New cybersecurity developments and observations, including those relating to U.S. Department of Labor review of cybersecurity issues, warrant prompt consideration by plan fiduciaries, including those plans covered by HIPAA. The following update includes recommendations to help ERISA retirement and health and welfare plan sponsors and responsible fiduciaries protect benefit plans and participants against cybersecurity risks
DOL Proposes Expanded Use of ESG Factors in ERISA Plan Investment Decisions and Proxy Voting
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a proposed regulation on October 14, 2021, that would clarify how fiduciaries of private sector employee benefit plans should apply ERISA’s fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty when making investment decisions and exercising shareholder rights. In part, the DOL’s changes to its “Investment Duties” regulation (29 C.F.R. § …
Department of Labor Interprets Regulations Concerning Production of Audio Recordings and Transcripts of Phone Calls in Adverse Benefit Determinations
On June 14, 2021, the Department Labor (“DOL”) issued Information Letter 06-14-2021 to address whether ERISA requires plan fiduciaries to produce audio recordings and transcripts of telephone conversations between plan insurers and claimants.
The issue arose from a plan insurer’s denial of a claimant’s request for an audio recording. When it denied the request, the…
Employee Benefit Plan Developments—2020 Year in Review
Employee benefits professionals have faced many challenges in 2020.
The following update provides highlights of key developments that employers and other plan sponsors should consider as 2021 approaches. Read the full article.
COVID-19 Relief for Employer-Sponsored Benefit Plans: Federal Government Announces Deadline Extensions and Other Short-Term Relief
The U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services have issued a joint notice that modifies certain benefit plan notice, reporting, and election deadlines imposed by ERISA and the Code. In addition, DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, have issued additional short-term relief. The following update summarizes these…