Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

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

Tag Archives: DOL

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

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

Agencies Issue Final Regulations on the Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) Requirements

As promised in the FAQ issued on March 30, 2015, the U.S. Departments of the Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services  (the Departments) have issued final regulations regarding the summary of benefits and coverage (SBC) and uniform glossary for group health plans and health insurance coverage in group and individual markets under the Patient … 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’s New Audit Focus? Health Plan Claims and Appeals and Hard to Value Assets

In recent talks and appearances, representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor have issued a warning about new areas of focus of DOL audits and enforcement actions.  While there are a number of different enforcement priorities, we discuss two of them—health plan claims and appeals and valuation of hard to value assets— here because these … Continue Reading

Final Regulations on Orientation Periods Released

On June 20, the Federal regulatory agencies in charge of health care reform guidance (the Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services) released final regulations (“Final Regulations”) clarifying the relationship between a group health plan’s eligibility criteria and the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) 90-day limit on waiting periods. Specifically, the Final Regulations (published … Continue Reading

Death, Taxes and …ERISA Disclosure Regulations?

There are few sure things in life, and although it is probably safe to say that ERISA disclosure regulations would not be considered one of them, there has certainly been a steady stream of new ERISA-related disclosure and reporting obligations being imposed on plan fiduciaries. The latest installment from the U.S. Department of Labor came … Continue Reading

New FAQs on ACA Extend Fully-Insured Expatriate Health Plan Transitional Relief by “At Least” Another Plan Year and Clarify Scope, 6-Month Requirement

As reported, the U.S. Labor Department, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury Department (together, the “Departments”) recently issued additional FAQs regarding implementation of the market reform provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). FAQs 6 and 7 include new guidance on the temporary transitional relief issued last year (discussed … Continue Reading

Recent Guidance on Fixed Indemnity Plans—FAQ’s Relax Standards

As previously reported, the federal agencies responsible for drafting the rules implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) (the U.S. Labor Department, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Treasury Department (together, the “Departments”)) on January 9, 2014 issued FAQ Part XVIII, regarding implementation of the market reform provisions of the ACA. … Continue Reading

Departments Release New FAQ Guidance on ACA and MHPAEA Implementation Issues

On January 9, 2014, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the “Departments”) published the eighteenth installment of a series of answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA). The FAQ provides guidance on … Continue Reading

Year Two of Medical Loss Ratio Rebates: Five Tips for Insured ERISA Health Plan Sponsors

The Affordable Care Act’s medical loss ratio (“MLR”) rule requires health insurance companies (but not self-insured plans) in the group or individual market to provide an annual rebate to enrollees if the insurer’s MLR falls below a certain minimum level.  Generally, this means that health insurance companies in the individual and small group markets must … Continue Reading

DOL Updates Model COBRA Notice in Light of Health Care Reform

Come 2014, the Health Insurance Exchanges will provide another option to COBRA “qualified beneficiaries” who are considering whether to elect to continue health coverage under an employer’s group plan. In an effort to ensure that qualified beneficiaries understand this option, the U.S. Department of Labor has revised its model COBRA Election Notice to refer specifically … Continue Reading
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