As some of you may have heard, Susan Neethling and I recently joined the law firm Best Best & Krieger LLP. Like many changes of this sort, this one was bittersweet. We are pleased, though, to continue bringing you the latest public benefits information news. We have joined a unique powerhouse in the highly specialized area of public sector benefits. The attorneys in BB&K’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation practice group serve more than 200 California cities and public agencies. As a team, we hope to provide more information to the municipalities, special districts, school districts and other public sector clients who rely on us for effective counsel.
Starting this week, Focus on Public Benefits is back up and running after a brief hiatus during the transition. Thank you for your patience, and, as always, I hope to hear from you soon! I can be reached at (916) 329-3685 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more at bbklaw.com.
Most public sector retirement plan sponsors understand that even though their plans may not be subject to the fiduciary duties and responsibilities of ERISA, they are still subject to fiduciary duties under applicable State law. Moreover, certain States like California have deliberately imported important ERISA concepts and standards into their State laws governing the behavior of public sector retirement administrators and fiduciaries. These duties, among other things, require plan fiduciaries to make sure that all fees and expenses paid from plan assets (that is, participants’ accounts) are necessary, appropriate and reasonable. See, e.g., Cal. Const., article XVI, section 17 and Cal. Govt. Code section 53213.5. Continue reading
Time and time again plan sponsors seriously disadvantage themselves and their plan participants by announcing the migration of their plan from one record-keeper to a new record-keeper before all the conditions for a smooth transition have been fulfilled. Record-keepers know this and take full advantage of this all the time. Usually, the plan sponsor is so happy to have “completed” its RFP process that it treats the selection of a record-keeper as the end of the plan migration process – rather than its beginning. Continue reading
Compensatory time off or “comp time” is paid time off taken in lieu of pay. In the case of State and local governments, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) allows them to provide non‑exempt workers with comp time in lieu of overtime. State and local governments may also provide their exempt workers with comp time in lieu of regular pay. Continue reading