Posts Categorized: Qualified Plans

IRS Eases Loan and Hardship Distribution Rules for Hurricane Mathew Victims

in Qualified Plans

In Announcement 2016-39 issued on October 21, 2016, the IRS follows its long-standing practice and eases application of the qualified plan loan and/or hardship rules for those who were impacted by Hurricane Mathew.  For example, the relief allows impacted individuals to obtain a hardship distribution without the need to prove a hardship based on the types enumerated in the regulations.  Further, no post-hardship distribution contribution restrictions are required. The relief applies to participants whose principal residence or place of employment on October 4, 2016 was located in one of the counties in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida identified… Continue Reading

A Roadmap for the Post-Determination Letter Era

in IRS Examinations, Qualified Plans, Retirement Plans

In July of 2015, the IRS announced that it would end its regular determination letter program for individually designed plans effective January 1, 2017.  At the time of this announcement, many plan sponsors and other interested stakeholders expressed concern about how this seismic change would impact the retirement plan landscape. In several pieces of guidance issued in 2016, the IRS has answered many of the questions as to how the end of the determination letter program will impact qualified retirement plans.  Click here for more information.

End of Determination Letter Program: Nearly a Year Later, the Future is Still Uncertain

in IRS Examinations, Qualified Plans, Retirement Plans

It has been nearly a year since the IRS generated shockwaves in the retirement plan community by announcing its intention to end its regular, periodic determination letter program for qualified retirement plans due to budget constraints. (See our previous posts on the end of the regular determination letter process here and here.) The Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities’ 2016 Report of Recommendations (“Advisory Committee Report”), released on June 8, 2016, shows that the uncertainties caused by the IRS’s announcement have largely been left unresolved. Under the determination letter process, employers can periodically apply for an IRS determination… Continue Reading

Harris v. Amgen

in Court Cases, Fiduciary Issues, Qualified Plans

On January 25, 2016, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in Harris v. Amgen that will impact the pleading standard for stock drop litigation. The plaintiffs in Harris are former employees of Amgen Inc. who participated in their employer’s qualified ESOPs. When the value of Amgen stock fell significantly from 2005 to 2007, participants sued, claiming that Amgen violated their fiduciary duty of care under ERISA by continuing to offer the Amgen common stock fund as an investment option in the plans, when they knew (or should have known) that the stock was being sold to participants at… Continue Reading