Author Archives: Richard Arenburg

Keeping Up with The Trends in 401(k) Plans

In the scheme of things, it was not that  long ago that defined benefit pension plans were the main retirement plan game in town.  But now – for better or for worse – 401(k) plans rule in the private arena.  […]

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SCOTUS Speaks in Quality Stores: Severance Payments are Subject to FICA Taxes

On March 25, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued its unanimous (8-0) decision in U.S.  v Quality Stores, 572 U.S. ____ (2014).  In its opinion authored by Justice Kennedy, the Court held that the severance payments at issue constituted […]

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Health Insurance Marketplace Update… State Grants to Assist in Progress

The Director of the White House’s Office of Health Reform, Jeanne Lambrew, reportedly announced recently at a health services and policy research conference that the Obama administration hopes to “ratchet up” grants for the State Innovation Models Initiative in 2014 […]

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Do Your Plan a Favor: Eschew Escheating

Given the migratory nature of society these days, it is not uncommon for an employee benefit plan to accumulate significant sums of money attributable to the accounts of lost participants.  For a number of States, the assets attributable to lost […]

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FMLA Rights for (Some) Same-Sex Spouses

On August 9, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) took its first action in response to the Supreme Court decision in United States v. Windsor, which struck down those provisions of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibiting the treatment […]

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Structuring a Settlement to Fund a Special Needs Trust May Not Work to Block ERISA Plan’s Recovery

In ACS Recovery Services, Inc. v. Griffin (2013 CA5), the Fifth Circuit recently allowed fiduciaries of an ERISA group health plan to seek reimbursement from a special needs trust established for a participant through a personal injury settlement.  The key […]

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SEC Releases Letter Clarifying Application of Section 402 of Sarbanes-Oxley Act

Last month the SEC issued a no-action letter to a financial services firm that sheds light on the scope of the prohibition under Section 402 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 which makes it unlawful for an issuer to “extend […]

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Prototype and Volume Submitter 403(b) Plans May Soon Be On Their Way

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Rev. Proc. 2013-22 describing the procedures for submitting an application for an opinion or advisory letter on a prototype or volume submitter 403(b) plan. This news is relevant for employers sponsoring 403(b) plans. Why? […]

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Proposed Wellness Rules Provide Updates and Clarifications

Responsible federal agencies have recently issued proposed amendment to the existing regulations governing wellness programs.  As expected, the proposed amendments increase the maximum permissible reward (or absence of surcharge) under health-contingent wellness programs from 20% to 30% of the cost […]

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The NHL Goes Back to the Past (Pension-wise)

After a long lockout, the NHL will begin its season this weekend thanks, in part, to a pension plan.  Among the sticking points for the players, as noted in this article, was the desire to return to a defined benefit […]

Posted in Commentary/Opinions/Views, On the Lighter Side, Tax-qualified Retirement Plans | Tagged , , | 3 Comments