Allen Steinberg : Perspectives

Employee benefit plans—especially retirement and health care—have become an increasingly important part of the employment relationship. For employers, these plans represent an important part of the total compensation package, a tool for retention and recruitment, and a growing financial and compliance burden. For employees, these plans represent a key part of their overall financial security and wellbeing, a financial burden, and a source of complexity and frustration. In effect, it’s complicated. Our firm is dedicated to helping employers manage these complexities and focus on the important things.

Contact Allen Steinberg

12.07.2023 03.47 CDT

Yale takes fiduciary case to trial—and prevails

Yale Prevails in Fiduciary Suit

Yale Prevails in Fiduciary Suit

The jury found that Yale breached fiduciary duties and cause plan to pay excessive fees; at the same time the jury found that a fiduciary following a prudent process could have made the same decisions and awarded $0 in damages.

20.06.2023 11.29 CDT

Plan sponsors can now take advantage of new opportunities to self-correct errors.

SECURE 2.0 Guidance Helps Plan Sponsors Clean the Slate

SECURE 2.0 Guidance Helps Plan Sponsors Clean the Slate

Since 1991 the IRS has had a program allowing plan sponsors to correct administrative errors and, over the years the IRS has expanded the availability of this program and the ability to “self-correct” errors without an IRS filing. SECURE 2.0 took this trend--of expanding the availability of self-correction--to the next level by directing the IRS to allow self-correction for a broad range of “inadvertent” errors. IRS Notice 2023-43 clarifies the rules for this expanded self-correction opportunity.

14.12.2022 09.06 CST

New DOL guidance seeks to clarify relationship between ESG factors and ERISA fiduciary requirements.

DOL Revamps ESG Guidance

DOL Revamps ESG Guidance

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued new final regulations that attempt (once again) to clarify how plan fiduciaries can consider the use of environmental, social and governance factors (“ESG”) in making plan investment decisions. The goal of these new final regulations was to walk back regulations, finalized during the waning days of the Trump administration in December 2020, that placed obstacles in the way of fiduciaries considering the use of ESG factors.

17.11.2022 11.59 CST

A round of court cases following Supreme Court’s Hughes decision places a greater burden on plaintiffs bringing fiduciary litigation.

Court of Appeals Reject Generalized Allegations

Court of Appeals Reject Generalized Allegations

Several recent decisions handed down by federal appellate courts offer some good news for plan fiduciaries. In each of these cases the courts affirmed dismissals of fiduciary litigation, concluding that the facts alleged were just not enough to support a claim. The dismissals were based on the courts’ assessment that even if the general facts alleged were true (e.g., that other plans paid less in recordkeeping or management fees or that other funds performed better) –those facts would not show that the actions taken by the fiduciaries for these specific plans were not prudent.

01.02.2022 03.04 CST

Fiduciaries are responsible to exercise prudence in all decisions—not just some.

Supreme Court Weighs in (Marginally) in Fiduciary Litigation

Supreme Court Weighs in (Marginally) in Fiduciary Litigation

The Supreme Court’s decision leaves unanswered many difficult questions facing fiduciaries.