US President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have set an aggressive pace of executive orders, regulatory and legislative changes, and proposed rulemaking to address the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a recovering economy, calls for racial justice, existing immigration and foreign policy, and a renewed focus on climate change, among other priorities. To help clients navigate those changes, Morgan Lewis is providing analysis of executive orders, key agency developments, and enacted and proposed regulations.
On July 16, 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Revenue Procedure 2021-30, which made several important changes to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) and expanded the ability of plan sponsors to correct certain compliance failures under their retirement plans.
The US Department of Labor (DOL) issued Information Letter 06-14-2021 last month to the attorney of a plan participant who requested a copy of an audio recording and transcript of a phone conversation he or she had with the plan’s insurer. The participant was requesting this information in relation to the participant’s denied claim under the plan.
The National Labor Relations Board, in one of its most significant decisions in recent years on “union protest” issues, has substantially eroded the protection given to “neutral” parties when unions erect large inflatable rats and other displays targeting businesses that have no direct involvement in the underlying labor dispute. This ruling will likely promote more widespread tactics directed against such neutral businesses, which will predictably expand the scope of labor disputes beyond the particular employer whose actions gave rise to the dispute.
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made important changes to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) in Revenue Procedure 2021-30 that are helpful for plan sponsors as they expand the ability of plan sponsors to self-correct certain operational failures. The IRS also requested comments on Revenue Procedure 2021-30 so there may be more changes to come.
The US Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (the Departments) along with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued Requirements Related to Surprise Billing; Part I on July 1. This interim final rule (IFR) is the first in a series of regulations implementing the No Surprises Act, which was part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 that was signed into law at the end of 2020.
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation has issued an interim final rule implementing the special financial assistance provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act to assist financially troubled multiemployer pension plans.
In recent years, target retirement date funds (TDFs) have become a very popular investment option on participant-directed defined contribution plan investment lineups. But, as discussed in this LawFlash, as TDFs have grown in popularity, there are signs of increasing scrutiny around TDFs used in participant-directed defined contribution ERISA plan investment lineups. This increasing scrutiny is expected to raise new regulatory initiatives generating new questions and may favor increased process review by ERISA plan fiduciaries.
EB-2 China cutoff dates advance by four months, EB-3 India cutoff dates advance by six months, and EB-1 priority date cutoff dates remain “Current” for all classifications.
Partners Ella Foley Gannon and Neeraj Arora co-authored a Reuters article regarding the Biden-Harris administration’s ambitious approach to climate policy in its first 100 days.
Morgan Lewis partner Matthew Miner spoke to Law360 about the Biden-Harris administration’s June 3 anti-corruption memo. Matt told Law360 that President Biden’s vision of “full-field enforcement” could lead to an increase in money-laundering and corruption cases.
Partner Ella Foley Gannon was quoted by Law360 after the Biden-Harris administration released plans to lease federal waters in California to an offshore wind project.
Partners Matthew Hawes and Elizabeth Goldberg provided their insights to PlanSponsor regarding the US Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) release of its first cybersecurity guide for ERISA plans. Under the new guidelines, the DOL indicates that protecting participant information is a fiduciary issue and that plans have a responsibility to address them.
Morgan Lewis partner Daniel Skees spoke to E&E News about how President Biden’s executive order, which is aimed at strengthening US cybersecurity defenses, will affect the energy industry. Dan noted that an upcoming guidance on enhancing supply chain security and improving cloud services could have a significant trend-setting impact on the private sector.
Morgan Lewis partners Susan Harthill, Elizabeth Goldberg, and Eleanor Pelta authored an article for International Employment Lawyer about early policy changes from the Biden-Harris administration that affect the workplace, including actions addressing multi-employer plans, diversity training, and immigration laws.
Partners Bill Kissinger, Ella Foley Gannon, and Rick Rothman authored an article for Law360 about recent US regulatory and legislative developments addressing climate change and renewable energy.
Partner Sheila Armstrong was quoted in a Law360 article regarding President Joseph Biden’s executive order implementing more aggressive cybersecurity requirements in light of recent cyberattacks.