Employee benefit plans

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Employee benefit plans

Retention of Records for Employee Benefit Plans: From time to time employers ask us how long they need to retain records relating to their ERISA plans. Though the question is most frequently asked with respect to retirement plans, it applies equally to health and other Employee benefit plans benefit plans.

But a case of first impression recently decided by the First Circuit Court of Appeals brings the question into sharp focus and provides a nice opportunity for us to share our thoughts on the matter. Two provisions of ERISA speak directly to the retention of records relating to employee benefit plans.

Regarding reporting and disclosure requirements, Section of ERISA states that all records pertaining to agency filings or to participant or beneficiary disclosures must be retained and kept available for examination for at least six years after the filing date.

The records to be maintained would vary depending upon the type of plan involved, but generally would include worksheets and other supporting data or documentation, committee minutes, board resolutions, and other information used to prepare the filings or disclosures.

Employee benefit plans

Ray Haluch Gravel Co. The Haluch Gravel case arose from a dispute between a union and an employer contributing to several multiemployer employee benefit plans under a series of collective bargaining agreements.

The union claimed that the employer owed additional contributions on account of previously unreported work by its members. The union had won a modest damage award with respect to work performed by a single, specified employee.

Employee benefit plans

However, the union did not obtain the much larger damages it sought with respect to a greater amount of work performed by other unspecified employees, so it appealed the decision of the District Court. The question, then, became who has the burden of producing the necessary records or otherwise proving the amount of work done or not done.

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As everyone knows, the plaintiff in a case has the obligation to prove its case against the defendant. However, after affirming that Section of ERISA clearly required the employer to maintain records sufficient to determine the benefits to which its employees might become entitled, the First Circuit found that the evidence that some work had been done combined with the lack of sufficient records justified shifting the burden to the employer to prove that it was NOT obligated to make contributions for all hours that potentially constituted work covered by the plan.

The Court did suggest that this burden-shifting concept might not apply in every case. But the Haluch Gravel case still offers a breathtaking example of the perils of failing to maintain adequate plan records consistent with the requirements of Section of ERISA.

So what do we recommend in the way of records retention? Employers should do what they can to sort their records into two categories: Without getting into the details of the records retention policies that we have crafted for clients, or attempting to provide an exhaustive list remember, this is not legal advicewe would offer the following general lists of pertinent records: Reporting and disclosure records which are subject to the 6-year retention requirement of ERISA Section would include: Benefits determination records which are subject to the open-ended retention requirement of ERISA Section would include: When dealing with such claims, federal courts will generally apply the state statute of limitations that seems applicable — for example, the statute of limitations for breach of contract.

Second, the 6-year or 3-year, in the case where the plaintiff had actual knowledge statute of limitation under Section of ERISA applies only to claims alleging breaches of fiduciary duty, prohibited transactions, and other claims under Part 4 of Title I.

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So while the records retention requirement under Section aligns nicely with the statute of limitations under Sectionthe open-ended requirements of Section go well beyond this limitation period. Many thanks to Karen Hartford for her assistance on this post.BASE ® helps a variety of business types across the country save thousands on health care expenses with easy-to-use benefit options, and provides compliance services to .

EBMS (Employee Benefit Management Services) is a third-party administrator of self-funded health plans, committed to driving change in this evolving marketplace.

We are industry leaders, and we consistently outperform our peers, always with a focus on improving lives of our members. Sep 06,  · Employee Benefits Employee Benefits. English; More In File. Individuals; Black Lung Benefits Program; Health Plans.

If an employer pays the cost of an accident or health insurance plan for his/her employees, including an employee’s spouse and dependents, the employer’s payments are not wages and are not subject to Social.

Employee Benefit Plans. Stay on top of your responsibilities as plan sponsor and in your fiduciary role while keeping the future retirement and health benefits of your employees safe. Why our plans make sense OASSIS’ comprehensive employee benefit plans reward and retain employees working in the not-for-profit sector.

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Plan participants enrolled in any of the State health plans have prescription drug coverage included in their health plan benefits. Prescription benefits are administered by the health plan's Prescription Benefit Manager (PBM).

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