Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation

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May 24, 2010

In Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. v. Bruch, 489 U.S. 101 (1989), the United States Supreme Court held that when a retirement plan administrator has discretionary authority to interpret a plan, courts must give deference to that interpretation.  On April 21, 2010, the Supreme Court decided Conkright v. Frommert, 130 S.Ct. 1640, and held that a single mistake in plan interpretation does not justify stripping a plan administrator of that deference for subsequent related interpretations of the plan.  Following the Court’s decision in Conkright, district courts will likely choose to remand benefit disputes to plan administrators for further deliberation instead of routinely deciding against the plan.

May 14, 2010

As part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively, the “PPACA”), many small businesses and certain tax-exempt organizations that provide health insurance coverage to their employees now qualify for a special tax credit. The credit was designed to encourage small employers to offer health insurance coverage for the first time or maintain coverage they already have. In this Client Alert, we explain who qualifies for the tax credit and how to calculate the amount of the credit.

Client Alert
April 21, 2010
Last month, Congress passed and President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 (collectively, the “PPACA”). The PPACA is the most sweeping federal health care reform bill in a generation, imposing numerous reforms on the health care system and on health care plans.
Client Alert
March 29, 2010

The Department of Health and Human Service’s Office for Civil Rights (the “OCR”) recently announced its intent to issue additional regulations on the privacy and security provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (the “HITECH Act”).

Client Alert
March 30, 2010

On March 18, 2010, President Obama signed a $17.6 billion jobs package, the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (the “HIRE Act”). The HIRE Act provides a payroll tax exemption for businesses that hire previously unemployed workers and provides for a tax credit for employers who retain qualified new workers for 52 consecutive weeks.

Client Alert
March 6, 2010

Earlier this week, the President signed the Temporary Extension Act of 2010 (the “Extension Act”). The Extension Act extends the COBRA premium subsidy originally adopted in early 2009.

Client Alert
January 8, 2010

On January 5, 2010 the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of the Treasury issued Notice 2010-6, which provides guidance on how to correct document failures under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”). Taxpayers may rely on this guidance for tax years beginning on or after January 1, 2010.

Client Alert
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