Health Care Reform in Illinois – Small Employers Should Be Losing Sleep

January 11, 2012


President Obama’s health care reform law (aka: the “The Affordable Care Act” or “ACA”) is designed to broadly change the field of health care insurance.  While the law’s main focus may be to help Americans without health insurance coverage, it also has the potential to bring a variety of positive effects to the world of […]

“Extra-Extra!!! Wall Street Reform Harms ERISA Plans!”

December 8, 2010


The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank”) was passed to “promote the financial stability of the United States” and to protect consumers from “abusive financial services practices.”[1] It will bring unprecedented change to the securities and derivative investments markets.  It will also negatively impact participants of employee benefit plans subject […]

Posted in: Wall Street Reform

Health Care Reform Primer

May 31, 2010


The basic parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka: “PPACA”) are identifiable by the actors affected (ie: the Individual, the Employer, and the Insurance Carrier), as well as the reforms that define their interconnection (ie: State exchanges, and benefit plan designs). PPACA directs states to create exchanges that will offer qualified benefit […]

Posted in: Health Care Reform

TARP’s Special Master

April 21, 2010


Entities subject to the executive compensation and governance requirements of Section 111 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (“EESA”), as amended by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (“ARRA”), may also be subject to the oversight of the Special Master for Executive Compensation.  The Special Master has authority to interpret section […]

Fees: Disclosure, Disclosure, and Disclosure

February 2, 2010


Everyone in the business of employee benefit plan servicing shares a common interest; they make money doing it.  Many service providers continue to benefit from the very flow of that money as a result of various “revenue sharing” agreements.  Take, for example, the case of an investment advisor who charges a plan a set annual […]

The Trouble with ERISA Plan Fees

January 15, 2010


The business of pension plan servicing, being a mere graft of the already complex financial services industry, has naturally adapted to multi-faceted fee-sharing arrangements (aka: revenue sharing).  Troubles arise, however, where these arrangements are not disclosed to participants, beneficiaries, – and plan sponsors, because the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, generally […]

Glenn and Administrative Law: Is there Substantial Evidence in the Claim File?

December 21, 2009


The court in Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. v. Bruch, 489 U.S. 101 (1989) (“Firestone”) held that where a plan vests discretion in the plan administrator, courts will not review decisions under a de novo standard but rather will afford broad deference to the administrative record.  The court also opined, however, that where an administrator […]