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A hot topic in the world of money management, including the management of assets in retirement plans, is the consideration of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors when evaluating investments.
Join Morgan Lewis this month for this program on employee benefits and executive compensation.
The Internal Revenue Service is planning to add more focus on its examination efforts for tax-exempt organizations, including by adding more personnel and using new strategies to address potential noncompliance.
The US Supreme Court recently decided a closely watched ERISA case against employers and fiduciaries. Under Section 413 of ERISA, the statute of limitations for a fiduciary breach claim is shortened from six years to three years if the plaintiff has “actual knowledge” of the breach.
Since the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first detected in December, the death toll has continued to rise as the virus quickly spreads. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officials have stated that while the immediate risk of the virus to the American public is believed to be low at this time, US employers should more closely consider employee safety and ways to address disease prevention in the workplace.
Ever since defined contribution plans have come to dominate the retirement plan landscape, both plan sponsors and policymakers have grappled with how to help employees take a lifetime’s worth of savings and convert it into a sustainable source of retirement income. One way to help participants meet retirement income needs is to integrate guaranteed income products into defined contribution plan lineups. Fiduciaries have expressed concern, however, about potential liability they may face for the selection of annuity providers. The SECURE Act, signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 20, 2019, may help allay those concerns.

SECURE Act Makes Significant Changes to Benefits Laws

December 26, 2019 (Updated February 6, 2020)
The SECURE Act—potentially the most impactful benefits legislation since the Pension Protection Act of 2006—was included in the bipartisan spending bill signed into law on December 20, 2019. The SECURE Act includes provisions that affect tax-qualified retirement plans and individual retirement accounts. Other provisions of the spending bill affect executive compensation and healthcare benefits.
Tax laws have long required that qualified retirement plans timely adopt written plan documents and amendments. But what evidence must a plan sponsor provide to an IRS auditor to prove that they have timely adopted a written plan document and required amendments? The IRS recently addressed this question in Chief Counsel Memorandum 2019 002 (the CCM), which advises that absent extraordinary circumstances, “. . . it is appropriate for IRS exam agents and others to pursue plan disqualification if a signed plan document cannot be produced by the taxpayer.”
Join Morgan Lewis this month for these programs on employee benefits and executive compensation.
On December 20, 2019, President Donald Trump signed into law the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (Act).