Back to Basics – Costly Consequences of Ignoring Process in Benefits Administration

“The stories of an employer and a long-term disability insurer and claims fiduciary for an ERISA plan, defendants in two recent cases, ring so true. In the first case the insurer was designated as claims fiduciary for an employer’s long-term disability plan, and ended up in litigation with the least friendly standard of review – […]

By | 2017-06-12T07:53:24+00:00 June 21st, 2017|2017 News, News|

COBRA and Second Qualifying Events – When Does the Clock Start?

“If the initial qualifying event that triggers an individual’s COBRA rights is terminating employment or reducing hours of employment, subsequent qualifying events may result in an extension of the maximum COBRA coverage period for certain qualified beneficiaries…. Note that a covered employee is not a qualified beneficiary with respect to any 36-month qualifying event. Therefore, […]

By | 2017-06-12T07:34:04+00:00 June 14th, 2017|2017 News, News|

Could Your Incentive Plan Be Subject to ERISA?

“Many incentive or bonus plans make payments or deliver stock within 2-1/2 months after the end of the year the participant became vested in order comply with the short-term deferral exception of Code Section 409A. However, some incentive plans provide for accumulations, multi-year periods, and mandatory deferrals. These plans may unwittingly become subject to ERISA’s […]

By | 2017-06-12T07:32:48+00:00 June 7th, 2017|2017 News, News|

When Close Is Not Close Enough: A Shift Towards Strict Compliance for ERISA Claim Procedures

“A string of cases in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals is putting ERISA claims administrators on notice that falling short of strict compliance with the DOL’s claims and appeal regulations may cost administrators a deferential standard of review…. Under the DOL’s final regulations governing disability benefit claims, if a plan fails to strictly comply […]

By | 2017-06-12T07:21:28+00:00 May 21st, 2017|2017 News, News|

A Few Considerations During Form 5500 Season

“Both the IRS and DOL comment that improperly completed Form 5500s will increase the probability that they may take a closer look at plan matters. This article includes a short list of considerations and questions aimed at helping plan sponsor employers avoid government investigation otherwise prompted by a ‘wrong’ answer on the Form 5500.” [[…]

By | 2017-06-12T07:23:19+00:00 May 14th, 2017|2017 News, News|

Employer Liable for Failing to Provide Life Insurance Conversion Information to Disabled Employee

“Notwithstanding that the right to convert to an individual insurance policy had long since expired, the court crafted a remedy under ERISA that imposed a surcharge on the employer equal to the $750,000 in life insurance that the physician employee would have elected to convert to an individual policy but for the plan administrator’s breach […]

By | 2017-06-12T07:24:36+00:00 May 7th, 2017|2017 News, News|

Invisible High-Risk Pools: How Congress Can Lower Premiums And Deal With Pre-Existing Conditions

“Maine faced similar challenges in 2011 as it sought to unwind failed experiments that pushed its market into a long-term death spiral. But by creating an invisible high-risk pool and relaxing its premium rating bands, Maine policymakers were able to cut premiums in half while still guaranteeing those with pre-existing conditions access to plans…. Maine’s […]

By | 2017-06-08T13:16:20+00:00 April 26th, 2017|2017 News, News|

Why COBRA Might Be Making a Comeback

“We’re facing a landscape where the complexity of COBRA remains a part of every employer’s benefits program while the ACA gets a makeover from the Republican White House…. Most likely, it just means that the majority of employers will continue to outsource COBRA administration. It also could mean eligible employees go back to just having […]

By | 2017-06-08T13:17:39+00:00 April 20th, 2017|2017 News, News|