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ERISA Law Answer Book, Ninth Edition by John F. Buckley IV ERISA Law Answer Book, Ninth Edition by John F. Buckley IV

ERISA Law Answer Book, Tenth Edition

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Overview

ERISA Law Answer Book provides extensive coverage of case law and legislative and regulatory issues in the field of Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) compliance. It focuses on decision making in connection with the administration of retirement programs. In this volume, practitioners will find discussion of various benefit arrangements subject to ERISA, construction of ERISA plans, plan funding, plan distribution, fiduciary duties, preemption, and standard of review.

The Tenth Edition contains dozens of new cases and extensive discussion of recent legislative and regulatory developments that affect the interpretation of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. The new material discussed includes:

  • Relief provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 and related guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), including:
    • Extension of time for filing claims for benefits and appeals of claim denials filing the Form 5500 series and other reports required by the IRS and/or the Department of Labor (DOL) (see Chapter 4), and providing certain notices to plan participants
    • Required plan amendments
    • Raising of the plan loan ceiling and extension of time for loan repayment
    • For sponsors of single-employer defined benefit plans, optional postponement of payment of 2020 contributions
    • Waiver of the required minimum distribution (RMD) rules for 2020 with respect to certain defined contribution plans and individual retirement accounts
    • Creation of a new type of disaster distribution called a coronavirus related distribution
    • Coronavirus-related coverage requirements for group health plans
  • A recent Supreme Court decision involving the “actual knowledge” requirement of the ERISA provision establishing the three-year limitation period for bringing suit for fiduciary breach.
  • Major changes required by the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, including:
    • Increase of the RMD age for retirement accounts to 72 (formerly 701⁄2)
    • Allowance of long-term, part-time workers to participate in 401(k) plans
    • Provision of more options for lifetime income strategies
    • Nondiscrimination testing relief for certain defined benefit plans
    • Allowance of withdrawal of up to $5,000 from retirement accounts, penalty-free, by parents within one year of the birth or adoption of a child
    • Provision of new tax credits
    • Allowance of “open” multiple-employer plans (MEPs)
    • Elimination of “stretch” distributions to non-spouse beneficiaries of deceased plan participants
    • Increased penalties for a number of ERISA violations
    • Deadlines for plan amendments regarding hardship distributions.
    • The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Thole v. U.S. Bank N.A., involving the ability of retired participants in a defined benefit plan to bring a class action based on alleged plan mismanagement.

Previous Edition: ERISA Law Answer Book, Ninth Edition ISBN 9781543801415¿

Note: Online subscriptions are for three-month periods.

Last Updated 08/11/2020
Update Frequency Annually
Product Line Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
ISBN 9781543823646
SKU 10083057-7777
Publish Frequency Annually
Product Line Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
SKU 000000000010073205
Table of Contents

1. Benefit Arrangements Subject to ERISA

  • General Considerations
  • "Plan, Fund, or Program"
  • "Employer or Employee Organization"
  • For Participants and Their Beneficiaries
  • Special Cases
  • Benefit Plans Exempt from ERISA
  • Miscellaneous Issues

2. Interpreting ERISA Plans

  • General Considerations
  • Controlling Documents
  • Applicable Law

3. Claims Procedures and Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

  • Claims Procedures - General
  • Claims Denials
  • Appeals
  • Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

4. Notice, Reporting, and Disclosure

  • IRS Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements
  • DOL Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements
  • Summary Plan Description
  • Summary of Material Modifications
  • Responding to Information Requests
  • Miscellaneous Notice Requirements

5. Plan Amendment

  • Protected Benefits
  • Effect of Plan Amendment on Benefits
  • Underfunded Plans; Waiver Period
  • Required Amendment Deadlines

6. Assignment, Waiver, and Forfeiture

  • Assignment, Attachment, and Garnishment
  • Tax Liens
  • Rights and Interests of Spouses and Former Spouses
  • QDROs
  • Waivers of ERISA Rights and Interests
  • Forfeitures and Setoffs

7. Miscellaneous Issues in Plan Administration

  • Prohibited Transactions
  • Fiduciary Bonding Requirements
  • Plan Loans
  • Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

8. Who Is a Fiduciary?

  • General Considerations
  • Plan Sponsors, Officers, and Directors
  • Plan Administrators
  • Investment Advisors
  • Insurance Companies and Agents

9. Fiduciary Duties and Liabilities

  • General Principles of ERISA Fiduciary Conduct
  • Exclusive Benefit Rule
  • Duties Relating to Plan Administration
  • Duties Relating to Benefit Determinations
  • Duties Relating to Employee Communications
  • Duties Relating to Plan Investments
  • Fiduciary Liabilities

10. Plan Coverage and Participation Requirements

11. Benefit Accrual and Vesting

  • Accrued Benefit
  • Vesting
  • Break in Service
  • Plan Termination and Partial Termination
  • Vesting in Welfare Benefit Plans

12. Contributions and Benefits

  • General Considerations
  • Defined Contribution Plans
  • Defined Benefit Plans
  • Related Issues
  • Permitted Disparity
  • Discrimination in Plan Benefits, Rights, and Features

13. Plan Funding

  • Minimum Funding Standards for Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plans
  • Minimum Funding Standards for Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plans
  • Plan Funding Limits
  • Plan Funding Liabilities

14. Plan Distributions

  • Timing of Distributions
  • Distributions to Participants (and Their Surviving Spouses)
  • Creditors' Rights and Bankruptcy
  • Taxation of Plan Distributions
  • Distribution Elections and Notice Requirements
  • Rollover Distributions

15. Plan Disqualification and Remediation

  • Plan Disqualification
  • IRS Programs for Remedial Action
  • Self-Correction Program
  • Voluntary Correction Program
  • Anonymous Submission Program
  • Audit Closing Agreement Program

16. COBRA

  • Applicability
  • Eligibility
  • Notice Requirements
  • Premiums
  • Miscellaneous Issues
  • Enforcement and Sanctions

17. Insurance

  • General Principles
  • Accidents and Self-Inflicted Injuries
  • Health Insurance
  • Disability Benefits

18. Actions and Remedies

  • Causes of Action
  • Equitable Relief
  • Estoppel
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty Regarding Plan Investments
  • Claims for Benefits
  • Failure to Comply with Notice Requirements
  • Claims for Failure to Respond to Information Requests
  • Interference with ERISA Rights

19. Plaintiffs and Defendants

  • Plaintiffs
  • Participants and Beneficiaries
  • Miscellaneous Plaintiffs
  • Defendants

20. Preemption

  • The Basics
  • Insurance Exception

21. Standard of Review

  • De Novo
  • Arbitrary and Capricious
  • Heightened Scrutiny
  • Burden of Proof

22. Attorneys' Fees

  • General Considerations
  • Factors Considered in Awarding Attorneys’ Fees
  • Burden of Proof

23. Miscellaneous Issues in ERISA Litigation

  • Jurisdiction and Venue
  • Right to Jury Trial
  • Removal and Remand
  • Statutes of Limitations
  • Evidentiary Issues

1. Benefit Arrangements Subject to ERISA

  • General Considerations
  • "Plan, Fund, or Program"
  • "Employer or Employee Organization"
  • For Participants and Their Beneficiaries
  • Special Cases
  • Benefit Plans Exempt from ERISA
  • Miscellaneous Issues

2. Interpreting ERISA Plans

  • General Considerations
  • Controlling Documents
  • Applicable Law

3. Claims Procedures and Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

  • Claims Procedures - General
  • Claims Denials
  • Appeals
  • Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies

4. Notice, Reporting, and Disclosure

  • IRS Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements
  • DOL Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements
  • Summary Plan Description
  • Summary of Material Modifications
  • Responding to Information Requests
  • Miscellaneous Notice Requirements

5. Plan Amendment

  • Protected Benefits
  • Effect of Plan Amendment on Benefits
  • Underfunded Plans; Waiver Period
  • Required Amendment Deadlines

6. Assignment, Waiver, and Forfeiture

  • Assignment, Attachment, and Garnishment
  • Tax Liens
  • Rights and Interests of Spouses and Former Spouses
  • QDROs
  • Waivers of ERISA Rights and Interests
  • Forfeitures and Setoffs

7. Miscellaneous Issues in Plan Administration

  • Prohibited Transactions
  • Fiduciary Bonding Requirements
  • Plan Loans
  • Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

8. Who Is a Fiduciary?

  • General Considerations
  • Plan Sponsors, Officers, and Directors
  • Plan Administrators
  • Investment Advisors
  • Insurance Companies and Agents

9. Fiduciary Duties and Liabilities

  • General Principles of ERISA Fiduciary Conduct
  • Exclusive Benefit Rule
  • Duties Relating to Plan Administration
  • Duties Relating to Benefit Determinations
  • Duties Relating to Employee Communications
  • Duties Relating to Plan Investments
  • Fiduciary Liabilities

10. Plan Coverage and Participation Requirements

11. Benefit Accrual and Vesting

  • Accrued Benefit
  • Vesting
  • Break in Service
  • Plan Termination and Partial Termination
  • Vesting in Welfare Benefit Plans

12. Contributions and Benefits

  • General Considerations
  • Defined Contribution Plans
  • Defined Benefit Plans
  • Related Issues
  • Permitted Disparity
  • Discrimination in Plan Benefits, Rights, and Features

13. Plan Funding

  • Minimum Funding Standards for Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plans
  • Minimum Funding Standards for Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plans
  • Plan Funding Limits
  • Plan Funding Liabilities

14. Plan Distributions

  • Timing of Distributions
  • Distributions to Participants (and Their Surviving Spouses)
  • Creditors' Rights and Bankruptcy
  • Taxation of Plan Distributions
  • Distribution Elections and Notice Requirements
  • Rollover Distributions

15. Plan Disqualification and Remediation

  • Plan Disqualification
  • IRS Programs for Remedial Action
  • Self-Correction Program
  • Voluntary Correction Program
  • Anonymous Submission Program
  • Audit Closing Agreement Program

16. COBRA

  • Applicability
  • Eligibility
  • Notice Requirements
  • Premiums
  • Miscellaneous Issues
  • Enforcement and Sanctions

17. Insurance

  • General Principles
  • Accidents and Self-Inflicted Injuries
  • Health Insurance
  • Disability Benefits

18. Actions and Remedies

  • Causes of Action
  • Equitable Relief
  • Estoppel
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty Regarding Plan Investments
  • Claims for Benefits
  • Failure to Comply with Notice Requirements
  • Claims for Failure to Respond to Information Requests
  • Interference with ERISA Rights

19. Plaintiffs and Defendants

  • Plaintiffs
  • Participants and Beneficiaries
  • Miscellaneous Plaintiffs
  • Defendants

20. Preemption

  • The Basics
  • Insurance Exception

21. Standard of Review

  • De Novo
  • Arbitrary and Capricious
  • Heightened Scrutiny
  • Burden of Proof

22. Attorneys' Fees

  • General Considerations
  • Factors Considered in Awarding Attorneys’ Fees
  • Burden of Proof

23. Miscellaneous Issues in ERISA Litigation

  • Jurisdiction and Venue
  • Right to Jury Trial
  • Removal and Remand
  • Statutes of Limitations
  • Evidentiary Issues
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