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Guidance to Make Us Feel More SECURE

Notice 2020-68 from the IRS provides valuable clarification for sponsors of qualified plans, 403(b) plans, and 457(b) governmental plans, as well as IRA holders, related to certain provisions in the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act) and the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019. A new tax credit under the...… Continue Reading
September 7, 2020

IRS Notice on Presidential Order Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations Creates Additional Uncertainty

The Internal Revenue Service has issued Notice 2020-65 to provide guidance on the employment tax deferral that is the subject of President Donald Trump’s August 8, 2020, Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster. Pursuant to the Notice, the due date for the withholding and payment of the employee share of Social...… Continue Reading
August 31, 2020

Plan Defends Valuation of Accounts in Midst of COVID-Related Market Volatility

A 401(k) plan and its administrators are defending the administrator’s decision to require a special valuation of former employees’ account values, given extraordinary market changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Under the terms of the plan at issue, when a former employee seeks a distribution of his or her plan account, the account is typically...… Continue Reading
August 12, 2020

Don’t Miss Out: Deadlines are Upon Us

Deadlines are a large part of employee benefit plan administration.  The past 12 – 18 months have contributed to potential confusion about standard deadlines and added new deadlines plan administrators will not want to overlook.  During this period, the IRS created a one-time window deadline, published extensions for some plans’ deadlines, and other deadlines were...… Continue Reading
July 24, 2020

DOL Guidance on ESG Investing by Retirement Plans: Investment Committees Should Handle with Care

The United States Department of Labor (the “DOL”) recently issued a proposed rule on the fiduciary requirements under the federal pension law, ERISA, that apply to the selection and monitoring of environmental, social, and corporate governance (“ESG”) investments in retirement plans.  Under the proposed rule, which would be effective 60 days after it becomes finalized,...… Continue Reading
July 21, 2020

Is Personal Information of Retirement Plan Participants an ERISA Plan Asset?

A little more than one year ago, we reported on a settlement (Cassell et al. v. Vanderbilt University, et al.) involving the alleged wrongful use of personal information belonging to retirement plan participants, claimed to be “plan assets.” This year, similar claims have been made against Shell Oil Company in connection with its 401(k) plan. Retirement...… Continue Reading
July 9, 2020

Mid-Year Safe Harbor Design Changes in a COVID-19 World

As COVID-19 continues its upheaval of nearly all aspects of life, retirement plan administration included (see some of our prior discussions here, here, here and here), the Internal Revenue Service recently issued guidance providing additional relief for the sponsors of certain plans.  IRS Notice 2020-52 clarifies requirements for mid-year changes to a safe harbor 401(k)...… Continue Reading
July 7, 2020

IRS Expands and Clarifies CARES Act Distribution Rules

Since March 27, 2020 when the CARES Act was signed into law, many questions have mounted related to implementing the retirement plan provisions.  Now, with roughly 3 months under our belts since the issuance of the Act and countless CARES Act distributions and loan suspensions processed, the IRS clarified several eligibility, administrative, and taxation reporting...… Continue Reading
June 25, 2020

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations for Tax-Exempt Organizations Paying Excess Executive Compensation

The IRS issued proposed regulations under Section 4960 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”), which was added as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.   The proposed regulations published in the Federal Register on June 11, 2020, largely follow the IRS interim guidance under IRS Notice 2019-09. However, the...… Continue Reading
June 22, 2020

IRS Provides Guidance On Employer Leave-Based Donation Programs That Aid Victims Of The COVID-19 Pandemic

IRS Notice 2020-46 addresses the tax treatment of employees who elect to have their employers donate sick, vacation or personal leave as cash payments to charitable organizations that provide relief to victims of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Notice provides that the donated leave should be not be treated as W-2 wages to the donating employees. ...… Continue Reading
June 15, 2020

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