Join Morgan Lewis in February for these upcoming programs on a variety of employee benefits and executive compensation topics:

Visit our events page for more of our latest programs.

Happy New Year from the ML BeneBits team! Join Morgan Lewis in January for these upcoming programs on a variety of employee benefits and executive compensation topics:

Visit our events page for more of our latest programs.

Today we welcome three new partners—Rosina Barker, Jonathan Zimmerman, and Steve Witmer—who together will enhance and deepen our employee benefits and executive compensation services for clients. Rosina and Jonathan will practice in Washington, DC, and Steve will practice in Santa Monica, CA. Read more on our press release >

On December 15, the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) filed comments with the US Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service in response to a request for information regarding plan qualification requirements in light of the elimination of the determination letter program for ongoing individually designed plans. The comments, which Morgan Lewis lawyers Mark Simons and John Ferreira helped to draft, urged the agencies to take steps to ease the burden on large employers. Read more on their comments >

Join us in December for these upcoming programs on a variety of employee benefits and executive compensation topics:

Visit our events page for more of our latest programs.

Join us in November for our upcoming programs on a variety of employee benefits and executive compensation topics:


Visit our Events page for more of our latest programs.

On September 26, the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that a stock-drop complaint against BP and fiduciaries of its 401(k) plan failed to state a plausible claim of imprudence based on insider information under the pleading standards established in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer. See Whitley, et. al. v. BP, P.L.C., et. al

Background

The complaint in Whitley stemmed from the decline in BP’s stock price that followed the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010. The plaintiffs, participants in BP’s retirement plans, including BP’s employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), filed suit in June 2010 in the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas against the company, its affiliates, the oversight committee for the plan, and several of the company’s executive officers. Plaintiffs alleged that the defendants

  • breached their duties of prudence and loyalty by allowing the plan to acquire and hold overvalued company stock,
  • breached their duty to provide adequate investment information to plan participants, and
  • breached their duty to monitor those responsible for managing the company stock fund.

As covered in our LawFlash published earlier today, the US Department of Labor has released the first of three waves of frequently asked questions regarding the fiduciary rule.

Congratulations to our ERISA litigation practice for being recognized by Bloomberg BNA for “getting the most business in ERISA class actions defending large employers.”

See how we stack up in the rankings >

On July 1, 2016, the US Department of Labor (DOL) published an interim final rule (Interim Rule) in the Federal Register adjusting for inflation the amount of certain civil monetary penalties imposed under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) and assessed and enforced by the Employee Benefits Security Administration. The adjusted penalties became effective on August 1, 2016.

Background

The DOL was required to publish the Interim Rule by the Federal Civil Monetary Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 2015 (2015 Inflation Adjustment Act) that was signed into law on November 2, 2015 as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

The 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act directed US federal agencies to adjust their civil monetary penalties for specified amounts or maximum amounts based on the statutorily prescribed formula. The 2015 Inflation Adjustment Act requires an initial “catch-up” adjustment and subsequent annual adjustments.