenging the reimbursement rates for out-of-network mental health services.  In this case, the plaintiffs alleged that UHC reduced reimbursement rates for out-of-network services by … Continue Reading

Digging into the New HRA Regulations, Part 3 – Premium Tax Credit and Employer Mandate Impact on Individual Coverage HRAs

As part of our ongoing series on the final regulations expanding the availability of health reimbursement accounts (“HRAs”), we discussed the newly-created Individual Coverage HRAs, which generally allow for employers to reimburse employees’ premiums for health coverage purchased on the individual market. As noted in the final regulations, the new Individual Coverage HRA is a … Continue Reading

Foreign Nationals Don’t Have ERISA Claims

A federal district court in Pennsylvania held that it did not have subject matter jurisdiction to hear a claim for disability benefits under an ERISA plan brought by foreign nationals working in the Republic of Kosovo.  The court explained that absent an “affirmative intention” of Congress that is “clearly expressed” to give a statute extraterritorial … Continue Reading

Digging into the New HRA Regulations Part 1 – Individual Coverage HRAs

As discussed in our June 18th blog entry, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) recently released final regulations expanding the use of health reimbursement arrangements (“HRAs”). Among the more important aspects of the final regulations was the reversal of long-standing Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) policy that HRAs or … Continue Reading

IRS Announces Limited Expansion of its Determination Letter Program for Individually Designed Retirement Plans – But Questions Remain

On May 1, 2019, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2019-20 which provides for a limited-scope expansion of its determination letter program for individually designed plans. Beginning on September 1, 2019, the IRS will accept determination letter applications submitted for the following types of plans: Statutory hybrid plans (e.g., cash balance or pension equity plans). Applications … Continue Reading

IRS Reopens Opportunity to Cash Out Retirees in Pay Status—At Least For Now

One de-risking tool for employers with defined benefit pension liabilities is to allow participants to receive lump-sum distributions. Although lump sums result in a short-term cash drain, they reduce the plan’s long-term liability—reducing the sponsor’s exposure to contribution volatility. Over the last several years, there has been a question whether lump-sum cashouts may be offered … Continue Reading

New Guidance on Locating Missing Participants for Terminated Defined Contribution Plans

On August 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provided new guidance to plan fiduciaries of terminated defined contribution plans for locating missing and unresponsive participants in order to distribute their benefits.  The guidance comes in the form of Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) No. 2014-01, which replaces FAB No. 2004-02.  As discussed below, the … Continue Reading

Righting a Wrong: The “Claim of Right” Doctrine and Other Tax Considerations for the Repayment of Pension Plan Overpayments

Pension plan overpayments to participants and their beneficiaries are an all-too-common occurrence.  When overpayments occur, a plan administrator’s duties are fairly clear.  Typically, the plan administrator must seek repayment of the overpayment, plus interest, from the affected individuals, and if recovery from the individuals cannot be completed, recovery must be sought from the employer or … Continue Reading
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