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2019 Articles

Arbitration Award in ERISA Dispute Vacated By Douglas Darch October 2019 The third circuit recently vacated an award by an arbitrator in a pension fund withdrawal dispute.
Courts continue to rule on retirement plan mandatory arbitration provisions By Gregory K. Brown & Louis L. Joseph July 2019 In the past few years, some retirement plans have included terms and provisions that require participant breach of fiduciary claims to be resolved in arbitration, which has caused the courts to begin to consider participant motions to invalidate or limit the effect of these mandatory arbitration provisions.
Equitable Remedies of Back Pay, Front Pay, and Other Make Whole Relief for ERISA Violations By Joseph Kwiatkowski & Glenn Gaffney August 2019 An overview of the recent evolution of equitable terms and concepts, particularly relating to individuals seeking “make whole relief” for money damages under ERISA.
Federal agencies issue final regulations expanding availability of HRAs By Chad DeGroot July 2019 The Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services recently issued final regulations that are expected to encourage employers to provide  health care reimbursement assistance to their employees, however, several rules and limitations need to be considered.
Federal judge found insurance giant breached its ERISA fiduciary duties and violated Illinois law By Marie E. Casciari July 2019 Until a groundbreaking case, Wit v. United Behavioral Health, expanding coverage for mental health and substance use disorder treatment has been difficult.
Final Regulations Ease Hardship Distribution Requirements By William H. Mayer October 2019 On September 23, 2019, the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service released final regulations regarding hardship distributions that integrate a large number of changes to the existing rules.
Government IRAs: An introduction to myRA and Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program By Laura L. Pautz July 2019 Recently, both the federal and Illinois governments created new retirement savings programs to address the needs of individuals without access to employer-sponsored retirement savings plans.
IRS shows how difficult it can be to exclude business meals from income By Chad DeGroot April 2019 Employers providing meals to employees on the employer’s premises should review their policies on employee meals to ensure that they are not exposing themselves and their employees to potential liability for failure to include these amounts in income.
Marijuana and group health plans: Is coverage possible? By Wes Covert July 2019 As Illinois prepares to legalize marijuana, group health plan sponsors, especially self-insured plan sponsors, may be considering whether they can or should include medical marijuana or cannabis products in their group health plans.
Multiple Employer Retirement Plans: Saving the Barrel from the One Bad Apple By Evan Giller August 2019 Multiple employer plans have received quite a bit of attention recently because they are seen as a possible mechanism for increasing the number of employees who are covered by a retirement plan.
Naming Retirement Account Beneficiaries: A Potential Legal Minefield By Kurt Winiecki August 2019 If one does not create a will, a judge, through the probate process, will distribute your assets using your state’s distribution scheme.
Pension plan sponsors should be mindful of a new wave of class action lawsuits By Wesley Covert April 2019 In December 2018, class action ERISA lawsuits were filed against several large single-employer defined benefit plans. The suits focus on the calculation of joint and survivor annuities and/or early retirement benefits that are available in these plans.
Seventh Circuit Finds Substantial Compliance Doctrine Does Not Apply to Missed Appeal Deadline By Chad DeGroot August 2019 The seventh circuit recently held in Fessenden v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co. that a plan administrator’s failure to meet a regulatory deadline cost the administrator the benefit of deferential review in court.
State Retirement Plans and Accelerated Annual Increase Buyout By Dorothy A. Voigt October 2019 Recently, amendments were adopted to the administration and operation of the Teachers Retirement System, the State Employees Retirement System, and the State Universities Retirement System.
Student loan repayment assistance programs By Tal Simon April 2019 Student loan repayment assistance programs are becoming a popular employee benefit used to attract and retain employees.
Union’s duty to indemnify terminates By Douglas Darch & Remi Balogun April 2019 The third circuit held in Nitterhouse Concrete Products v. Glass Molders Pottery Plastics that a union’s duty to indemnify an employer terminates when the collective bargaining agreement containing the indemnification agreement expires.
You received a secure choice notice, now what? By Laura L. Pautz July 2019 The Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program Act requires employers to provide employees access to a retirement savings plan.