Articles

Employee Benefits

Thole v. U.S. Bank: The Supreme Court Argument Raises Questions of 15th Century Trust Law and the Likelihood of Being Hit by a Meteorite

On January 13, 2020 the Supreme Court heard arguments in Thole v. U.S. Bank. Thole involves an issue that should be of interest to all attorneys who work on defined benefit (DB) plans – or who hope someday to receive DB benefits. The bottom line may be that the Supreme Court will give ERISA attorneys yet another reason to hit the 15th-century trust law treatises.

COVID-19 Testing, the CARES Act and Applicable Agency Guidance

Employee Benefits

COVID-19 Testing, the CARES Act and Applicable Agency Guidance

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act makes emergency supplemental appropriations and other changes to law to help the U.S. respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. This article discusses: (1) the health plan provisions in the CARES Act, (2) possible plan amendments for those provisions, (3) certain other interesting health and welfare plan provisions in the CARES Act, (4) a summary of certain COVID-19 related services that may be offered by Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) without jeopardizing their status as excepted benefits, and (5) some other potential legal updates that are not in the CARES Act, but that may appear in later legislation.

Employee Benefits

SECURE And CARES: Eight Interesting Issues Affecting Retirement Plans

One of the most popular article formats around right now is the list - the internet is obsessed with them. Lists are great because they draw the eye and tie otherwise seemingly disjointed ideas together. In that vein, please enjoy this list of eight interesting retirement plan issues about the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (the SECURE Act) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), both of which contain numerous provisions affecting retirement plan design and administration.

Employee Benefits

Joint Agency Action Automatically Extends Group Disability Appeal Deadlines During the COVID-19 Pandemic

On May 4, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service and Employee Benefits Security Administration jointly issued a new rule extending certain deadlines applicable to participants in group disability benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code. Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Affected by the COVID–19 Outbreak, 85 Fed. Reg. 26351 (May 4, 2020). Specifically, the rule automatically extends participants’ deadlines for filing initial benefit claims and appeals of adverse benefit determinations. (The rule also extended numerous deadlines applicable to participants with other types of ERISA claims and plans.)