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Did They Do It? The Department of Labor “Clearing the Way” for State-Based Retirement Plans

It is not news that Americans aren’t saving enough for retirement. But, what is news, is that this Administration seems to be bent on making some meaningful change on that front with the enactment of one particular solution – state-based retirement plans. After hearing the marching orders of the President to clear the path for state-based retirement savings initiatives (including legislation that automatically enrolls employees in IRAs), the Department of Labor has declared VICTORY!

But let’s take a closer look. What did the Department actually do? And will it withstand public commentary, let alone judicial scrutiny?

Last week, the Department issued two pieces of guidance: an Interpretive Bulletin and a Proposed Regulation. Each attempts to tackle a different element of the state-based IRA arena:

  • ERISA-Covered Plans, But No Preemption?
  • Performing a little fancy footwork, the Department issued an “Interpretive Bulletin” (which is, in effect, an interpretation

    How a CFO May Be Subject to 162(m)

    How a CFO May Be Subject to 162(m)

    November 17, 2015

    Authored by: Chris Rylands

    CFOAfter the change in securities disclosure laws back in 2006, it was a common statement that the CFO of a public company was no longer covered by the $1 million deduction limit on non-performance based compensation under 162(m) of the tax code. This was (and is) because of a disconnect between the securities laws and the tax code.

    The tax code says that the chief executive officer and each of the next four most highly compensated officers whose compensation is required to be disclosed pursuant to the securities rules are “covered employees” for purposes of the $1 million limit. The 2006 changes in the securities rules changed the disclosure rules to require disclosure of compensation of the principal executive officer (usually the CEO), the principal financial officer (usually the CFO), and the three most highly

    Scratch & Sniff the New Health Plan FAQs

    ACA Blue HighlightLast month the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury published FAQs offering a veritable potpourri of guidance addressing preventive services, wellness programs and mental health parity.  Some potpourris offer a pleasing aroma – other not so much.  Decide for yourself whether this potpourri of guidance is pleasing based on the following summary.

    PREVENTIVE SERVICES – New guidance expands coverage obligations.

    Non-grandfathered health plan must cover certain preventive services without the imposition of any cost sharing.

    Lactation Counseling/Equipment. Among the preventive services that a non-grandfathered health plan must cover in-network without cost-sharing is comprehensive prenatal and postnatal lactation support, counseling, and equipment rental. The Departments provided the following clarifications with respect to such preventive service:

    • If participants do not have access to lactation counseling in-network, the plan

    Dodd-Frank SEC Guidance Executive Compensation – Status

    Dodd-Frank SEC Guidance Executive Compensation – Status

    November 2, 2015

    Authored by: benefitsbclp

    With all the rulemaking required under the Dodd-Frank Act, it can sometimes be hard to keep up with the status of the various rules.  Below is a handy chart that details the current status of the various executive compensation rulemakings.  We plan to update this periodically for additional rulemakings, so be sure to come back and visit from time to time.

    Last Updated: November 2, 2015

    Provision Summary Status of SEC Rulemaking Say on Pay; Say on Golden Parachutes § 951 Requires advisory vote of shareholders on executive compensation and golden parachutes; advisory vote on frequency of say on pay

    • Final rule: adopted January 25, 2011; SEC Rel. No. 33-9178

    Compensation Committee Independence § 952(includes comp consultant conflicts) Requires stock exchanges to adopt listing standards that require:

    • compensation committee members to be “independent;”
    • each committee must   have the authority to engage
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