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Pension News in 2015

The following list tracks important guidance that was released during 2015. 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

  • Expanded premature distribution penalty exceptions for public safety workers [Citation: Defending Public Safety Employees’ Retirement Act, §2, P.L. 114-26 (June 29, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1HuWAvR
  • Penalties increased for late information returns and statements, including Form 1099-R [Citation: Trade Preferences Extension Act of 2015, §806, P.L. 114-27 (June 29, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1U8s00w
  • Congress: (1) changes the tax return deadlines and automatic extension rules for partnerships and C corporations, (2) requires automatic Form 5500 extension for calendar year plans to November 15, and (3) extends qualified transfers under IRC §420 through December 31, 2025. The filing date changes are effective for post-2015 years. [Citation: Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (HR 3236), P.L. 114-41 (July 31, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1KMxjAg
    Note: The change in the Form 5500 automatic extension period was repealed. See the discussion below of the FAST Act.
  • Congress: (1) extends pension funding segment rate stabilization relief, (2) raises PBGC premiums,and (3) makes use of substitute mortality tables more flexible [Citation: Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, P.L. 114-74 (November 2, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1iRN64m
  • Congress repeals lengthening of Form 5500 automatic extension period [Citation: Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, §32104, P.L. 114-41 (December 4, 2015) ]
  • Rollovers from workplace retirement plans may be made to SIMPLE-IRAs after December 18, 2015 [Citation: Section 306 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act) of 2015, Division Q of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, P.L. 114-113 (December 18, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1TvuBjd
  • IRC §408(d)(8) made permanent [Citation: Section 112 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act) of 2015, Division Q of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, P.L. 114-113 (December 18, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1TvuBjd
  • PATH Act modifies controlled group definition for church plans, grandfathers certain defined benefit 403(b) arrangements maintained by churches, protects auto-enrollment arrangements for church plans, allows mergers between qualified plans and 403(b) plans maintained by a church, and permits investment of church plan assets and assets of certain church organizations in a Rev. Rul. 81-100 group trust [Citation: Section 336 of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (PATH Act) of 2015, Division Q of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, P.L. 114-113 (December 18, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1TvuBjd

Treasury Regulations

  • Temporary and proposed regulations regarding the approval of a proposed benefit suspension under a multiemployer defined benefit plan in critical and declining status, as permitted under IRC §432(e)(9) [Citation: Treas. Reg. §1.432(e)(9)-1T, 80 F.R. 35207-35220, and Prop. Treas. Reg. §1.432(e)(9)-1, 80 F.R. 35262-35280 (June 19, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1eJOh4D (temporary regulations) and http://1.usa.gov/1BExF8n (proposed regulations)
  • Final regulations on calculation of the minimum required contribution, contribution deadlines, quarterly contribution requirements, and excise taxes on late contributions for post-2007 plan years (reflecting PPA 2006 requirements) [Citation: Treas. Reg. §§1.430(a)-1, 1.430(f)-1(iii), 1.430(h)(2)-1(b)(2), 1.430(j)-1 and 54.4971(c)-1, 80 F.R. 54374-54402 (September 9, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1NOYxpx
  • Decrease in application fees for PTINs [Citation: Treas. Reg. §300.13T, 80 F.R. 66792-66795 (October 30, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1l2a7Dn
  • Regulations finalize additional amendments to the regulations to cover transitional amendments to satisfy the market rate of return rules; delays applicability date and plan amendment deadline by one year [Citation: Treas. Reg. §§1.411(a)(13)-1(e)(2)(ii), 1.411(b)(5)-1(d)(1)(iv)(A) and (E), (e)(3)(vi), and (f)(2)(i)(B), 80 F.R. 70680-70687 (November 16, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1WSsWdc

IRS Guidance

  • Annual update of general procedures for obtaining private letter rulings and technical advice memoranda on employee plans issues [Citation: Announcement 2014-34, 2014-51 (December 12, 2014), Rev. Proc. 2015-1, Rev. Proc. 2015-2, Rev. Proc. 2015-4, 2015-1 I.R.B. (January 2, 2015)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/a-14-34.pdf (Announcement 2014-34), http://www.irs.gov/irb/2015-1_IRB/ar07.html (Rev. Proc. 2015-1), http://www.irs.gov/irb/2015-1_IRB/ar08.html (Rev. Proc. 2015-2) and http://www.irs.gov/irb/2015-1_IRB/ar10.html (Rev. Proc. 2015-4)
  • Annual update of determination letter procedure for 2015 [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2015-6, 2015-1 I.R.B. (January 2, 2015), Announcement 2015-1, 2015-2 I.R.B. (January 9, 2015)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/irb/2015-1_IRB/ar12.html (Rev. Proc. 2015-6), http://1.usa.gov/1rLKOHS (Announcement 2015-1)
  • Annual update of user fee procedure for 2015 [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2015-8, 2015-1 I.R.B. (January 2, 2015)]
    Text available at http://www.irs.gov/irb/2015-1_IRB/ar14.html
  • Changes to funding method for post-2012 plan years relating to change in the plan’s enrolled actuary [Citation: Announcement 2015-3, 2015- I.R.B.]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1ywNv2v
  • Internal memorandum to EP employees discusses application of IRC §415 limits to DROP features in a governmental defined benefit plan [Citation: Memorandum from Director, Employee Plans, to EP Employees (December 8, 2014) (made public January 29, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1Ci6JdA
  • Advance notice that proposed regulations will include special rule for public charter schools [Citation: Notice 2015-7, 2015-6 I.R.B. (February 6, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/15ne6BX
  • In its EP Newsletter 2015-2 (February 27, 2015), the IRS discusses voluntary submission of 457(b) corrections. See http://1.usa.gov/1awneY5
  • IRS further modifies pre-approved plan program for 403(b) plans by changing submission addresses and clarifying user fee for minor modified volume submitter plans [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2015-22, 2015-11 I.R.B. (March 12, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1ABVURO
  • Extension of temporary relief for certain DB/DC combo plans involving a “closed” DB plan [Citation: Notice 2015-28, 2015-14 I.R.B. (April 2, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1Ikw1rz
  • Instructions for claiming exclusion of airline payments rolled over to traditional IRA pursuant to the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 (as amended in 2014 by P.L. 113-243). [Citation: Announcement 2015-13]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1BQ5QDa
  • IRS posts reminder on plan sponsor’s obligations regarding hardship withdrawals [Citation: It’s Up To Plan Sponsors To Track Loans, Hardship Distributions, Retirement News for Employers (April 2, 2015, Edition)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1InmzCX
  • IRS modified Rev. Proc. 2013-12 to clarify corrective actions for overpayments, eliminate Appendixes C and D in favor of IRS forms, reduce fees for certain minimum distribution and participant loan corrections, extend the time to self-correct IRC §415(c) failures under the practices and procedures requirement, and make other clarifications [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2015-27, 2015-16 I.R.B. (April 16, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1xkEHgd
  • IRS modifies Rev. Proc. 2013-12 to add corrective actions for automatic contribution arrangement failures and reduce the employer’s make-up contribution liability for elective deferral failures that are corrected no later than 9½ months after close of plan year [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2015-28, 2015-16 I.R.B. (April 16, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1BUkGKf
  • Program for voluntary correction of late filings for non-Title I plans made permanent; penalty fee will be charged for submissions made after June 2, 2015 [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2015-32, I.R.B. 2015-24 (June 11, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1I1nSvt
  • Updated procedure for Pre-Approved Plans reflects inclusion of cash balance plans in DB program and ESOPs in DC program; extends deadline for submission of Pre-Approved DB Plans; incorporates changes to determination letter program made by Announcement 2011-82 [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2015-36, 2015-25 I.R.B. (June 18, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1Hns8UF
  • Procedures for requesting approval of a proposed benefit suspension under a multiemployer defined benefit plan in critical and declining status, as permitted under IRC §432(e)(9); model notice to participants provided [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2015-34, 2015-26 I.R.B. (June 25, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1MM69X5
  • “De-risking” programs that allow retirees in pay status to convert annuity stream to lump sum payment will no longer be permitted under many circumstances [Citation: Notice 2015-49, I.R.B. 2015-30 (July 23, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1MiS837
  • Determination letter applications for reasons other than initial qualification and plan termination being eliminated for individually-designed plans effective January 1, 2017; 5-year remedial amendment cycles will be eliminated [Citation: Announcement 2015-19, 2015-32 I.R.B (August 6, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1LApD2x
  • Static mortality tables released for valuation dates occurring in 2016; applicable to IRC §417(e) determinations for annuity starting dates that occur in stability periods beginning in 2016 [Citation: Notice 2015-53, 2015-33 I.R.B. (August 17, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1EFOtxy
  • Guidance on certain issues relating to the Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act (CSEC Act) [Citation: Notice 2015-58, I.R.B. 2015-37 (September 10, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1YVvWUG
  • Adjusted dollar limits for 2016 [Citation: IR-2015-118 (October 21, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1NNNuJM
  • IRS discontinuing ERPA exam [Citation: ERPA Program Changes, IRS Website Announcement (November 9, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1WL8Amb
  • 2015 Form 5500 series includes new IRS compliance questions; Form 5500-SUP issued for nonelectronic filers [Citation: Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the IRS Compliance Questions on the Form 5500- Series Returns, www.irs.gov; 2015 Instructions for Form 5500]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1RAj5nQ (FAQs from IRS), http://1.usa.gov/1jQJCzs (Form 5500 instructions)
  • IRS updated same-sex marriage guidance to incorporate the Obergefell decision and to clarify timing of amendments [Citation: Notice 2015-86, I.R.B. 2015-52 (December 28, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1NVJoFw
  • 2015 list issued for review of Cycle A plans in the 3rd cycle under Rev. Proc. 2007-44 [Citation: Notice 2015-84, I.R.B. 2015-52 (December 28, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1I53Jpy

IRS Private Letter Rulings and Technical Advice Memoranda

  • Extra payment made in error by financial institution did not result in a prohibited modification under IRC §72(t)(4) [Citation: PLR 201510060]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1F3oHRn

DOL Regulations

  • Final regulations on annual funding notices under ERISA §101(f) [Citation: DOL Reg. §2520.101-5, Appendixes A and B to §2520.101-5, §2520.104-46(b)(1)(i)(B), §2520.104b-10(g)(9), 80 F.R. 5626-5663 (February 2, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1CLPiRs
  • Annual disclosure timing is satisfied if disclosure is within 14 months of prior annual disclosure, creating 60-day grace period [Citation: DOL Reg. §2550.404a-5(h)(1), 80 F.R. 14301-14304 (March 19, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1xFIEaa
  • Proposed regulations would expand the definition of a fiduciary with respect to persons who provide investment advice for a fee [Citation: Prop. DOL Reg. §2510.3-21, 80 F.R. (April 20, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1CYpVcn
  • DOL proposes to exempt from the definition of an ERISA employee pension benefit plan an auto-enrollment IRA savings program mandated by State law [Citation: Prop. DOL Reg. §2510.3-2(h), 80 F.R. 72006-72014 (November 18, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1H8YmFn
  • DOL proposes to update claims procedures for disability benefits to coordinate with ACA procedures [Citation: Prop. DOL Reg. §2560.503-1(b)(7), (g)(1)(v), (g)(1)(vii) and (viii), (h)(4), (i)(3)(i), (j)(5), (l), (m)(4), (m)(9), and (p), 80 F.R. 72014-72028 (November 18, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1NYTsKG

DOL Formal Guidance/Prohibited Transaction Exemptions

  • New class exemptions and modifications to existing exemptions proposed to coordinate with proposed investment advice fiduciary regulations [Citation: Proposed Best Interest Contract Exemption, 80 F.R. 21960-21989 (April 20, 2015), Proposed Class Exemption for Principal Transactions in Certain Debt Securities between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs, 80 F.R. 21989-22004 (April 20, 2015), Proposed Amendments to Class Exemptions 75–1, 77–4, 80–83 and 83–1, 80 F.R. 22035-22042 (April 20, 2015), Proposed Amendment to and Proposed Partial Revocation of PTE 86–128 and Proposed Amendment to and Proposed Partial Revocation of PTE 75–1, 80 F.R. 22021-22035 (April 20, 2015), Proposed Amendment to PTE 75-1, Part V, 80 F.R. 22004-22010 (April 20, 2015), and Proposed Amendment to and Proposed Partial Revocation of PTE 84-24, 80 F.R. 22010-22020 (April 20, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1JSWGfC (Best Interest Contract Exemption), http://1.usa.gov/1GXJrvX (Principal Transactions Exemption), http://1.usa.gov/1Hjc31c (Modifications to PTE 75-1, PTE 77-4, PTE 80-83 and PTE 83-1), http://1.usa.gov/1Q1lcjc (Modifications to PTE 86-128 and PTE 75-1), http://1.usa.gov/1O3e6fv (Modifications to PTE 75-1, Part V), and http://1.usa.gov/1Fa0A4b (Modifications to PTE 84-24)
  • DOL’s Wage and Hour Division issues interpretation of the “suffer or permit” standard in the identification of employees who are misclassified as independent contractors [Citation: Administrator’s Interpretation No. 2015-1 (July 15, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1Sy3diG
  • Economically targeted investments - DOL updates position by withdrawing Interpretive Bulletin 08-01 and reinstating language in Interpretive Bulletin 94-1 [Citation: Interpretive Bulletin 2015-01, 29 C.F.R. §2509.2015-01, 80 F.R. 65135-65137 (October 26, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1TLM0nE
  • DOL issues Interpretive Bulletin regarding State programs that sponsor or facilitate ERISA-covered plans [Citation: Interpretative Bulletin 2015-02 (DOL Reg. §2509.2015-02), 80 F.R. 71936-71940 (November 18, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1MVdd20

PBGC regulations and other guidance

  • Proposed regulations would incorporate statutory changes made by MAP-21 and HATFA and technical guidance issued by the PBGC with respect to such statutes; additional waivers would be added [Citation: Prop. PBGC Reg. §§4010.2, 4010.4, 4010.8 and 4010.11, 80 F.R. 44312-44318 (July 27, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1GVlks9
  • Regulations revise reportable event rules to create a low-default-risk safe harbor for financially-sound companies, a revised well-funded plan waiver, a public company waiver, a revised small plan waiver, and other revisions to the reporting and waiver rules, including mandatory electronic filing requirement for required notices [Citation: PBGC Reg. §§4000.3(b)(3), 4043.1-4043.10, 4043.20-4043.35, 4043.61-4043.68, 4043.81, 80 F.R. 549080-55010 (September 11, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1gRRcZh

EBSA Advisory Opinions, Field Assistance Bulletins and other informal guidance

  • Supplemental guidance on annual funding notice requirement to reflect HATFA [Citation: Field Assistance Bulletin 2015-01 (January 14, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1IDiNXi
  • DOL supplements safe harbor for selecting annuity providers under a defined contribution plan by addressing the duty to monitor and review the annuity provider and the interaction with the statute of limitations [Citation: Field Assistance Bulletin 2015-02 (July 13, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1UVsKXb

ERISA Litigation

  • ERISA preempts Texas law that would allow participant to seek constructive trust over ex-spouse’s survivor annuity in favor of his estate in the event of his death [Citation: Vanderkam v. Vanderkam, 776 F.3d 883 (D.C.Cir. January 20, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1BeNaA3
  • Supreme Court reverses Sixth Circuit lines of cases that favored assumption of continued retiree health benefits beyond the end of a collective-bargaining agreement rather than relying on ordinary principles of contract law [Citation: M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S.Ct. 926 (January 26, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1LhQzUd
  • Plan’s procedures did not preclude unmarried participants from changing beneficiary designations by telephone [Citation: Becker v. Williams, 777 F.3d 1035 (9th Cir. January 28, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/15WYaGZ
  • Bankruptcy court does not have jurisdiction to award compensation to bankruptcy trustee from ERISA plan assets [Citation: In re Robert Plan Corporation (Kirschenbaum v. DOL), 777 F.3d 594 (2nd Cir. February 5, 2015)]
    Text available at http://bit.ly/1AMpZj7
  • An explanation-free decision as to the proper definition of compensation for computing pension benefits was arbitrary and capricious; substitution by court of earlier pension estimate was unreasonable [Citation: Reilly v. Continental Casualty, 785 F.3d 261 7th Cir. May 6, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1IFnOAQ
  • Because of fiduciary’s continuing requirement to remove imprudent investments, the 6-year ERISA statute on fiduciary breach is not closed if plaintiffs allege the breach related to imprudent duty to review with respect to investment menu options selected more than 6 years earlier [Citation: Tibble v. Edison International, 135 S.Ct. 1823 (May 18, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1cNw0le
  • 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, 788 F.3d 916 (9th Cir. (May 26, 2015), amending and replacing 770 F.3d 865 (October 30, 2014); rehearing en banc denied]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1cjiKEx
  • Nunc pro tunc QDROs entered after death of participant superseded current spouse’s survivor rights because the retroactive effective date caused the orders to be deemed in effect before the participant’s death; substantial compliance doctrine does not apply to orders entered after 1984 [Citation: Yale-New Haven Hospital v. Nicholls, 788 F.3d 79 (2nd Cir. June 4, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1KtbWUb
  • Payment of compensation to IRA owner by company partly owned by the IRA was indirect use of plan assets under prohibited transaction rules for the benefit of a disqualified person/fiduciary [Citation: Ellis v. Commissioner, 787 F.3d 1213 (8th Cir. June 5, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1AUTD6P
  • Elective transfers from DC plan to DB plan could not eliminate the separate account feature of the transferred DC benefits Citation: Pender v. Bank of America Corporation, 788 F.3d 354 (4th Cir. June 8, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1FHFshY
  • Sixth Circuit will allow ERISA §502(a)(3) action to go forward where conflict between SPD and plan is established [Citation: Pearce v. Chrysler Group, LLC Pension Plan, 615 Fed.Appx. 342 (6th Cir. June 18, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1GiO8fc
  • The Tenth Circuit has held that, under the exemptions permitted under state law, pursuant to Bankruptcy Code §522, funds distributed from a retirement plan and held in a savings account when a bankruptcy petition is filed are not exempt from the bankruptcy estate. [Citation: Gordon v. Wadsworth (In re Gordon), 791 F.3d1182 (10th Cir. June 26, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1GVrOuz
  • On remand, the district court in the Tussey case held that the fiduciaries acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner, based on evidence that the fiduciaries were primarily motivated by self-interest, due to their relationship with Fidelity and the economic benefit the employer was receiving from the arrangement, in replacing the Vanguard Wellington Fund with the Fidelity Freedom Fund. It was a pyrrhic victory though. The court declined to award damages because the plaintiffs hadn’t met their burden of showing the proper measure of damages. [Citation: Tussey v. ABB, Inc., ___ F.3d ___ (W.D.Mo. July 9, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1Sk4dw0
  • No constitutional standing to bring action for equitable relief for fiduciary breach involving fully funded defined benefit plan; plan had sufficient assets on a minimum funding basis, taking into account the stabilized interest rates under MAP-21, even though plan would be underfunded if the historically low 24-month average interest rates had been used [Citation: Perelman v. Perelman, 793 F.3d.368 (3rd Cir. July 13, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1gq2K6z
  • A severance policy maintained by a company for decades, that required managerial decisionmaking, suggested a commitment to pay benefits that would be perceived by a reasonable employee, and required case-by-case analysis was an ERISA plan. [Citation: Okun v. Montefiore Medical Center, 793 F.3d 277 (2nd Cir. July 17, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1gQwIR4
  • Cash balance plan’s definition of normal retirement age as the earlier of age 65 or completion of 5 years of service violates ERISA because it does not bear a reasonable relationship to when employees normally retire [Citation: Laurent v. PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP, 794 F.3d 272 (July 23, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1Ms1yMZ
  • Liability for employer’s contribution obligation to a multiemployer plan is dischargeable in bankruptcy because employer not acting in a fiduciary capacity [Citation: Bos v. Board of Trustees, 795 F.3d 1006 (9th Cir. July 30, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1UcghwR
  • Fiduciary claims brought with respect to annuitization of benefits under a defined benefit plan failed to state a claim for relief and, in the case of non-retirees, lacked constitutional standing [Citation: Lee v. Verizon Communications, Inc., 2015 WL 4880972 (5th Cir. August 17, 2015) (not selected for publication in the Federal Register)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1K5WqMX
  • Plan-imposed statute of limitations not applicable because denial of claim letter failed to state the plan’s limitation on bringing suit [Citation: Mirza v. Insurance Administrator of America, Inc., 800 F3d 129 (3rd Cir. August 26, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1i7NAUh
  • State law prohibiting provisions purporting to reserve discretion to insurers to interpret health and disability insurance policies was not preempted by ERISA [Citation: Fontaine v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., 800 F.3d 883 (7th Cir. September 4, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1VvAHzV
  • In the absence of special circumstances to warrant challenging of market pricing, the Sixth Circuit dismissed plaintiffs’ claims over fiduciary’s decision to divest the plan’s employer stock fund [Citation: Pfeil v. State Street Bank and Trust Company, 806 F.3d 377 (6th Cir. November 10, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1WRfDd3
  • Lack of evidence of ESOP having bank or brokerage account suggested that acquisitions of employer securities were annual additions, rather than attributable to a rollover account; no evidence of compensation or services by owner to justify treatment as eligible employee under the plan [Citation: Fleming Cardiovascular, P.A. v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2015-224 (Tax Ct. November 23, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1m4u24E
  • A church agency, as described in ERISA §3(33)(C)(i), may maintain but cannot establish a church plan [Citation: Kaplan v. Saint Peter’s Healthcare System, 810 F.3d 175 (3rd Cir. December 29, 2015)]
    Text available at http://1.usa.gov/1JQfpI1

Miscellaneous Guidance

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