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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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On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) which provides for a $1.9 trillion economic stimulus package. State and local governments, and also many educational entities, will receive substantial funding. Having endured the last year of the global COVID-19 pandemic, both states and local governments, as well as schools, have experienced unexpected expenses, losses in revenues, and budgetary burdens. The purpose of this Client Alert is to explain generally how funds from the ARPA relief aid have been designated to alleviate those COVID-19-related challenges.

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