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Hybrid Plan Regulations Could Reinvigorate the Defined Benefit Plan System

Treasury and the IRS recently issued long-awaited regulations governing cash balance and other hybrid pension plans.  Final regulations implement the intent of Congress in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (the “PPA”) to eliminate the so-called “whipsaw calculation” and permit more generous rates of return for employees and retirees.  Proposed regulations issued at the same … Continue Reading

Fiduciaries May Be Responsible for Call Center Statements to Fill in Gaps in SPD

A recent Seventh Circuit case, Killian v. Concert Health Plan (Nov. 7, 2013), highlights two important principles for any plan sponsor or fiduciary: If a plan document or summary plan description leaves out information and says to call a phone number for details, plan fiduciaries can be responsible for call center representatives’ oral statements and … Continue Reading

Buyer Beware: Asset Purchaser Liable for Predecessor’s FLSA Liability

Corporate lawyers negotiating asset purchase agreements believe strongly in the concept of freedom of contract.  Asset purchase agreements invariably have carefully crafted provisions dictating which assets and liabilities transfer to the buyer and which assets and liabilities remain with the seller. Unfortunately, when it comes to employee and employee benefit liabilities, courts don’t always respect these … Continue Reading

EEOC Holds Hearing on Workplace Wellness Programs

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission held a hearing this week on “Wellness Programs Under Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Laws.”  Amy Moore testified at the hearing on behalf of long-time Covington client The ERISA Industry Committee (“ERIC”), a non-profit association committed to the advancement of the employee retirement, health, and other benefit programs of America’s largest … Continue Reading

Investors, Speculators, Market Makers, and Arbitrageurs

We recently came across this wonderful explanation of the key actors in the financial markets:  investors, speculators, market makers, and arbitrageurs.  The guts of the explanation appears in minutes 5-20 of the video, and is part of a presentation by Yaron Minsky, head of technology and programming at Jane Street Capital.  Whether you are involved with … Continue Reading