Archive | May, 2011

Fiduciary Links: A shift in culture trumps reform

May 31, 2011

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In his latest Fiduciary Corner column for InvestmentNews, Blaine uses his recent trip to New Zealand and Australia to contrast the role legislators and regulators can have in affecting change as part of a broader cultural shift. But while his…

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Practice 3.2: Applicable "safe harbor" provisions are followed

May 26, 2011

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Practice 3.2 requires that a fiduciary adhere to the provisions of any elected safe harbors. "Safe harbors" are defined by three basic traits. The first is that they are voluntary, though it would be almost foolish not to take advantage…

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Employee Benefits-IRS Provides Guidance On Plans For Self-Employed Individuals

May 26, 2011

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In the latest Retirement News for Employers (Spring 2011), the IRS provided guidance on the type of retirement plans that may be maintained by self-employed individuals (i.e., sole proprietors and partners). It is interesting to compare the contribution/benefit limits which…

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Employee Benefits-IRS Says That Higher Education Organizations Have Been Asked to Confirm Compliance with Universal Availability

May 25, 2011

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The IRS’s Retirement News for Employers (Spring 2011) reports the following on compliance by 403(b) plans: A new Employee Plans Compliance Unit ("EPCU") project focuses on how higher education organizations apply the universal availability rule to their 403(b) plans. Under…

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ERISA-Fourth Circuit Rules That The Plan Administrator Did Not Abuse Its Discretion In Denying Benefits Under A Change In Control and Severance Pay Plan; Conflict of Interest Is (Part of) One Of Eight Factors To Consider In Testing Abuse

May 24, 2011

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In Lamb v. Nextel Communications of the Mid-Atlantic, Incorporated, No. 10-2252 (4th Cir. 2011), the plaintiff, Edward Lamb ("Lamb"), had filed a law suit under ERISA. He claimed that that the defendant, Nextel Communications of the Mid-Atlantic, Incorporated ("Nextel"), had…

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Thinking of Terminating Your 403(b) Plan?

May 24, 2011

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The IRS provided some additional guidance of considerations when terminating a 403(b) plan in their Spring 2011 Edition of Retirement News for Employers.  It accompanies their Revenue Ruling 2011-7, which provides examples of how to terminate a 403(b) retirement plan funded in various ways and discusses when terminated plan distributions may be taxable.  You can […]

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Fiduciary Links: Annuity sales, concerns on the rise

May 23, 2011

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Annuity products have been getting a lot of attention recently as a “guaranteed” income source that mitigates some of the risk of a 2008-like market crash. An InvestmentNews article this week cited a 24% rise in annuity sales over last…

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ERISA- Fourth Circuit Holds That Insurer Must Return Premiums Under ERISA Section 502(a)(3) (But It Doesn’t Have To Pay Life Insurance Benefits)

May 23, 2011

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In McCravy v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Nos. 10-1074, 10-1131 (4th Cir. 2011), the plaintiff, Debbie McCravy ("McCravy"), sued Defendant Metropolitan Life Insurance Company ("MetLife"), alleging, among other things, breach of fiduciary duty, and seeking damages under the "other appropriate…

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What is the company’s fiduciary duties when it offers a 401K plan?

May 21, 2011

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What is the company’s fiduciary duties when it offers a 401K plan?  The IRS has gone virtual again.  They are stepping up to the plate to help companies determine their fiduciary responsibilities when they o…

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What is the company’s fiduciary duties when it offers a 401K plan?

May 21, 2011

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What is the company’s fiduciary duties when it offers a 401K plan?  The IRS has gone virtual again.  They are stepping up to the plate to help companies determine their fiduciary responsibilities when they o…

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