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New Developments >>> revised 2014.July.27

Updates? contact Mark Poerio @ LinkedIn.  Executive Compensation Alerts here.

2014.July.26  Updated Research -- see: Controlled Group and Stock Options.

2014.July.11
  M&A Severance Payable despite No Job Loss (Plan Drafting Critical)
In Adams v. Anheuser-Busch, the 6th Circuit overturned the denial of severance pay to continuing employees because the seller's plan promised benefits to those "whose employment with the Controlled Group is involuntarily terminated." The court rejected the plan administrator's argument that the plan was ambiguous,  . . . continued at Severance Plan Litigation.  


2014.July.8  PBGC Moratorium on ERISA 4062(e) Enforcement. The PBGC has issued a news release announcing this moratorium through the end of 2014. Further discussion at PBGC 4062(e).

2014.June.25  Supreme Court Ends Moench Presumption - Articulates ERISA Standard for Stock Drop Cases.
In Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer, the Supreme Court not only rejected a special presumption of prudence standard for ERISA claims relating to plan investments in employer stock, but explained a "plausible alternative" pleading requirement in order for claims to avoid dismissal. The Supreme Court also addressed claims relating to alleged imprudence when fiduciaries are charged with failing to act based on inside information. See Employer Stock Litigation.

2014.May.25  Exiting Retiree Health. That is the title of an interesting TowersWatson Alert, subtitled "How to Eliminate the Obligation and Protect the Obligation to Retirees." Meanwhile, PwC has issued this alert about the implications of ACA market exchanges on the financial expense for retiree health plans, and the Supreme Court has granted certiorari for review of whether retiree health benefits are presumed to be vested for life if a collective bargaining agreement is silent about their duration. For discussion, see this BloombergBNA article.

2014.May.26  Captive Retiree Health Insurer works with VEBA, rules IRS.
In Revenue Ruling 2014-15, the IRS confirmed that an employer's captive subsidiary was properly taxable as an insurer for purposes of obtaining the desired tax results for the captive's reinsurance of the retiree health obligations of the employer's VEBA.
Further information at Captives.

2014.April.12  UK Pension Survey Shows Further DB Decline.
This TowersWatson survey of FTSE 100 companies shows that none now offer defined benefit plans for new hires, down from . . .  continued at International.

2014.April.04  Treasury Confirms Windsor Decision Prospective - Sets Deadline For Plan Amendments
The sponsors of ERISA retirement plans are generally pleased with Treasury Notice 2014-19 because it confirms that they are not required to operate in compliance with the Supreme Court's Windsor decision before June 26, 2013 (when it was issued). Not all plans require amendments in order to conform with Windsor, but the deadline for those needing amendments is . . .
continued at Marriage and ERISA.


2014.Mar.19  8th Circuit Affirms Tussey v. ABB re Employer's ERISA Fiduciary Breaches
Those who serve on 401(k) committees should take note of the four fiduciary failures for which 8th Circuit found "ample support in the record" in Tussey vs. ABB.  The court found that ABB's 401(k) plan fiduciaries breached their duties by failing  . . . continued at Plan Investment Fee Litigation.


2014.Jan.12  Spin-off Playbook: When Corporate Transactions Impact Benefit Plans
Corporate spin-offs present a range of equity compensation, 409A, and employee benefits issues that are often under-appreciated, and lately recognized. NYU recently published a comprehensive playbook from which derives an advance planning checklist that covers . . . continued at Corporate Spin-offs.

2014.Jan.07  Arbitration Decision "Wrong" but Binding -- ERISA Trustee's Lose Indemnification
In the wake of the Supreme Court decisions from last year (Dec. 17 below), employers should be thinking about how to improve their plan provisions that address claims and litigation. More to come about that soon. Meanwhile, a disadvantage of binding arbitration comes from the 6th Circuit's opinion affirming an arbitrator's invalidation of indemnification agreements for ESOP trustees, even though . . . continued at Arbitration.

2014.Jan.06  Wellness Program Savings - Limited to Chronic Illnesses (RAND Survey)
The news release for this RAND survey begins: "Workplace wellness programs can lower health care costs in workers with chronic diseases, but" . . . continued at Wellness Programs.

Other Notable Updates:

2013.Dec.26  HIPAA Settlement Agreement - see HIPAA Litigation.

2013.Dec.13
  Employer "Stock Drop" Litigation - Supreme Court to Address: see Stock Drop Litigation; see also Stock Drop Litigation Results (for Judgments and Settlements).

2013.Nov.20  Coverage for Defense Costs during DOL Investigations? See Fiduciary Defense and Indemnification.

2013.Nov.01  IRS COLA $$$for 2014: see Plan Limits.

2013.July.6  COBRA Procedural System Insights . . . for less than $1.85 Million: see COBRA Litigation.

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