News

MHTL Partner Speaks on Forfeiture of Pension Benefits and Permissible Limitations on Post Retirement Employment at IF’s San Francisco

Katherine A. Hesse, a partner with Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, and Chair of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans’ Government Liaison Committee recently presented the legal perspective on suspension/forfeiture of pension benefits because of post-retirement employment at the IFEBP’s Advanced Trustees and Administrators Institute at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square.  Joining Ms. Hesse on the practical aspects of discovering and administering such restrictions were Todd G. Helfrich, president and chief executive officer of the Eastern Contractors Association, Inc., and Joseph F. Ohm, fund administrator for the Plumbers’ and Technical Engineers’ Local 130 Benefit Funds.  Other nationally prominent attorneys, accountants, actuaries and administrator also presented on a variety of topics related to health and pension plans.

Ms. Hesse discussed the background and scope of the U.S. Department of Labor regulations, pointing out the differences in the rules for multiemployer and other types of retirement plans.  She emphasized that although plan sponsors typically focus on forfeitures because of post-retirement employment, that service under the regulations includes employment not just after payment of benefits begins but also if payment would have begun had the participant not remained in employment.  She highlighted the regulatory focus during retirement plan audits on continued employment after normal retirement age and the importance of timely notice to those whose benefits will not be actuarially recalculated.

Ms. Hesse also introduced and served as a moderator for the legislative update on retirement issues, which covered topics including the future of the PBGC, proposed legislation, and electronic disclosure.

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing solution-oriented education, research and information about employee benefits to single, multiemployer and public employee benefit plans across the United States and Canada.

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Expansion of Federal Protections for LGBT Workers

On June 15, 2020, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down a historic 6-3 decision authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch, in which the Court held that employers cannot discriminate against an individual on the basis of the individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity. This case, Bostock v. Clayton County, was a consolidation of three cases, involving two gay men, who were terminated based on their sexual orientation, and one transgender woman, who was terminated based on her gender identity.

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