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ERISA & Employee Benefit Plans

MONDRESS MONACO PARR LOCKWOOD PLLC

MMPL is a Seattle, Washington law firm of highly skilled attorneys representing ERISA and employee benefit plans and trust funds, their sponsors, fiduciaries and trustees, and institutional service providers throughout the Pacific Northwest and nationwide. Since the firm’s entire practice is concentrated on employee benefits law, we offer comprehensive and experienced tax, fiduciary and trust, ERISA compliance, and litigation counseling. Learn more.

Searching for Missing Participants and Beneficiaries in Ongoing Plans

  The payment of benefits to missing participants and beneficiaries has been an area of increased DOL attention in recent years. In 2019, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (a DOL agency) recovered over $2 billion in payments to plans, participants, and beneficiaries from enforcement actions.   Yet despite the DOL’s heightened enforcement activity, it has yet to publish guidance addressing how fiduciaries of ongoing plans can satisfy their fiduciary duty to locate missing individuals.  Failure to timely [...]

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS IMPACTING RETIREMENT PLANS – 2019 YEAR-END UPDATE

In December 2019, Congress passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) as part of the Appropriations Act. See our article for additional information. Pursuant to an Executive Order, the IRS proposed updates to the actuarial tables for required minimum distributions (RMDs) to reflect longer life expectancies, resulting in lower RMD payments. The IRS finalized regulations on hardship distributions from 401(k) plans that implement changes in the 2018 Bipartisan Budget Act. The final [...]

LEGAL DEVELOPMENTS IMPACTING HEALTH AND WELFARE PLANS – 2019 YEAR-END UPDATE

In December 2019, the Fifth Circuit Court of AppealsTexas v. United States, 945 F.3d 355 (5th Cir. 2019), as revised (Dec. 20, 2019).  struck down the individual mandate penalty under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for an individual who does not maintain qualifying health coverage. Although a federal judge in Texas found this conclusion invalidated the entire ACA, the Fifth Circuit was unconvinced. On January 21, 2020, the Supreme Court rejected a request for expedited review. For now, [...]