Cohen & Buckmann Insights

Latest from Cohen & Buckmann Insights

Every week, Cohen & Buckmann co-founding partner, Carol Buckmann, writes a column for Plan Sponsor magazine about benefits matters and legal changes relating to Covid-19 situation, explaining what plan sponsors and participants need to know about the new law and guidance. We’ve compiled her most popular entries here (through July 6, 2020): Who Qualifies for Coronavirus-Related Distributions? New Loan Provisions Under the CARES Act How Are Coronavirus-Related Distributions Taxed? Deadline Extensions Provide Relief to
Irene Bassock, of counsel with Cohen & Buckmann, was interviewed by Harvard Business Review for its article, “Office Reentry Plans Must Account for Medically Vulnerable Employees.” The article discusses ways in which employers can support employees who are most vulnerable to the COVID-19, and others, to help them feel safe when returning to work after the nationwide shutdown caused by the pandemic. One of the suggestions is to have a process in place for fielding…
COVID-19 has made it difficult for some participants to get plan distributions and loans. My latest COVID-19 Compliance Corner column for PLANSPONSOR discusses new IRS relief. https://www.plansponsor.com/covid-19-compliance-corner-irs-eases-spousal-consent-rules-2020/ Each Monday, I will analyze the latest guidance and changes affecting employee benefit plans in the COVID-19 Compliance Corner.…
Can participants in a well-funded defined benefit plan sue for fiduciary breach? Applying constitutional law to ERISA suits, the Supreme Court ruled on June 1 in a 5-4 decision (Thole v. U.S. Bank N.A.) that these participants do not have standing to challenge imprudent plan investments because they have no monetary injury. This decision may have immediate impact in cutting off potential defined benefit plan lawsuits based on investment losses during a coronavirus-related recession. It…
States and individual communities are moving ahead with phased reopenings of their economies. As a result, business owners need specific guidance on what steps they should take to reopen safely for employees, customers, and others with whom their businesses interact. My prior article addressed the importance of following regulatory requirements and best practices established by public health organizations to reopen in a way that reduces health risks, but for employers, the need to manage health…
Co-founding partner Carol Buckmann has been tapped by PLANSPONSOR magazine to author a weekly column titled, COVID-19 Compliance Corner, which debuted on Monday, May 11, 2020. The first column, “Who Qualifies for Coronavirus-Related Distributions?” which quickly became one of the most well-read articles on the PLANSPONSOR website, explains who qualifies for coronavirus-related retirement plan distributions, as prescribed in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The article outlines: Who is eligible for these…
It is obvious that people are experiencing a lot of anxiety right now. People are anxious to get back to some form of normalcy – whether that means getting back to work, to school, and/or to their social lives – but people also are anxious about how to do these things safely, protecting their health and the health of those around them. For employers, these anxieties include financial worries about their business’s lost revenue, retaining…
Layoffs and furloughs as a result of COVID-19 can trigger vesting obligations that may surprise plan sponsors unfamiliar with the IRS rules on partial plan terminations. Failure to treat participants correctly can jeopardize the plan’s qualified status and, if the employer has been using forfeitures to reduce its contributions, may also have a financial impact. Partial terminations can technically affect both defined contribution and defined benefit plans, but in the event of a partial termination…