Highlights from 2004

2004 was a busy year in the benefits arena. I have compiled a list of key posts here at Benefitsblog, highlighting some of the legal developments that occurred in 2004:

January:

Directors and the Duty to Monitor Under ERISA
Plan Settlements: Guidance for Fiduciaries in PTE 2003-39

February:

U.S. Supreme Court Draws a Line in the Sand: Reverse Age Discrimination Claims Not Cognizable
IRS Announcements Regarding Abusive Life Insurance Policies in Retirement Plans

March:

Health Savings Accounts: IRS Issues Another Round of Guidance
IRS Issues Proposed Regulations Governing Elimination of Retirement Plan Distribution Options
U.S. Supreme Court Decision Impacts Retirement Plans Involved In Bankruptcy Proceedings
DOL’s Proposed Regulations: Safe Harbor for ERISA Fiduciary Responsibility Pertaining to Automatic Rollovers

April:

DOL Auditing Fee Arrangements and Market-Timing Practices under ERISA, WSJ reports
U.S. Supreme Court: Central Laborers’ Pension Fund v. Heinz
Another Cash Balance Plan “Whipsaw” Case

May:

PBGC Announces Enforcement Proposals
Directors and the Duty to Monitor under ERISA (Part II)

June:

Getting Emotional Over Pension Funding
IRS Strengthening Its Enforcement Initiatives
IRS Tax Exempt Compensation Initiative
Federal District Court Upholds Cash Balance Plan Conversion
Supreme Court Issues Opinion in Central Laborers’ Pension Fund v. Heinz
Chao Speaks on Pension Plan Governance
Tenth Circuit Issues Opinion in Millsap v. McDonnell Douglas Corporation

July:

More HSA Guidance
DOL Settles With Global Crossing Former Executives and Benefits Committee Members
Final “deemed IRA regulations” Issued
SEC Scrutiny Involving Retirement Plans
When the U.S. Attorney Comes Knocking . . .

August:

DOL Amicus Brief Supporting Health Plan Recovery under Reimbursement/Subrogation Provisions

September

IBM Class Action Pension Settlement
DOL Issues Final Automatic Rollover Safe Harbor Regulations
Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004
Treasury Encourages Banks and Credit Unions to Offer HSAs
ERISA’s 30th Anniversary
DOL Issues Draft USERRA Regulations
HSA Correction Guidance and Final Forms Issued
Third Circuit: Bad Faith Claims Preempted under ERISA
HR professionals impacted by SEC Form 8-K filing requirements

October:

Is Market-Timing Activity Protected under ERISA? It depends. . .
ERISA Fiduciary Lawsuits on the Rise
Action Required by ERISA Fiduciaries in Recent Insurance Probe

November:

The Plan Document Requirements of the Newly-Proposed 403(b) Regulations
IRS Notice 2004-79 Clarifies WFTRA Confusion
Developments in the Insurance Brokerage Controversy
IRS Notice 2004-78 and PFEA’s 415 Change
IRS Issues 403(b) Regulations
Seventh Circuit Issues Opinion (Written by Judge Posner) Defining A Partial Termination

December:

IRS Issues Warning Letter on Abusive S Corporation ESOP Arrangements
Treasury Issues Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Guidance
DOL Provides Guidance on ERISA Fiduciary Responsibilities of Directed Trustees
FASB Issues Stock Option Expensing Rule
Working Group on Plan Fees Recommends Increased Disclosure
Preparing for Amendments to Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans
Common Law Marriage Abolished in Pennsylvania–Again

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