Author Archives: Steven Schaffer

PBGC Proposed Rule May Offer DC Plans New Tool for Finding Missing Participants

For many years, the PBGC has been helping reunite missing participants with their benefits under single-employer defined benefit plans. Now, a new PBGC proposed rule may open up the program to missing participants under other terminated plans. Under this proposed […]

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Keeping Your (Top) Hat On

“Top hat” plans are plans employers maintain for a “select group of management or highly compensated employees.” These plans are exempt from many of ERISA’s protections, including eligibility, vesting, fiduciary responsibility and funding. Thus, they are often used to provide […]

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Employee Stock Ownership Plans: Another Tool for Family-Owned Banks

Today’s economy presents numerous challenges to community bank profitability—compressed net interest margins, increased regulation, and management teams fatigued by the crisis. In response to these obstacles, many boards of directors are exploring new ways to reduce expenses, retain qualified management […]

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Reporting and Disclosure Guidance

On October 17, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service published a guide entitled “Retirement Plan Reporting and Disclosure Requirements Guide.” The Service states that the Guide is intended to be a quick reference tool to assist plan sponsors and administrators and […]

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Upcoming Equity Plan Proposal? ISS Invites U.S. Companies to Verify Equity Plan Data

Institutional Shareholder Services, or ISS, invites U.S. companies to verify the data it uses to evaluate proxy statement equity plan proposals.  ISS previously announced a move to a “balanced scorecard” approach for its evaluation of equity plan proposals.  Data verification […]

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The ESOP as a Solution

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (“ESOPs”) can be a good choice for the right company because they can generate liquidity for the owners in a tax-advantaged form, allow the owners to retain de facto, if not legal, control, and provide employee […]

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Reminder: Hurry! Opportunity for Possible Refund of FICA Taxes Ends Soon!

As noted in our blog entry on October 16, 2012, under the Sixth Circuit’s discussion in U.S. v. Quality Stores, severance payments made because of an employee’s involuntary separation resulting from a reduction-in-force or discontinuance of a plant or operation […]

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HIPAA v. the iPhone

HHS recently included on its website some helpful information regarding security of mobile devices in video format.  While primarily directed at health care providers, the videos are still useful for health plan sponsors/administrators (and their business associates).  (The way the […]

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Sixth Circuit Allows Reasonable Modifications of Retiree Health Benefits

On September 13, 2012, the Sixth Circuit in Reese v. CNH Am. LLC, 11-1359, 2012 WL 4009695 (6th Cir. Sept. 13, 2012) reiterated its 2009 ruling in the same case that an employer could unilaterally modify a retiree health plan, […]

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The End of Innocence: What to Do If You Didn’t Receive an ERISA 408(b)(2) Disclosure

Hopefully, you, the responsible plan fiduciary to an ERISA retirement plan, are happily ensconced in your office, reviewing thorough and compliant ERISA Section 408(b)(2) disclosures from the plan’s covered service providers.  But what if you didn’t receive the disclosure, or […]

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