Employee Benefit Plans and Other Compensation Arrangements Group
The Employee Benefit Plans and Other Compensation Arrangements Group has had an active last six months of the 2012 year. The Group actively participated in the 23rd Annual Spring Symposia, with three members participating in the program entitled “Using Retirement Plans as a Part of a Business Entrance or Exit Strategy.” In addition, the Group will be actively participating in the Fall Joint CLE Meeting in Boston. The Committees will hold five joint meetings and presentations with their Tax Section subcommittee counterparts, including the following topics: regarding the latest developments in compensation, fringe benefits and securities law; defined contribution plans regulatory and legislative activity; pending defined benefit plans regulations; pension plan issues in mergers and acquisitions and downsizing liability; developments under the Affordable Care Act; and related matters in welfare benefit plans. Also, members of the Group will participate in a joint panel presentation regarding health care reform in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling.
In addition, the Group has continued to host conference calls on current benefit topics of interest every other month. Responsibilities for leading the calls rotates among the Committees in the Group. Some of the highlights of the calls and other activities of the Group’s committees are:
- Harold Ashner, Chair of the Plan Transactions and Terminations Committee, acted as scrivener for the annual question and answer session with the PBGC in May, 2012. The Plan Transactions and Terminations Committee is also scheduled to lead a call in September 2012, during which it is anticipated that the Committee will discuss PBGC and related issues of interest, including, a primer on controlled group liability issues, recent case law that expands PBGC’s ability to effectively pursue foreign controlled group members, potential liability of private equity funds for pension liabilities of their portfolio companies, recent legislative changes affecting minimum funding requirements, PBGC premiums, and PBGC governance, and update on PBGC litigation, regulatory, and enforcement developments of interest.
- The Qualified Plans Committee lead a conference call in March regarding hot topics, including new or anticipated guidance regarding participant fee disclosures, remedial amendment periods, use of deferred annuities in qualified plans amendments, determination letter issues, the definition of fiduciary and electronic reporting requirements and 403(b) plans.
- The Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Committee lead a conference call in May during which the Committee discussed increased IRS Scrutiny of Executive Compensation and Common Errors under Code Sections 409A and 162(m) and issues relating to discounted stock options.
- The Fiduciary Responsibility, Administration, and Litigation Committee lead a conference call in July regarding the new disclosure rules under section 408(b)(2) and 404(a)(5) of ERISA, and specifically, the committee discussed mutual fund windows and self-directed brokerage accounts and the recent Department of Labor guidance.
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