Author Archives: Steven Schaffer

ESOPs: A Path to Bank Independence

Originally posted on BankBryanCave.com. Employee Stock Ownership Plans offer an opportunity for banks to offer an attractive employee benefit plan, but can also do so much more.  On the latest episode of The Bank Account, Jonathan and I are joined […]

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Button up Your Business Associates Agreements or Pay the Price

Last month, the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a resolution agreement with the Center for Children’s Digestive Health (CCDH) which included a $31,000 penalty. This isn’t the first time […]

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Fiduciary Rule Under Review – Update

On Friday, President Trump issued an order directing the Department of Labor to review the new regulation to determine whether it is inconsistent with the current administration’s policies and, as it deems appropriate, to take steps to revise or rescind it. […]

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ACA Facelift to Disability Claims Process Could Affect All Plans

It might be tempting to conclude that the recent Department of Labor regulations on disability claims procedures is limited to disability plans.  However, as those familiar with the claims procedures know, it applies to all plans that provide benefits based […]

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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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