CMS Proposes Standards For Health Reform-Establshed CO-OPs

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) has announced a proposed rule to establish standards for the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) provided for in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). CO-OPs are private, nonprofit health insurers with a board made up of members, designed to offer […]

EBSA sets effective dates for fiduciary-level fee disclosure and participant-level fee disclosure regs

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued final regulations setting the effective date for the interim final fiduciary-level fee disclosure regulations at April 1, 2012. In addition, in order to align the applicability date for its final participant-level retirement plan fee disclosure rules with its interim final fiduciary-level fee disclosure regulations, […]

PT Class Exemption 86-128 applies to investment advice fiduciaries, EBSA says

Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 86-128, which permits a plan fiduciary (or affiliate) to engage in securities transactions for a fee as an agent on behalf of a plan, applies to investment advice fiduciaries, according to EBSA Advisory Opinion No. 2011-08A. PTE 86-128 provides that the prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA §406(b) do not apply to: […]

GASB Proposes Shorter Recognition Periods And Reporting On Financial Statements

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has issued two Exposure Drafts proposing improvements to financial reporting of pensions by state and local governments. The first Exposure Draft, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, an amendment of GASB Statement No. 27 (Pension Exposure Draft), primarily relates to reporting by governments that provide […]

Pension benefits denial claim time-barred under applicable New Jersey limitation period

A pension plan participant’s action to recover plan benefits, filed 10 years after the initial denial of his request for benefits, was time-barred by the applicable New Jersey state law limitations period, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia (CA-3) has ruled in Kapp v. Trucking Employees of North Jersey Welfare Fund, Inc.-Pension Fund. Plan […]

Delaying retirement past 65 doesn’t guarantee income adequacy: EBRI

If baby boomers and Gen Xers delay their retirement past the age of 65, many of them still would not have adequate income to cover their basic retirement expenses and uninsured health care costs, according to a study by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) based on data from its Retirement Security Projection Model®. A […]

401(k) Expense Ratios Average 71 Basis Points; Most Invested In No-Load Funds

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: Average expense ratios for 401(k) plan assets held in stock mutual funds have fluctuated between 71 basis points and 75 basis points for the past five years, according to the Investment Company Institute (ICI) in the ICI Research Perspective entitled Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2010. The […]

USERRA does not provide a cause of action for hostile work environment, noting absence of "terms or conditions" of employment in text of statute

Becoming the first circuit court to rule on the issue, the Fifth Circuit has held that USERRA does not provide a cause of action for hostile work environment (Carder v Continental Airlines, Inc, March 22, 2011, Davis, W). Affirming the district court’s dismissal of the class action claim, the appeals court based its ruling on […]

Oral complaints protected under FLSA's antiretaliation provisions; Supreme Court sets "fair notice" standard for employee complaints to be protected

Oral complaints are protected under the FLSA’s antiretaliation provisions, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled this morning in a 6-2 opinion authored by Justice Breyer (Kasten v Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, Dkt No 09-834, March 22, 2011, Breyer, S). Resolving a conflict among the circuits, the majority found the scope of the statutory term “filed any complaint […]

Delaware can't penalize out-of-state contractor's use of Pennsylvania apprentices by imposing "permanent place of business" requirement; market participant doctrine did not apply

An out-of-state electrical contractor successfully challenged the state of Delaware’s practice of refusing to recognize out-of-state registered apprentices under its prevailing wage law regulations under the dormant Commerce Clause (Tri-M Group, LLC v Sharp, March 21, 2011, Rendell, M). The Third Circuit upheld a federal district court’s finding that the regulations facially discriminated against out-of-state […]