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Employee BenefitsThe newsletter of the ISBA’s Section on Employee Benefits

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Newsletter articles from 2009

2010 limits for benefit plans December 2009 Retirement plans, published by IRS
401(k) Fiduciary Duties: Continuum of Ambiguities By Melissa Caldwell June 2009 401(k) revenue sharing and plan fiduciary duty litigation is becoming a complex area of law. With an increasing number of claims alleging breach of fiduciary duties and fee disclosure, employers and plan sponsors are looking for direction in this confusing area of ERISA law.
Abandoned retirement plans By Douglas A. Darch March 2009 As the recession has worsened, many employers are simply closing their doors and walking away from their obligations. The frequent result of a “walk-away” is that the benefit plan is abandoned. An abandoned Plan loosely defined is a plan which no longer has a “responsible” plan sponsor or plan administrator.
The Efficient Market Hypothesis and ERISA September 2009 EMH holds that the price of a stock incorporates all publicly available information about the company; it follows that plan fiduciaries are entitled to rely on that valuation and are not required to second-guess the market.
ESOPs September 2009 When Samuel Zell bought the Tribune Company for $8 billion in 2007, he used just $350 million of his own cash; the remainder of the p
Executive bonuses By Douglas A. Darch December 2009 When an executive leaves her position midway through the performance measurement period for an annual bonus, is she entitled to a pro-rata share of the annual bonus?
Federal caselaw update By David R. Shannon December 2009 The DOL has filed amicus briefs in the following cases.
Federal caselaw update September 2009 Recent cases of interest to employee benefits attorneys.
Federal caselaw update June 2009 Recent cases of interest to employee benefits attorneys.
FOIA requests—DOL September 2009 If you or your client needs a copy of the Form 5500 filed by a welfare plan or a pension plan it is better to go to the source. At <www.dol.gov/dol/foia> you will find instructions for making a FOIA request.
Patient Advocacy: A new benefit to aid in healthcare navigation By Laura L. Pautz March 2009 It does not take a specialty in employee benefits to realize the healthcare system can be difficult to navigate. A new profession known as health advocacy is forming to aid the population and to advocate access to healthcare.
Privacy: Social Security numbers September 2009 ERISA has a little-known privacy provision in Section 106(b) which restricts the disclosure of certain information about participants.
Review of Critical: What We Can Do About The Health-Care Crisis by Tom Daschle By Mark J. Warshawsky March 2009 In his book, Critical, published in 2008, Tom Daschle, former Senate majority leader, describes his views on the problems of the U.S. health care system and how they can be fixed.
Section 502(a)(1)(B) claims—Proper defendants March 2009 There are numerous, contradictory decisions within the Ninth Circuit concerning the proper defendant in a suit for benefits under section 502(a)(1)(D).
The stimulus bill’s effect on COBRA administration By Derek A. Schryer June 2009 On February 19, 2009, President Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the “Act”). The legislation provides for government-subsidized COBRA premiums to involuntarily terminated employees for up to nine months. Both employer sand employees should become familiar with the changes created by this Act.
Taxation of employment-related settlement payments By Elizabeth Erickson and Ira B. Mirsky December 2009 In an internal memorandum dated October 22, 2008, but released only in July of this year, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Office of Chief Counsel has outlined information necessary to determine the correct tax treatment of employment-related settlement payments.