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ERISA & Employee Benefit Plans


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.

Summary of SECURE Act 2.0 Guidance Released in 2023

Click here for a printer-friendly version. The SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 (“SECURE Act 2.0”) was signed into law on December 29, 2022 as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023.Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, Pub. L. 117-328, 136 Stat. 4,459 (2022). SECURE Act 2.0 refers specifically to Division T of this session law. SECURE Act 2.0 builds on the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Act of 2019 (the “SECURE Act”) and aims to modernize the retirement [...]

Lawsuits and Proposed IRS Regulations Conflict on the Use of Forfeitures in Defined Contribution Plans

Click here for a printer-friendly version. For decades IRS regulations and guidance have allowed employers with qualified 401(k) plans wide discretion to decide how to use plan account forfeituresForfeitures may include, for example, non-vested employer contributions in a former employee’s 401(k) account which the employee forfeited after a termination of employment. —including paying plan expenses, reducing an employer’s future contributions, or re-allocating to other participants, in accordance with the plan terms.For example, the House Conference Report regarding the Tax [...]

State PBM Legislation Impacting ERISA Self-Funded Group Health Plans

Click here for a printer-friendly version. State legislatures have increasingly regulated Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) in the wake of Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association,Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Ass’n, 592 U.S. 80 (2020). a 2020 Supreme Court decision holding that ERISA did not prevent Arkansas from requiring PBMs to reimburse pharmacies at a rate equal to or greater than a pharmacy’s acquisition cost. More than half of the states have enacted laws regulating PBMs. Common provisions impacting [...]

Legal Developments Impacting Retirement Plans 2023 Year-End Update

Click here for a printer-friendly version. Federal courts are conflicted on the elements necessary to prove that ERISA plan fees paid to a service provider are a prohibited transaction. Recent decisions from the Second and Ninth Circuits added to the circuit split, increasing the likelihood the Supreme Court will weigh in.Cunningham v. Cornell University, 86 F.4th 961 (2d Cir. 2023); Bugielski v. AT&T Services, Inc., 76 F.4th 894 (9th Cir. 2023). Regardless, plan fiduciaries can protect themselves by [...]

Legal Developments Impacting Health & Welfare Plans 2023 Year-End Update

Click here for a printer-friendly version. A federal district court in Texas previously ruled that the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) lacked authority to determine which services are covered by the Affordable Care Act’s preventive care mandate, and this year the court invalidated all agency action (back to March 23, 2010, and going forward) to implement or enforce preventive care coverage requirements in response to an “A” or “B” rating by the USPSTF.Braidwood Management Inc. v. Becerra, [...]

Healthcare Transparency Timing Requirements

Click here for a printer-friendly version. In recent years, Congress and federal agencies have pushed for greater transparency into the cost of healthcare through the passage of the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act and Transparency in Coverage rules.Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Pub. L. No. 116-260, 134 Stat. 1182 (2020); Final Rule on Transparency in Coverage, 85 Fed. Reg. 72,158 (Nov. 12, 2020). Group health plans must now disclose certain healthcare costs and other information to participants, to the general [...]