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Certificate In Employee Benefits Law

presented by Training Center Group
View the Training Center Group Profile and Course Listings

Bring a trainer to your location to deliver this class for groups of 10 or more.

Summary

The four and a half day seminar covers employee benefits issues that arise in the design and administration of employee benefit plans, the management of their assets, controversies between plan sponsors, trustees, participants, and the numerous government agencies that regulate these plans.

Workshop Description/Agenda

Our Certificate In Employee Benefits Law Seminar is designed to to be the most comprehensive and practical seminar available in its field for HR benefits administration training.

The 4.5 day seminar covers employee benefits issues that arise in the design and administration of employee benefit plans, the management of their assets, controversies between plan sponsors, trustees, participants, and the numerous government agencies that regulate these plans. The course will also cover all applicable Healthcare Reform issues.

WHAT YOU WILL LEARN

The goal of this seminar is to improve the participant's ability to identify and limit risks to their organization in dealing with employee benefit plans and to provide "best practices" insights for ERISA compliance, Executive Compensation, M&A, Retirement Plan, Welfare Benefit Plan Issues, and HR benefits administration training issues. This course includes:

  • A comprehensive understanding of the requirements of federal and state laws and regulations relating to the administration of employee benefit plans and the management of their assets and how they affect plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries and plan service providers.
  • The basic skills to administer employee benefit plans and manage their assets pursuant to the current requirements of the law; to recognize and avoid problem areas and to cope with regulatory requirements; to respond appropriately to compliance complaints; and to minimize the possibility of expensive and time-consuming litigation.
  • Information regarding current regulatory, litigation and legislative developments and trends in the employee benefits field which will enable participants to make important contributions to the administration and management of employee benefit plans performed by their organizations, and to anticipate and cope with the ever-emerging regulatory and enforcement developments in these critical areas.

BENEFITS OF OUR EMPLOYEE BENEFITS MANAGEMENT TRAINING

By participating in this seminar you will learn key concepts to successful employee benefits management, including:

  • Learn the practical application and "best practices" in this complex field
  • Improve your on-the-job skills immediately
  • Increase your confidence in dealing with the complex area of employee benefits
  • Reduce your organization's exposure to expensive and time-consuming litigation
  • Update your information and knowledge in a rapidly changing field of law
  • Have all your employee benefits law questions answered by highly experienced attorneys
  • Increase your value to your organization
  • Meet and exchange ideas with colleagues in a stimulating environment
  • Earn an important credential

WORKSHOP AGENDA

Block I: Retirement Plans (Monday and Tuesday)

Overview of the Statutes and Regulatory Agencies Governing Retirement Plans

  • The Alphabet of Laws (ERISA, ADA, COBRA, FMLA, GATT, USERRA, HIPAA and EGTRRA) and agencies (IRS, DOL, EBSA, PBGC, EEOC, SEC and HCFA)
  • ERISA Title I and Title II and the division of authority between the IRS, the Department of Labor and the PBGC
  • Overview of plan types and qualification requirements

Fiduciary Rules and Investing Plan Assets

  • Overview of prohibited transactions, exemptions, penalties and corrections
  • Participant investment direction-Is 404(c) worth all the trouble?
  • Participant investment direction in an up and down market
  • When investments go bad, who is liable?
  • Plan fiduciaries, co-fiduciary liability and the liability of service providers
  • Paying expenses from plan assets.
  • Why is the Department of Labor so interested in proxy voting?
  • The lessons being learned from Enron
  • Investment of education versus advice

Nondiscrimination Testing for Retirement Plans

  • Overview of nondiscrimination testing of participation, benefits, and contributions
  • Controlled groups rules
  • Highly compensated employee definition
  • Coverage rules (Code Section 410(b)), including QSLOBs
  • Nondiscriminatory Contributions (Code Section 401(a)(4))
  • Safeharbors and general rules for contributions
  • Testing benefits, rights, and features
  • Cross testing and age weighted profit sharing plans
  • 401(k) and 401(m) testing and safe harbor plans
  • Dealing with failed 401(k) and 401(m) testing

Plan Administration

  • Day-to-Day challenges of plan administration
  • Participant loans
  • QDROs
  • Salary deferrals and catch-up contributions
  • Paperless administration
  • Sarbanes-Oxley and blackout periods
  • ERISA Section 204(h) notices
  • Suspension of benefits provisions

Plan Distributions

  • When can participants take money out of the plan?
  • Withholding and rollovers
  • Consent rules
  • Joint and survivor rules
  • Hardship distributions
  • Code Section 411(d)(6) Anti-cutback rules and elimination of distribution methods
  • Minimum required distributions at age 70½
  • Retroactive annuity starting dates

Plan Audits and IRS and DOL Voluntary Compliance Programs

  • Plan Qualification: What is it?
  • What happens if a plan is disqualified?
  • IRS audit targets
  • Correcting errors under IRS compliance programs
  • Correcting errors discovered by IRS in an audit
  • Late forms filing and how to resolve
  • Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
  • Compliance audits/compliance controls

Early Retirement Incentive Programs

  • Designing the program to achieve goals
  • Designing the program to comply with ADEA waiver rules
  • Designing to comply with 401(a)(4) rules for retirement early windows
  • What the courts are telling us about early retirement windows and ADEA waivers

Government and Nonprofit Employers - Qualified and Nonqualified Plans

  • Who is the employer? How controlled group rules apply to government and nonprofit employees
  • Qualification standards for government plans
  • Code Section 403(b) plans-contribution limits and IRS audit and voluntary correction programs
  • Eligible and Ineligible Code Section 457 plans


Block II: Special Employee Benefits Issue (Wednesday)

ERISA Compliance

  • Learn which plans ERISA covers
  • How to deal with state law requirements
  • Plan documentation and reporting obligations to participants and the government
  • Administering benefit claims
  • Making your administrative decisions bullet-proof
  • Arbitration of benefit claims
  • Understanding and satisfying fiduciary obligations
  • Identifying and investing plan assets
  • Protecting your plan's right to reimbursement
  • Avoiding the anti-cutback rule

Executive Compensation

  • Qualified versus non-qualified plans
  • Top Hat Plans - how to avoid the trap set by ERISA and the Code
  • Code Section 409A - the new deferred compensation rules
  • Stock options and other equity-based awards
  • Change-in-control and severance payments

Benefit Issues Arising in Corporate Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Understand the benefits issues and alternatives in M&A transactions
  • Partial plan terminations and vesting
  • How to terminate a plan
  • Protected benefits and formerly protected benefits
  • Wraparound or wear-away benefits
  • Transition periods for minimum coverage and participation requirements
  • Health plan issues: COBRA and related matters
  • Severance


Block III: Welfare Benefit Plan Issues (Thursday and Friday)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans

  • Which welfare plans are subject to ERISA
  • Reporting requirements (Form 5500)
  • Disclosure requirements (SPD, SMM, etc.)
  • Electronic SPDs
  • Plan funding rules
  • Trust requirements
  • What funds are plan assets
  • Cafeteria plan trust moratorium
  • Fiduciary Obligations
  • Prohibited transaction issues
  • New DOL claim procedure requirements
  • ERISA 510 claims
  • Impact of ERISA on claims litigation
  • Preemption and state law regulation

HIPAA's Impact on Health Plans

  • HIPAA Portability
  • Pre-existing condition limitations
  • HIPAA non-discrimination requirements
  • HIPAA certificates of creditable coverage

HIPAA Privacy Overview

  • Privacy issues for health plan sponsors
  • Business associate contract requirements

The H & W Plan Alphabet

  • Impact of employment nondiscrimination laws on H & W benefits
  • ADEA (Erie update)
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act
  • Americans With Disabilities Act
  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • Military leave (USERRA)
  • Health plan mandates
  • QMCSOs
  • Mental Health Parity
  • Medicare Secondary
  • Cancer Rights Act

Cafeteria Plan Issues

  • Cafeteria plan basics
  • Which benefits can be pre-taxed
  • Who can participate
  • The irrevocable election rule and change in status exceptions
  • Health FSAs
  • Which expenses qualify
  • Claim substantiation rules
  • Dependent Care FSAs
  • Which expenses qualify
  • Impact on child care tax credit
  • Transit/Parking Plans

Consumer Driven Health Care

  • Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
  • Introduction to HRA rollover accounts

Who Should Attend

HR benefits administrators

Additional Information

Training Provider: Training Center Group

Course Topics: HR Management Training > Certificate Programs

Training Course Summary: The four and a half day seminar covers employee benefits issues that arise in the design and administration of employee benefit plans, the management of their assets, controversies between plan sponsors, trustees, participants, and the numerous government agencies that regulate these plans.