Benefits Law Update

Members of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group provide timely updates and commentary on developments affecting employee benefit plans and executive compensation arrangements. The blog is edited by Eric Altholz and Suzanne Meeker, with guest posts from other members of the group.

We are often asked about the permissibility of excluding certain categories of employees from participating in an employer’s tax-qualified retirement plan.[1] This post provides a high-level summary of what is and is not permitted.

  • Excludable by Statute. Certain categories of employees, by statute, may be excluded from participating in an employer’s tax-qualified retirement plan.

Under Section 404 of ERISA, plan fiduciaries must act for the exclusive benefit of plan participants and beneficiaries and use plan assets only to provide benefits and defray reasonable expenses of administering the plan. In addition, Section 406 of ERISA prohibits a plan fiduciary from engaging in self-dealing. The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has taken

As part of the routine administration of employee benefit plans, shortly after the end of a calendar year, many transactions must be reported to the federal government (“information returns”) and participants (“payee statements”) using forms such as Forms W-2, 1099, 1094, and 1095. As benefits professionals know, errors can—and do—occur in administering benefit plans, including

The Internal Revenue Service gave retirement plan sponsors end-of-the-year gifts by providing guidance under twelve sections of the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (“SECURE 2.0”). Although Notice 2024-2, released December 20, 2023 (the “Notice”), expressly does not provide “comprehensive guidance,” it does address urgent, practical questions for the implementation of new rules for 401(k), 403(b),

This post summarizes provisions of SECURE 2.0 that retirement plans may need or want to implement for 2024. While no amendments are required for plans heading into 2024, plan operations may see some updates, especially if the plan sponsor wishes to implement some of the new optional features. We have provided an overview of many

Newly issued IRS Proposed Regulations regarding the special eligibility and vesting requirements for long-term, part-time employees provide guidance that 401(k) plan sponsors have been waiting for since these requirements were established under SECURE 1.0. Though it has been three years since SECURE 1.0 was enacted, the Proposed Regulations were published less than a year after

In five recently filed class action lawsuits,[1] 401(k) plan participants allege that plan fiduciaries violated ERISA by using plan forfeitures to offset employer contributions instead of paying plan expenses. The use of forfeitures to offset employer contributions is a long-standing practice expressly approved by IRS proposed regulations issued in early 2023 (the “2023 Proposed

On October 18, 2023, the Maine Retirement Savings Board adopted a final rule implementing Maine’s state-run retirement savings program, the Maine Retirement Investment Trust or MERIT. MERIT is intended to help employees who do not have access to a retirement plan through their employer save for retirement by requiring automatic payroll deduction contributions to a