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Avoid Costly Penalties for Late Form 5500 Filing

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | Jul 13, 2017 | 0 Comments

In addition to the many other local, state, and federal filings, businesses with benefits plans may be required to file an annual Form 5500 to report their pension and welfare plans' financial condition, investments, and operations. Late filings, unfiled reports, and incomplete filings can expose...

Managing Frozen Pension Plans

Posted by Corey F. Schechter | Jul 12, 2017 | 0 Comments

A pension plan is a defined benefit or defined contribution retirement plan. Typically, contributions are made to an employee's pension plan over the course of their life with a company, with benefit to be paid out after the employee retires or reaches a certain age. However, if the company freez...

Is Your Company Too Small for an ESOP?

Posted by Corey F. Schechter | Jul 05, 2017 | 0 Comments

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) offer a number of advantages for business owners, employees, and the company overall. However, some small businesses may consider themselves too small to justify the costs of transitioning to an ESOP company. A direct sale to key employees may be a way for s...

Succession Planning for Your Construction Business

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | Jul 03, 2017 | 0 Comments

Succession planning for your business can seem like a complex and time-consuming process. For many business owners, including construction company owners, succession planning takes a back seat to the day-to-day business operations. However, it is important to plan for an exit strategy to ensure c...

Estoppel in ERISA Claims

Posted by Corey F. Schechter | Jun 19, 2017 | 0 Comments

Equitable estoppel is a legal doctrine where a party who relies on the misrepresentation of another should not be harmed as a result. The doctrine has a long history, but limited application in ERISA litigation. ERISA does not explicitly provide for “equitable estoppel” as a remedy for plan parti...

Will California Establish Its Own Estate Tax?

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | Jun 13, 2017 | 0 Comments

The federal estate tax is assessed on an individual's property and assets after they die. According to the Office of Management and Budget, in 2014, the estate tax generated over $19 billion at the federal level. However, in reality, most taxpayers never come close to paying estate taxes because ...

Church-Affiliated Hospitals Win ERISA Exemption

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | Jun 09, 2017 | 0 Comments

Historically, a number of large hospital systems in the U.S. were established by churches or religious organizations. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) regulates most private employer retirement and benefits plans. ERISA mandates minimum funding and reporting requirement...

New Ruling Emphasizes the Significance of Language in Marital Settlement Agreements and the Importance of Qualified Domestic Relations Orders

Posted by Corey F. Schechter | Jun 08, 2017 | 0 Comments

Contributing Author: Dianne L. Schechter On May 23, 2017, the Fourth Appellate District for the Court of Appeal of the State of California filed an opinion in the case of In re the Marriage of Misti and Tim Janes (Cal. App. 4th, E065668). Misti and Tim Janes were married in September 1992 and s...

Incentive Programs - Are They Subject to ERISA?

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | Jun 06, 2017 | 0 Comments

Most company health and retirement benefit plans are subject to the regulations set forth under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). However, other benefits programs, including employer bonus or incentive programs, are set up with the understanding that ERISA does not appl...

The Divorce/Legal Separation Is Final, But You’re Likely Not Done Yet: A Checklist For Getting Your QDRO Prepared Correctly The First Time

Posted by Corey F. Schechter | May 12, 2017 | 0 Comments

Contributing Author: Dianne Schechter, Paralegal The divorce process is full of details, stress, and decisions.  After the divorce is final, you and your divorce lawyer cannot drop the ball and ignore performance under the terms of the final judgment.  If your final divorce decree or marital set...

Mid-Year Changes to Your Safe Harbor Plan

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | May 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

The Internal Revenue Code (IRC) has nondiscrimination requirements for 401(k) retirement plans subject to the annual actual deferral percentage (ADP) test. However, plan sponsors can avoid ADP testing for their 401(k) plan through meeting the requirements for a safe harbor plan. A safe harbor 401...

Build a Better 401(k)

Posted by Corey F. Schechter | May 09, 2017 | 0 Comments

Most 401(k) participants sit through a single presentation by their company's retirement plan representative. They fill out a few forms, designate a beneficiary, and allocate their contributions to a few selected plans. After that, they may never take any action involving their 401(k) plan again....

The Hunt for the Missing Pension Plan Participant

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | May 08, 2017 | 0 Comments

Pension plan sponsors owe a fiduciary duty to plan participants. As part of their fiduciary duty, plan sponsors must act prudently and run the plan solely in the interest of participants and beneficiaries. Some plan sponsors may forget that this duty extends to vested participants even after they...

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