Labor and Employment partners Jeremy Blumenfeld and Donald Havermann and Employee Benefits partner Brian Dougherty will present at the 41st Enrolled Actuaries Meeting, sponsored by the Conference of Consulting Actuaries.
Are There Any Guarantees in Life?
April 11, 2016 | 9:00–10:30 am
Presenter: Jeremy Blumenfeld
How much freedom does a plan sponsor have to reduce pension benefits? Our panel explores and explains the various anti-cutback rules, and the exceptions, applicable to different types of defined benefit pension plans in the U.S., and the role actuaries play in determining whether pension benefits may be reduced. For single employer plans, ERISA permits the elimination of various forms of benefits, funding-based limitations, and puts limits on PBGC guarantees. Multiemployer plans may cut back benefits to solve certain funding problems, and are subject to even more limited PBGC “guarantees” (which the PBGC may not even be able to meet). Public employer plans are subject to state constitutional guarantees that run the gamut from protections for future accruals, to no protection at all. The presenters discuss the rules applicable to single employer plans, multiemployer plans, and in a variety of states.
Litigation Affecting DB Plans
April 11, 2016 | 2:00–3:30 pm
Presenter: Donald Havermann
The speakers review recent court decisions affecting defined benefit plans and pension actuaries.
Age Discrimination Issues for Employee Benefit Plans
April 12, 2016 | 4:00–5:30 pm
Presenter: Brian Dougherty
As workforces age, employers more frequently face age-related discrimination issues in managing their employee benefit programs. While the Supreme Court recognizes certain natural correlations between age and other legitimate factors affecting eligibility and benefits within employer-sponsored plans, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) can still create pitfalls for plan sponsors who don’t carefully consider the implications on these programs. Employers must be mindful of the difference between legitimate age-based criteria and those that run afoul of the law. During this session, our speakers analyze issues related to retirement plans, early retirement incentive programs, severance plans, and health and welfare benefit plans that may cause problems for employers who fail to adequately consider the consequences of the age discrimination laws.