Publications

Section Newsletter Articles on Employee Benefits

2015 retirement plan limitations By Bernard G. Peters Corporate Law Departments, December 2014 The complete list of the IRS 2015 dollar limitations for benefits, compensation and contributions.
Smith v. Aegon Companies Pension Plan: Enforceability of venue selection clauses By Nancy G. Ross and Samuel P. Myler Employee Benefits, December 2014 While some district courts, such as the Northern District of Illinois in Coleman v. Supervalu, Inc. Short Term Disability Program have agreed with plan participants that venue selection clauses are inconsistent with ERISA, the Sixth Circuit’s recent 2-1 decision in Smith v. Aegon Companies Pension Plan lends strong support for the prevailing view among the district courts that such clauses are enforceable.
Constitutional challenges made to the Pension Reform Act By Aaron Maduff Labor and Employment Law, October 2014 This article starts with a discussion of the state of the law prior to the Constitutional Convention of 1970 and what led to the addition of the Pension Protection Clause in the Illinois Constitution. It then proceeds to discuss the various challenges made to the law, and finally provides an update on the status of the suits, including the order of injunctive relief entered by the Court on May 14, 2014.
Employer reporting requirements finalized By Joy Sellstrom Employee Benefits, June 2014 A discussion of the Department of Treasury's published final rules addressing two reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act.
Extension and clarification of expatriate health plan exception under ACA By Janel Brynda Employee Benefits, June 2014 Global employers with mobile employees may be able to take advantage of the “expatriate health plan” exception to exclude certain employees for purposes of determining the “pay or play” penalty under the Affordable Care Act.
Pro bono legal opportunities By Bernard G. Peter Corporate Law Departments, June 2014 The author outlines various projects that need your help! 
New rules, continued non-compliance: Protecting business owners and plan participants in the changing 401k plan climate By Kurt Winiecki Employee Benefits, May 2014 A look at some of the common non-compliance issues related to 401k plans, including new fee disclosure rules that are often ignored.
Pro bono legal opportunities By Bernard G. Peter Employee Benefits, May 2014 The author outlines various projects that need your help! 
Federal case update By Michael Bartolic Employee Benefits, February 2014 Recent cases of interest to employee benefits practitioners.
New IRS guidance sheds light on the impact of same-sex marriage decision on employee benefits By Alison Wright and Chris Guldberg Employee Benefits, February 2014 Following the United States Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor, the Internal Revenue Service has issued guidance on how that decision impacts the Internal Revenue Code.
Pension relief By Douglas A. Darch Employee Benefits, February 2014 Illinois state pension law is a complex web of built-in extra benefits that costs taxpayers billions. In Hooker v. Retirement Board, the Supreme Court limited eligibility for one of those extra benefits.
SB1 Pension Reform By Lori Cowdrey Benso and John Lowder Employee Benefits, February 2014 A closer look at the changes.
A summary of the anti-cutback rule By Patrick Colgan Employee Benefits, February 2014 A brief overview of some of the components that have been included in a court’s analysis of the anti-cutback rule including examples of that analysis.
Federal caselaw update Employee Benefits, September 2013 Recent federal cases of interets to employee benefits practitioners.
Supreme Court invalidation of DOMA provisions may require retirement and health plans to extend spousal benefits to Illinois civil union partners; May extend federal tax benefits By Adam M. Fleming Corporate Law Departments, August 2013 In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent landmark decision in U.S. v. Windsor, which invalidated Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the full ramifications of the Supreme Court’s holding are just beginning to come into focus.
Federal successor liability under ERISA and the MPPAA By Donald S. Rothschild and Brian M. Dougherty Labor and Employment Law, July 2013 This article will explore the history of ERISA and the MPPAA, how successor liability has evolved under federal law and what needs to be proven in order to hold a successor company liable for withdrawal liability.
Is an Illinois resident’s inherited IRA protected from bankruptcy creditors? By David F. Rolewick and Justin J. Karubas Trusts and Estates, July 2013 There is a split in the circuits regarding whether or not inherited IRAs are protected from bankruptcy creditors. The Fifth Circuit has held that a Texas resident’s inherited IRA is protected from bankruptcy creditors. The Seventh Circuit has held that a Wisconsin resident’s inherited IRA is not protected from bankruptcy creditors. Both Wisconsin and Texas have not opted out of the bankruptcy exemptions. Therefore, federal bankruptcy exemptions apply.
Employee benefit plans—The importance of classifying individuals properly By Bernard G. Peter Employee Benefits, April 2013 Sometimes employers categorize special or contingent workers as independent contractors when they may not meet the criteria to be an independent contractor.
The U.S. Supreme Court applies the Common Fund Doctrine to the right to recover payments under an employee benefit plan By Robert T. Park Civil Practice and Procedure, April 2013 The decision in U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen signals a willingness of the federal courts to apply the common fund doctrine to employee benefit plan reimbursement where the plan does not expressly allocate the cost of recovery from a third party.
A recent PSEBA decision: Lifetime benefits they are not! By Carlos S. Arévalo Labor and Employment Law, March 2013 The Fifth District Appellate Court recently held in Pyle v. City of Granite City that a firefighter was not entitled to the so-called “lifetime” health insurance benefits from his employer, the City of Granite City.
Using an ESOP as a possible exit strategy for privately owned businesses By Anthony J. Jacob Business and Securities Law, February 2013 Selling some or all of a privately held company to an ESOP offers significant tax incentives not available in traditional sales transactions.
Federal case update Employee Benefits, January 2013 Recent cases of interest to employee benefits practitioners.
Your firm’s benefits plan and same-sex relationships: Best practices to make all employees feel like valued team members By Daniel Ebner Law Office Management and Economics, Standing Committee on, December 2012 Giving employees in same-sex relationships the same benefits as married employees involves a little effort but a big payoff in employee morale and loyalty.
Employee benefit plans—The importance of classifying individuals By Bernard G. Peter Corporate Law Departments, October 2012 Sometimes employers categorize special or contingent workers as independent contractors when they may not meet the criteria to be an independent contractor.
Employer 401(k) plan and health care plan disclosures to be made in second half of 2012 By Bernard G. Peter Employee Benefits, September 2012 A summary of new employer obligations.
Employer 401(k) plan and health care plan disclosures to be made in second half of 2012 By Bernard G. Peter Corporate Law Departments, August 2012 Over the next three months virtually all employers will be required to provide their employees a substantial amount of information regarding the employee benefits plan they sponsor. This article summarizes these new employer obligations.  
Federal caselaw update By Michael Bartolic Employee Benefits, May 2012 Recent cases of interest to employee benefits practitioners.
Roth 401(k) plans By Leonard S. DeFranco Federal Taxation, April 2012 An overview of Roth accounts for retirement planning.
Federal caselaw update Employee Benefits, March 2012 Recent cases of interest to employee benefits practitioners.
For §513 contributions, why not use your IRA—penalty free? By Edward J. Burt Family Law, March 2012 The practitioner may consider crafting a settlement agreement that utilizes IRA accounts as a source for funding the college education expenses, and thus, the client has somewhat resolved the college funding issue and removes some of the uncertainty as to his/her future obligation for college expenses.