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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.
10th Circuit Invalidates Plan’s Arbitration Term
In the last several years, courts have grappled with ERISA plan terms that require participants to arbitrate their claims on an individual basis. Recently, the 10th Circuit invalidated a plan’s arbitration term in Harrison v. Envision Management Holding because it would have restricted the statutory ERISA remedies participants were otherwise entitled to seek.
Summary of Key Changes Under SECURE Act 2.0
The SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (“SECURE 2.0” or “the Act”) was signed into law on December 29, 2022 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023. SECURE 2.0 builds on the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Act of 2019 (the “SECURE Act”) and aims to modernize the retirement system, encourage additional retirement savings, and ease administrative requirements. Summarized below are the Act’s key provisions that apply to retirement plans (note that not all provisions of the Act are addressed). The first section of this bulletin covers changes that impact plan design, and the second covers changes that are more administrative in nature.
Legal Developments Impacting Health & Welfare Plans 2022 Year-End Update
In June, the Supreme Court ruled the Constitution does not guarantee a right to abortion, leaving states free to regulate them. This means state law may dictate coverage of abortions by insured health plans while ERISA plan sponsors may decide whether self-funded health plans will cover abortions. Limits on coverage will apply—for example, plans generally will not cover medical procedures that are illegal in the state where performed. Other issues remain open—for example, coverage of abortifacient drugs obtained out-of-state and reimbursement for out-of-state travel to obtain an abortion. Upcoming legislative sessions will likely produce additional laws.