Archives: Plan Investments

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What Employers Need to Know About the Fiduciary Conflict Rule

Our colleague Jason Levy recently published an article in The Actuary Magazine on the Department of Labor’s fiduciary conflict rule.  More than six years in the making, this rule represents perhaps the most significant regulation from the DOL during the Obama Administration. The fiduciary conflict rule expands the definition of fiduciary to cover, with certain … Continue Reading

Can You Reduce Your VEBA’s Taxable Income?

Recent guidance from the IRS suggests that it will be helpful to segregate funding for retiree health benefits from funding for all other welfare benefits (such as retiree life insurance, disability benefits, and health benefits for active employees) in order to minimize tax liabilities.  A proposed regulation issued earlier this year indicates that segregating the … Continue Reading

ERISA Plans’ Valuation of Private Equity and Other Alternative Investments Draws Increased Scrutiny

The Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General recently issued a report detailing concerns with the valuation of alternative investments (such as private equity funds, hedge funds, and real estate) held by ERISA plans.  ERISA requires plan sponsors and fiduciaries to value investments for several purposes, including to determine funding obligations, select investments, monitor investment … Continue Reading

Plan Fiduciaries Might Need to File a Notice to Avoid Registration Requirements as Commodity Pool Operators

Several changes to the definition of “commodity pool operator” could require fiduciaries of retirement plans to file for an exemption from treatment as a “commodity pool operator,” or be subject to comprehensive registration and compliance requirements.  A “commodity pool operator” is generally a manager of a pooled investment vehicle that invests in commodity interests.  The … Continue Reading

Verizon Announces $7.5 Billion Pension Settlement

Yesterday, Verizon announced that it will transfer $7.5 billion of pension liabilities to Prudential.  As we previously discussed in this blog, many sponsors of defined benefit plans, especially frozen plans, are considering ways to “de-risk” by reducing or eliminating the volatility associated with their pension obligations for financial accounting and pension funding purposes.  In April, … Continue Reading
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