Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation

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October 1, 2015

Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights (OCR) announced that it would be conducting “Phase 2 Audits” of covered entities and business associates for compliance with the privacy and security rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA”). These audits will focus, in part, on a covered entity’s or business associate’s security risk assessments, mitigation plans, breach notification procedures, encryption and training and the necessary privacy and security policies and procedures. The OCR expects that these Phase 2 Audits will commence in the fourth quarter of 2015 and into 2016. For additional information, please read our client alert.

Client Alert
August 4, 2015

Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released updates to its Audit Technique Guide for Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans (Audit Guide). The Audit Guide provides valuable information regarding what the IRS will look at in the event it audits a Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan (NQDC Plan). This information is especially valuable in light of the IRS’ recent NQDC Plan audit initiative, which it is likely to expand once it finishes with the initial limited phase. For more information, please read our client alert.

Client Alert
June 25, 2015
Today the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in King v. Burwell, the case challenging whether the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) can offer tax credit subsidies to individuals enrolled in health insurance through a federally operated Exchange. For additional information, please read our client alert.
Client Alert
May 29, 2015
Following in the footsteps of California’s Bay Area, New York City and Washington, D.C. recently passed laws requiring employers to offer commuter benefit programs to their employees. Both laws take effect January 1, 2016. A summary of the Affordable Transit Act (the NYC Act) and the Transit Benefit Requirements Act (the D.C. Act) is available in our client alert.
Client Alert
May 19, 2015

As expected, in a very short opinion, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously vacated a Ninth Circuit ruling and held that plan fiduciaries must regularly monitor plan investments. Previously, the Ninth Circuit had held that claims against fiduciaries over allegedly imprudent 401(k) plan investments were time-barred if the claims were made more than six years after the initial decision to select the investments.

Client Alert
April 21, 2015
The Department of Labor (DOL) released a new proposed rule last week that will change who is considered a fiduciary of a qualified plan, IRA or health savings account (HSA) (the Fiduciary Rule). We believe this rule will have limited impact on plan sponsors. However, given the extensive commentary on the Fiduciary Rule, plan sponsors should understand how the Fiduciary Rule could impact them. For more information, please read our client alert.
Client Alert
April 17, 2015
April 6, 2015
Last week, the IRS announced changes to its voluntary program that allows employers to correct retirement plan operational errors. The program, known as the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), allows employers to correct operational errors by either (i) seeking IRS approval of a proposed corrective action; or (ii) self-correcting by taking a prescribed corrective action.Please read our client alert for additional information.
Client Alert
March 20, 2015

Plan administrators of 401(k) and other participant-directed plans must provide participants with information about the fees associated with the plan (fee disclosures) at least annually. When the rules were first released, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) required plan administrators to provide the fee disclosures no later than 12 months after the prior fee disclosure was mailed. This rule created practical difficulties and caused each plan’s fee disclosure deadline to move over time. Yesterday, the DOL released a revised rule that corrects these issues.

Client Alert
February 18. 2015

On the day before he left office, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick signed an act relating to parental leave (the “Act”) into law. The Act significantly amends the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act (“MMLA”), which provides eight weeks of job-protected leave to female employees following the birth or adoption of a child. Most notably, the Act will extend that same right to male employees. It will take effect April 7, 2015.

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