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The US Department of Labor (DOL) released on Wednesday, October 13, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights (the proposed rule), which would amend a prior regulation (the 2020 rule).

The Department of Labor (DOL) released on October 13, 2021, a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Prudence and Loyalty in Selecting Plan Investments and Exercising Shareholder Rights (Proposed Rule), which would amend a prior regulation (the 2020 Rule). This blog post provides a high-level summary of the Proposed Rule and outlines how it may affect environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing for ERISA plans.

Hinting that the US Department of Labor (DOL) is currently working on guidance related to cryptocurrency, the Acting Assistant Secretary for the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration recently commented that the DOL finds the prospect of cryptocurrency investments in 401(k) plan lineups “troubling.” This may be a sign of DOL focus on the increasing frequency of ERISA plan investments in cryptocurrency vehicles, including funds with cryptocurrency exposures.
Addressing what they call the four major “crises” facing the nation—COVID-19, the economy, climate, and inequity—US President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have consistently framed many of their most important executive actions and policy proposals as attempts to prioritize one or more of these four policy concerns. Read our LawFlash for a recap of some of the more wide-reaching and impactful (or in some cases, potentially impactful) executive orders, legislative actions, policy proposals, and other developments during the first 100 days of the Biden-Harris administration.
Reversing a lower court’s decision, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued an opinion in Cooper v. DST Systems, Inc., et al., finding that an arbitration agreement signed by an employee as part of his employment did not require that he arbitrate any fiduciary breach claims challenging the investment options and fees in his employer’s 401(k) plan. Read our recent LawFlash to learn more about the decision and the potential implications.
As we noted in a post last year at this time, pension plans that are not fully funded for PBGC purposes have two parts to their PBGC premium. One part is a flat rate premium of $83 per participant in 2020 ($86 for 2021, as just announced by the PBGC). The other is a variable rate premium that looks to the value of the plan’s “unfunded vested benefits,” which is the excess, if any, of the plan’s Premium Funding Target over the fair market value of plan assets.
Recent LawFlash publications include IRS Notice 2020-68 Provides Secure Act And Miners Act Guidance and SECURE Act: IRS Sets Amendment Deadline For IRA Providers and Addresses Other IRA Issues.
Congratulations to Elizabeth (Liz) Goldberg and Erin Randolph-Williams on their election to the Morgan Lewis partnership in our employee benefits and executive compensation practice! Effective today, Liz (resident in Pittsburgh) and Erin (resident in Philadelphia) will join 23 other newly elected partners from 10 offices and eight practices.
Congratulations to our employee benefits and executive compensation partner Bob Abramowitz, who has been recognized as a Distinguished Leader by The Legal Intelligencer.
The US Department of Labor (DOL) published in the September 18 Federal Register its Interim Final Rule (Rule) to implement “lifetime income illustrations,” which must be provided to defined contribution plan participants pursuant to the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act).