news_whatsnew_2014
SAL TRIPODI - TRI Pension Services
Your Employee Retirement Income Security Act Resource

Pension News in 2014

The following list tracks important guidance that has been released since January 1, 2014. These items are summarized in detail, with appropriate commentary, in our quarterly newsletter, eRISA Update. See our Newsletters page to sign up for eRISA Update.

Legislative Developments

  • Pension funding stabilization relief extended by the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014; clarification of first segment rate period; modified interest rate rules to determine if plan maintained by bankrupt employer is fully funded for IRC §436(d)(2) purposes [Citation: Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014, §2003 of P.L. 113-159 (August 8, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1w1vvMK
  • The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (CROmnibus) (December 16, 2014), adopts changes to multiemployer plan funding rules, raises PBGC premiums for multiemployer plans, provides limited relief for service-based normal retirement ages, and restricts application of ERISA §4062(e)
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1z1e9LH (pension related provisions of CROmnibus only)

Treasury Regulations

  • Clarification of tax treatment of qualified plan assets used to pay premiums for accident or health insurance [Citation: Treas. Reg. §1.402(a)-1(e) and 1.402(c)-2, Q&A-4(j), conforming amendments to Treas. Reg. §§1.72-15, 1.106-1, 1.402(a)-1(a)(1)(ii), 1.403(a)-6(g), and 1.403(b)-6(g), 79 F.R. 26838-26843 (May 12, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-05-12/pdf/2014-10849.pdf
  • Amendments to Circular 230 consolidate and clarify standards for written advice and expand internal compliance procedures for affected firms [Citation: Treas. Reg. §§10.1, 10.22, 10.31, 10.35, 10.36, 10.37, 10.52, 10.81, 10.82, 10.91, 79 F.R. 33685-33695 (June 12, 2014)] Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1ld81IL
  • Minimum distribution regulations amended to allow for deferred longevity annuities starting no later than age 85 payable from up to 25% of account balance [Citation: Treas. Reg. §§1.401(a)(9)-5, Q&A-3(d) and (e), 1.401(a)(9)-6, Q&A-17, 1.403(b)-6(e)(9), 1.408-8, Q&A-12, 1.408A-6, Q&A-14(d), and 1.6047-2, 79 F.R. 37633-37643 (July 2, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-07-02/pdf/2014-15524.pdf
  • Regulations finalize proposed hybrid plan regulations issued in 2010 and propose additional amendments to the regulations to cover transitional amendments to satisfy the market rate of return rules [Citation: Treas. Reg. §§1.411(a)(13)-1(b)(2), (3), and (4), (d)(3)(i), (d)(4)(ii)(A), (C) and (E), (d)(6) and (e)(2)(ii), 1.411(b)-1(b)(2)(ii)(G) and (H), and 1.411(b)(5)-1(b)(1)(i), (b)(ii), (b)(iiii), (b)(2)(i), (c)(3)(i), (c)(3)(iii), (c)(5) (Example 8), (d)(1)(iv)(D), (d)(1)(v), (d)(1)(viii), (d)(2)(i), (d)(2)(ii), (d)(3), (d)(4)(ii), (d)(4)(iv), (d)(4)(v), (d)(5)(ii), (d)(5)(iv), (d)(6)(ii), (d)(6)(iii), (e)(2), (e)(3)(i), (e)(3)(ii)(B), (e)(3)(ii)(C), (e)(3)(ii)(D), (e)(3)(iii), (e)(3)(iv), (e)(3)(v), (e)(4), (e)(5) and (f)(2)(i)(B), 79 F.R. 56442-56469 (September 19, 2014); Prop. Treas. Reg. §1.411(b)(5)-1(e)(3)(vi), 79 F.R. 56305-56310 (September 19, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1o9wMbN (final regs); http://1.usa.gov/1qRMXQV (proposed regs)]
  • Plan administrators and employers that file more than 250 returns of any type in a calendar year are required to file Form 5500, Form 8955-SSA and Schedule SB/MB electronically or on other magnetic media [Citation: Treas. Reg. §§301.6057-3, 301.6058-2 and 301.6059-2, 79 F.R. 58256-58261 (September 29, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1DRy8SG

IRS Guidance

  • Annual update of determination letter procedure for 2014 [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2014-6, 2014-1 I.R.B. (January 2, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/irb/2014-1_IRB/ar10.html
  • Annual update of user fee procedure for 2014 [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2014-8, 2014-1 I.R.B. (January 2, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/irb/2014-1_IRB/ar12.html
  • Temporary relief under IRC §401(a)(4) nondiscrimination testing rules for certain DB/DC combo plans involved a “closed” DB plan [Citation: Notice 2014-5, 2014-2 I.R.B. (January 9, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-05.pdf
  • Pre-approved plan program expanded to include cash balance formulas [Citation: Announcement 2014-4, 2014-7 I.R.B. (February 10, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/a-14-04.pdf
  • Deadline for Cycle C sponsors to execute Form 8905 extended to March 31, 2014 [Citation: Announcement 2014-4, 2014-7 I.R.B. (February 10, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/a-14-04.pdf
  • Two-year window to restate defined contribution pre-approved plans for second remedial amendment cycle ends April 30, 2016; determination letter program opens May 1, 2014 [Citation: Announcement 2014-16 (March 28, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/a-14-16.pdf
  • IRS simplifies due diligence standards that may be used by a plan administrator to reasonably conclude that a rollover being accepted by the plan is valid [Citation: Rev. Rul. 2014-9 (April 3, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rr-14-09.pdf
  • IRS modifies pre-approved plan program for 403(b) plans and extends initial application deadlines to April 30, 2015 [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2014-28, 2014-16 I.R.B. (April 14, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-14-28.pdf
  • IRS issues FAQs on the tax implications of virtual currency [Citation: Notice 2014-21, 2014-16 I.R.B. (April 14, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-21.pdf
  • Effective date and plan amendment guidance for compliance with the Windsor decision recognizing same-sex marriages [Citation: Notice 2014-19, 2014-17 I.R.B. (April 21, 2014); Notice 2014-37, 2014-23 I.R.B. (June 2, 2014), FAQs Regarding the Application of the Windsor Decision and Post-Windsor Published Guidance to Qualified Retirement Plans (www.irs.gov)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-19.pdf (Notice 2014-19), http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-37.pdf (Notice 2014-37), http://1.usa.gov/1mZwmoV (FAQs)
  • Pilot program will allow for voluntary correction of late filings for non-Title I plans with no penalty until June 2, 2015; penalties likely if program made permanent [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2014-32, I.R.B. 2014-23 (June 2, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-14-32.pdf
  • Participation in DOL's Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance (DFVC) Program will automatically waive IRS penalties if Forms 8955-SSA required for plan year(s) corrected are filed with IRS [Citation: Notice 2014-35, I.R.B. 2014-23 (June 2, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-35.pdf
  • Nonstatutory stock options and stock appreciation rights paid solely in employer stock do not constitute deferred compensation for IRC §457A purposes [Citation: Rev. Rul. 2014-18, 2014-26 I.R.B. (June 23, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1hLYXQC
  • Group trust ruling (Rev. Rul. 81-100) expanded; transition relief for Puerto Plans held in group trusts as of January 10, 2011 and for insurance company separate accounts [Citation: Rev. Rul. 2014-24, 2014-37 I.R.B. (September 4, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1qHcoiD
  • Formal guidance from IRS on the HATFA amendments to the MAP-21 interest rate stabilization rule, including elections to delay HATFA rates to the 2014 plan year, Schedule SB reporting issues, and the impact of the HATFA rates on IRC §436 determinations for the 2013 and 2014 plan years [Citation: Notice 2014-53, 2014-40 I.R.B. (September 25, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1DsQTvA
  • IRS clarifies how the character of direct rollovers is determined when a disbursement of benefits includes both after-tax and pre-tax amounts and part of the distribution is disbursed to the recipient; addresses multiple direct rollover recipients; reverses position in Roth regulations; will modify safe harbor rollover notice accordingly [Citation: Notice 2014-54, 2014-41 I.R.B. (October 2, 2014); Prop. Treas. Reg. §1.402A-1, Q&A-5(a), 79 F.R. 56310-56312 (September 19, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-54.pdf (Notice 2014-54), http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-09-19/pdf/2014-22324.pdf (Prop. Treas. Reg. §1.402A-1, Q&A-5(a))
  • IRS simplifies election procedures for deferring taxation on accrued income in Canadian retirement plans [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2014-55, I.R.B. 2014-44 (October 23, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1EDYyaO
  • Adjusted dollar limits for 2015 [Citation: IR-2014-99 (October 23, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1shrLP5
  • IRS provides special BRF testing exception so that target date funds offered to participants may have deferred annuity options that might be available only to older participants [Citation: Notice 2014-66, 2014-46 I.R.B. (November 6, 2014); DOL Information Letter from Phyllis Borzi to Mark Iwry (October 23, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-14-66.pdf (Notice 2014-66), http://1.usa.gov/1xl7QFB (information letter from DOL to Mark Iwry)
  • IRS will apply once-per-year limitation on IRA rollovers by disregarding 2014 rollovers for 2015 rollovers made with a different IRA [Citation: Announcement 2014-32, I.R.B. 2014-48 (November 20, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/a-14-32.pdf
  • IRS updates the model 402(f) notice to reflect guidance on the allocation of pre-tax and after-tax amounts, in-plan Roth conversions, and other clarifications [Citation: Notice 2014-74, 2014-50 I.R.B. (December 4, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1xro9lQ
  • 2014 list issued for review of Cycle E plans in the 2nd cycle under Rev. Proc. 2007-44 [Citation: Notice 2014-77, 2014-52 I.R.B. (December 19, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1AzJRlb
  • Extension of submission deadline for Pre-Approved Defined Benefit Plans and Cycle D submissions
    [Citation: Announcement 2014-41, 2014-52 I.R.B. (December 19, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1waKeDG
  • IRS issues 2015 covered compensation table [Citation: Rev. Rul. 2014-34, 2014-52 I.R.B. (December 19, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/14iucNI

IRS Private Letter Rulings and Technical Advice Memoranda

  • Time for starting post-death RMDs cannot be extended under Treas. Reg. §301.9100-1 [Citation: PLR 201417027]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1pnZIRK
  • Calculation to make plan sufficient for standard termination under Title IV was based on factual error; excess contribution could be returned as a “mistake of fact” without reversion excise taxes [Citation: PLR 201424032]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1pGofkh
  • Suspense account release requirements are both documental and operational requirements; failure to comply renders ESOP loan a prohibited transaction [Citation: TAM 201425019]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1qmHeNc
  • Security lending transactions used to support short sale activity do not give rise to acquisition indebtedness within the meaning of IRC §514 [Citation: PLR 201434024]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/XVK2ut
  • Mailing date, as indicated by postmark, or date of verbal request to transfer client's funds from brokerage account to IRA maintained with the same instittution recognized as the contribution date for IRA deduction purposes {Citation: PLR 201437023]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1t2OYeH
  • Spouse was sole trustee of testamentary trust and exercised her discretion to allocate estate assets between marital share and residual share by allocating the inherited IRA to the martial share portion and directing a transfer of such IRA to her own IRA; transferee IRA treated as her own IRA for purposes of IRC §408, including minimum distribution requirements. [Citation: PLR 201437029]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1uBzlt9

DOL Regulations

  •  Proposed regulations would require a separate guide to locate specific required information for lengthy or multi-document 408(b)(2) disclosures [Citation: Prop. DOL Reg. §§2550.408b-2(c)(1)(iv)(H) and 2550.408b-2(c)(1)(v)(B)(2), 79 F.R. 13949-13962 (March 12, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-03-12/pdf/2014-04868.pdf
  • Proposed regulations would require registration statements filed for top hat plans to be filed electronically at DOL website; same requirements for apprenticeship and training welfare benefit plans [Citation: Prop. DOL Reg. §§2520.104-22(c) and 2520.104-23(c), 79 F.R. 58720-58724 (September 30, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/YMierK
  • Special reporting requirements added for multiple employer plans [Citation: Changes to instructions to Form 5500 and 5500-SF Instructions for Multiple Employer Plans, 79 F.R. 66617-66621 (November 10, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/14GyHl8

DOL Formal Guidance/Prohibited Transaction Exemptions

  • PBGC finalizes regulations to simplify premium payment due dates, add variable rate premium exemptions for new plans and standard termination plans, codify 7-day grace period for premium penalty waivers [Citation: PBGC Reg. §§4006.2-4006.6 and 4007.2, 4007.3, 4007.8, 4007.11, 4007.12, 4007.13, Appendix to Part 4007, 79 F.R. 13547-13562 (March 11, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-03-11/pdf/2014-05212.pdf

PBGC regulations and other guidance

  • Portion of proposed regulations on premium due dates finalized to to extend deadline for large plan flat-rate premiums starting in 2014 plan year [Citation: PBGC Reg. §4007.11(a)(3), 79 F.R. 347 (January 3, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-01-03/pdf/2013-31109.pdf
  • Proposed regulations would clarify the treatment of benefits attributable to rollover amounts under an underfunded terminated plan covered by the PBGC [Citation: Prop. PBGC Reg. §§4001.2, 4022.7(b)(2) and (c)(2), 4022.8(f), 4022.22(d), 4022.24(g) and 4044.12(b)(4) and (c)(4), 79 F.R. 18483-18489 (April 2, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-04-02/pdf/2014-07323.pdf
  • Regulations implement PPA 2006 amendments requiring 5-year phase-in for guaranteed benefits to be applied to unpredictable contingent event benefits as if amendment is adopted on the date the event occurs [Citation: PBGC Reg. §§4022.27 (with conforming amendments to §§4022.2, 4022.24 and 4022.62 and redesignation of former §4022.27 as §4022.28, 79 F.R. 25669 (May 18, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1mIUSvG
  • PBGC has placed a mortaorium on enforcement of ERISA§4062(e) cases in response to public outcry regarding their proposed regulations on the definition of a 4062(e) event, claiming unintended consequences as result of such regulations. Opponents to the PBGC’s interpretation are also seeking a legislative solution. Text of the PBGC release announcing the moratorium is at http://1.usa.gov/1xhE7LR
  • PBGC provides guidance on certain premium issues affected by HATFA amendments to the MAP-21 segment interest rate corridors [Citation: PBGC Technical Update 14-1 (September 24, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1tZIStY
  • PBGC provides HATFA guidance regarding ERISA §4010 reporting obligations [Citation: PBGC Technical Update 14-2 (October 17, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/10etT4s
  • Regulations clarify the treatment of benefits attributable to rollover amounts under an underfunded terminated plan covered by the PBGC [Citation: PBGC Reg. §§4001.2, 4022.2, 4022.7(b)(2) and (c)(2), 4022.8(f), 4022.22(d), 4022.24(g) and 4044.12(b)(4) and (c)(4), 79 F.R. 70090-70095 (November 25, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1yGznU2

EBSA Advisory Opinions, Field Assistance Bulletins and other informal guidance

  • DOL updates guidance on fiduciary obligations to conduct reasonable search for missing participants and how terminated defined contribution plan can complete distributions with respect to missing participants [Citation: Field Assistance Bulletin 2014-01 (August 14, 2014) ]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/XyqbRU

ERISA Litigation

  • Arbitrator’s decision that indemnification agreements violate ERISA §410 should not have been vacated by district court [Citation: Schafer v. Multiband Corp., 551 Fed.Appx. 814 (6th Cir. January 6, 2014) (not selected for publication in Federal Register)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1pmXf7d
  • Bankruptcy trustee cannot bring suit seeking recovery of plan termination liability against former controlled group member [Citation: Durango-Georgia Paper Co. v. H.G. Estate, LLC, 739 F.3d 1263 (11th Cir. January 7, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCOURTS-ca11-11-15079/pdf/USCOURTS-ca11-11-15079-0.pdf
  • ERISA §4044 does not create ERISA cause of action for alleged violation of IRC §401(a)(4); fiduciaries entitled to rely on advice of counsel in making benefits determination [Citation: Clark v. Feder Semo and Bard, P.C., 739 F.3d 28 (D.C. Cir. January 7, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/4B9E607154545D3E85257C59005301C2/$file/12-7092-1473801.pdf
  • Pendency of motion on fees and costs does not mean judgment on merits fails to be a final decision for purposes of 30-day appeal requirement [Citation: Ray Haluch Gravel Company v. Central Pension Fund of International Union of Operating Engineers and Participating Employers, et al., 134 S.Ct. 773 (S.Ct. January 15, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-992_q8l1.pdf
  • Pendency of motion on fees and costs does not mean judgment on merits fails to be a final decision for purposes of 30-day appeal requirement [Citation: Ray Haluch Gravel Company v. Central Pension Fund of International Union of Operating Engineers and Participating Employers, et al., 134 S.Ct. 773 (S.Ct. January 15, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/13pdf/12-992_q8l1.pdf
  • Excise tax applies to IRC §409(p) transaction even though company not actually an S corp because taxpayer claimed S corporation status and tax year is closed to modify classification Citation: Ries Enterprises, Inc. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2014-14 (Tax Ct. January 27, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/InOpHistoric/RiesEnterprisesMemo.Kroupa).TCM.WPD.pdf
  • Once-per-year limitation on IRA rollovers applies to individual’s IRAs in the aggregate [Citation: Bobrow v. Commissioner, T.C.Memo 2014-21 (Tax Ct. January 28, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/InOpHistoric/BobrowMemo.Nega.TCM.WPD.pdf
  • information on S corporation’s Form 1120S and ESOP’s Form 5500 provided IRS sufficient information to know that statute of limitations started running [Citation: John H. Eggertsen P.C. v. Commissioner, 142 T.C. No. 4 (Tax Ct. February 12, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.ustaxcourt.gov/InOpHistoric/LawOfficeEggertsenDiv.Chiechi.TC.WPD.pdf
  • 6-year statute of limitations on fiduciary breach claims involving investment menu selection generally runs from time menu option is added unless changed circumstances are alleged [Citation: Fuller v. SunTrust Banks, Inc., 744 F.3d 685 (11th Cir. (GA) February 26, 2014))]
    Text available at http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/201216217.pdf
  • Registered representative was not acting in a fiduciary capacity [Citation: Tiblier v. Dlabal, 743 F.3d 1004 (5th Cir. (TX) February 28, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions%5Cpub%5C13/13-50344-CV0.pdf
  • Fiduciaries breached duties to 401(k) plan by failing to monitor recordkeeping costs, failing to negotiate rebates on revenue sharing, and allowing plan to pay excessive fees to subsidize corporate services; administrator entitled to Firestone standard of review on decision to replace fund; float income not plan asset [Citation: Tussey v. ABB, Inc., 746 F.3d 327 (8th Cir. (MO) March 19, 2014), affirming in part, vacating and remanding in part, 52 EBC 2826 (W.D.Mo. March 31, 2012)] Text available at http://blog.fraplantools.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Tussey-v-ABB-8th-Circuit-Opinion.pdf
  • Trustee acted reasonably in using plan funds to pay attorney’s fees to defend benefits claim by surviving spouse who was charged with the murder of the participant [Citation: Futral v. Chastant, 564 Fed.Appx. 117 (5th Cir. April 18, 2014) (not selected for publication in the Federal Register)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1i2HOju
  • Terminated participants who can “grow into” conditions of early retirement subsidy are protected under ERISA §204(g) anti-cutback rule from amendment that would require continued employment to qualify for the subsidy [Citation: Alcantara v. Bakery and Confectionery Union and Industry International Pension Fund Pension Plan, 751 F.3d 71 (2nd Cir. May 1, 2014)]
    Text available at http://bit.ly/1hC3WO3
  • Unsolicited email complaining about the employer’s practices affecting an ERISA plan is not an “inquiry” within the meaning of ERISA §510 [Citation: Sexton v. Panel Processing, Inc., 754 F.3d 332 (6th Cir. May 9, 2014)]
    Text available at http://bit.ly/QAkNsZ
  • Since fiduciary claims also involve the process by which the fiduciary makes its decision, actual knowledge was needed of the process in order for the 3-year statute of limitations under ERISA §413 to begin [Citation: Fish v. GreatBanc Trust Company, 749 F.3d 671 (7th Cir. May 14, 2014)]
    Text available at http://bit.ly/1hgBVAV
  • Discretionary decision whether the make employer contribution in the form of stock or cash is not a fiduciary action [Citation: Coulter v. Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc., 753 F.3d 361 (2nd Cir. May 29, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1j9WGPO
  • IRA may restrict permissible investments; taxpayer’s argument that he acted as conduit for IRA failed [Citation: Dabney v. Commissioner, 2014-108 T.C.M. (June 5, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1kqlBJw
  • Supreme Court says inherited IRAs are not entitled to bankruptcy protection under Bankruptcy Code §522(d)(12) [Citation: Clark v. Rameker, 573 U.S. ___, 134 S.Ct. 2242 (June 12, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1hMon0c
  • Exhaustion of administrative remedies not required to bring claim based on statutory violations rather than violations of the terms of the plan [Citation: Stephens v. PBGC, 755 F.3d 959 (D.C. Cir. June 24, 2014)]
    Text available at http://bit.ly/1nHtGMm
  • Supreme Court rejects Moench presumption; ESOP fiduciaries held to same prudence standard with respect to ER stock investments as with other investments, except for limited diversification exception; establishes pleading standard for stock drop cases [Citation: Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 573 U.S. ___ (June 25, 2014)]
    Text available at http://bit.ly/1xmeTMG
  • Administrator unreasonably interpreted plan language granting enhanced benefits for a participant’s termination from employment within the controlled group [Citation: Adams v. Anheuser-Bursch Companies, Inc., 758 F.3d 743 (6th Cir. July 11, 2014), appeal from S.D.Ohio]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1ztLFeb
  • Right to acquire stock in stock redemption agreement resulted in attribution of additional shares necessary to create brother-sister relationship [Citation: Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund v. CLP Venture LLC, 760 F.3d 745 (7th Cir. July 29, 2014) (appealed from N.D.Ill.)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1ogknpU
  • Where fiduciary engaged in an imprudent process, the fiduciary must show a by a preponderance of the evidence that a prudent fiduciary would have made the same decision in order to avoid liability for the loss to the plan [Citation: Tatum v. RJR Pension Investment Committee, 761 F.3d 346 (4th Cir. August 4, 2014) (appealed from Middle District of North Carolina)]
    Text available at http://bit.ly/1vhUFq0
  • Contributing employer to multiemployer fund does not have standing to sue fiduciaries for negligent management of plan [Citation: DiGeronimo Aggregates, LLC v. Zemla, 763 F.3d 506 (6th Cir. August 14, 2014) (appeal from the N.D.Ohio)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1AUPA6i
  • Group variable annuity contract provider to defined contribution plan was not acting in fiduciary capacity with respect to the alleged excessive fees [Citation: Santomenno v. John Hancock Life Insurance Company, 768 F.3d 284 (3rd Cir. September 26, 2014) (appealed from the District Court of New Jersey)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1pCUexz
  • Investment guidelines not subject to disclosure under ERISA §104(b) unless they are legally binding on the plan; scope of ERISA §104(b) discussed [Citation: Murphy v. Verizon Communications, 587 Fed.Appx. 140 (5th Cir. October 14, 2014) (not for publication in the Federal Register - limited precedential value)]
    Text available at http://bit.ly/1sAro3t
  • Plan’s venue limitation provision is permissible under ERISA [Citation: Smith v. Aegon Companies Pension Plan, 769 F.3d 922 (6th Cir. October 14, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1sQn5pt
  • On remand after the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Moench presumption, the Ninth Circuit determines that the plaintiffs have stated a claim for fiduciary breach with respect to the fiduciary’s retention of the employer stock as an investment option [Citation: Harris v. Amgen, 770 F.3d 865 (9th Cir. October 30, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1tq40bs
  • Statute of limitations on benefits claim began to run 12 months after payments ceased since participant at that point had reason to believe his claim was denied [Citation: Witt v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. Shell Oil Long Term Disability Trust Plan, 772 F.3d 1269 (11th Cir. November 25, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1yjJUPQ
  • Ninth Circuit describes scope of equitable relief under ERISA §502(a)(3) in light of Supreme Court’s Amara decision [Citation: Gabriel v. Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, 773 F.3d 945 (9th Cir. December 16, 2014, replacing 755 F.3d 647 (9th Cir. June 6, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1AOGMhb
  • On remand, district court in Amara case finds basis for plan reformation [Citation: Amara v. CIGNA, 775 F.3d 510 (2nd Cir. December 23, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1CCHLpk

Miscellaneous Guidance

  • NTIS issues interim regulations to certify organizations to access Death Master File [Citation: NTIS Reg. §§1110.1-1110.300, 15 C.F.R. Part 1110 (National Technical Information Service, Department of Commerce) (March 26, 2014)]
    Text available at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-03-26/pdf/2014-06701.pdf
  • Social Security Administration has discontinued its letter forwarding service [Citation: Elimination of the Social Security Administration’s Letter Forwarding Service, 79 F.R. 21831 (April 17, 2014)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1jO4a7L

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