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IRS Announces Enforcement Relief from Fiduciary Rule

Previously, the DOL, in Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-01, announced its temporary enforcement policy for the new fiduciary duty rule and related exemptions (the ?Ç£Fiduciary Rule?Ç¥). The IRS recently published Announcement 2017-4, stating excise taxes will not be assessed for violations of the Fiduciary Rule for the periods for which the DOL announced enforcement relief in Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-01. Excise taxes will not be assessed during the following periods: (i) if the DOL issues a final rule after April 10 delaying the effective date of the Fiduciary Rule, excise taxes won?ÇÖt be assessed for non-compliance with the rule during the ?Ç£gap?Ç¥ period between April 10 and the date a delay is implemented, and (ii) if the DOL decides not to delay the effective date of the rule, excise taxes won?ÇÖt be assessed for non-compliance occurring between April 10 and a ?Ç£reasonable?Ç¥ period after publication of the DOL?ÇÖs decision. View Announcement… Continue Reading

Reminder to Include Grants of Discretion in ERISA Plan and SPD Documents

An employee wanted to file a claim for disability benefits before his termination of employment, but the employer did not provide him with the necessary paperwork to file a claim under its disability benefits plan for covered employees. This plan was subject to ERISA. After his employment terminated, the former employee submitted claims and appeals for disability benefits, which were denied by the plan?ÇÖs insurer, Prudential. Prudential determined that the former employee had become disabled after his termination of employment and thus did not have plan coverage at that time. A U.S. District Court in Arizona found this denial of benefits should be reviewed de novo (i.e., without giving deference to the plan administrator?ÇÖs prior decision to deny benefits) because the plan did not contain an unambiguous grant of discretion to the plan administrator to interpret the terms of the plan and to make final benefit determinations. This discretion was… Continue Reading

April 2017