The DOL recently finalized amendments to the QPAM exemption that will considerably alter the exemption’s conditions effective as of June 17, 2024 (for a detailed summary of the changes, please see our post here).  There are a number of immediate action items for investment managers and ERISA plan fiduciaries under the revised exemption, so

On April 23, 2024, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued final rules which expand what it means to provide fiduciary “investment advice” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”) and Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”).  Though the final rules broaden the definition

On April 3, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) published in the federal register a final amendment to Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 84-14 (the “QPAM Exemption”) that makes considerable changes to the exemption’s conditions (the “Final Amendment”).   Although the Final Amendment trims back some of the more onerous requirements floated in the proposed

Last week, the Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services (“the Departments”) issued an FAQ about the final Transparency in Coverage rules (“TiC Rules”). This FAQ addresses compliance with cost‑sharing disclosure requirements where a plan is providing cost estimates based on claims data but there is extremely low utilization of the item or

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”).

Responding to the “terrifying” reality that conflicted investment advice is costing retirement savers billions of dollars each year, on October 31, 2023, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued proposed rules representing its latest attempt to expand what it means to be providing “investment advice” for a fee under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of

In late 2022, the U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued final regulations (the “Final Rules”) which address the extent to which ERISA plan fiduciaries may consider environmental, social and governance (“ESG”) factors when making investment decisions and exercising shareholder rights, such as voting proxies, on behalf of ERISA-covered plans. For a detailed discussion of the Final Rules, see here.

Although the Final Rules generally became effective on January 30, 2023, certain special proxy voting-related rules are set to first take effect on December 1, 2023, and may require action by ERISA plan fiduciaries in advance of the effective date.

Last week, the Departments of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services rolled back two non-enforcement policies related to the machine-readable file requirements included in the transparency in coverage (TIC) final rules: (1) deferred enforcement of the requirement that health plans post a machine-readable file listing negotiated rates and historical net prices for covered prescription drugs, and (2) an enforcement safe harbor with respect to the requirement that dollar amounts be listed in the in-network rate machine-readable file for items and services for which it is difficult to ascertain dollar amounts in advance. The guidance was released in the form of FAQs, which can be viewed here.

By way of brief background, for plan years starting on or after July 1, 2022, non-grandfathered health plans are required to post three machine-readable files (updated monthly) covering the following: (1) in-network rates (expressed as a dollar amount) for covered items and services, (2) allowed amounts for covered items and services furnished by out-of-network providers, and (3) negotiated rates and historical net prices for covered prescription drugs. 

In addition to the excitement of the upcoming outdoor concert season, Proskauer’s lawyers are anxiously awaiting VERY different forms of entertainment:

  • the next installment of the never-ending saga of U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) guidance on who is considered an investment advice fiduciary, including whether the fiduciary standard applies to advice on whether to take a rollover;
  • finalization of the DOL’s QPAM Exemption amendment proposal; and
  • resolution of court challenges to the DOL’s final “ESG” rules.

We discussed these developments at ERISAFest 2023.  If you missed it, feel free to reach out to your Proskauer contact for a recording, and be sure to sign up next year!