On March 2, the US Department of Labor (DOL) published a proposed extension (the Proposal) of the effective date of what is commonly referred to as the “fiduciary rule” or the “fiduciary advice rule” (the Rule). The Rule provides that persons who provide investment advice or recommendations for fees or other compensation with respect to

On April 20, the US Department of Labor (DOL) published a proposal to revise portions of the definition of a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) in the Federal Register. Following is a summary of the proposed new rules. Please note that parts of the proposal are very detailed, and that this is only a summary.
Continue Reading DOL Proposes to Revise Definition of “Fiduciary” Under ERISA

Under the Michigan Health Insurance Claims Assessment Act (HICA Act) (P.A. 142 of 2011), third-party administrators, carriers and self-insured entities are required to pay assessments on the amount of health care claims paid by them. This assessment will be used by the State in funding its Medicaid program. Presumably, the payers will seek to pass these assessments on to their clients, which include health care benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).Continue Reading State Levy on Paid Health Care Claims Survives ERISA Preemption Challenge

The Department of Labor (DOL) continues to revise its stance on the disclosures plan sponsors must make to participants about brokerage windows. DOL regulations require sponsors of participant directed retirement plans to issue statements about the fees paid and the investment returns for investment options under participant-directed plans (such as the typical 401(k) plan). For most plans, the first disclosure is due August 30, 2012.
Continue Reading DOL Revises its Position on Brokerage Windows (Again)

As part of its efforts to effect transparency of fees paid by plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to investment managers and other service providers, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has indicated that it will develop and propose a required format for a "summary guide" of the disclosures under ERISA Section 408(b)(2).Continue Reading DOL Plans to Propose Format for Service Provider Fee Disclosures; No Required Format for 2012 Disclosures

Co-authored by Ann M. Kim

Coming up this summer are a number of reporting and disclosure deadlines under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) that deal with fees and expenses paid by plans that are subject to ERISA.  Service providers to such plans, including investment managers who manage plan assets, and other entities that provide investment products (such as annuity contracts or collective investment funds), should be aware of their responsibilities and be prepared for requests for information from their ERISA plan clients.

Continue Reading Important Deadlines for ERISA Plans to Receive and Report Information on Fees, Expenses

Co-authored Christopher K. Buch.

On February 2, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the United States Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rule under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) Section 408(b)(2) relating to service provider disclosures.Continue Reading DOL Issues Final Service Provider Disclosures Regulation

Co-authored by Kevin M. Foley.

In Advisory Opinion 2011-09A, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) indicated that a personal indemnification of a broker by the holder of an individual retirement account (IRA), for losses in excess of the value of the assets in a futures trading account established for the IRA, raises prohibited transaction issues under section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the Code). Further, the DOL said that Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 80-26 (PTE 80-26) does not provide an exemption for such a prohibited transaction. Previously, the DOL has advised practitioners informally of this position, but the Advisory Opinion formalizes it.Continue Reading DOL Warns on Indemnification of Brokers for IRA Trading Losses

Co-authored by: Evan Belosa

Pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, beginning in 2014 individuals and small businesses will have access to the purchase of private health insurance through insurance exchanges. States are required to set up health insurance exchange markets, both for small businesses (the Small Business Health Option Program, or SHOP) and for individuals, or a single exchange that combines both. Forty-nine states have applied for grants to help plan and operate exchanges.Continue Reading HHS Issues Proposed Rule for Employer Participation in State Heath Care Exchanges