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Christopher Guldberg

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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “Act”) was passed by the US House of Representatives by a voice vote today after being passed by the US Senate on Wednesday. The bill now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it very soon.  Below are some key retirement plan features of the Act: Coronavirus-Related Distributions. The Act would allow participants in eligible retirement plans to take distributions in 2020 of…

Almost all plan documents contain some level of administrative provisions outlining how the plan is intended to operate (e.g., number of committee members, quorum, etc.).  Plan sponsors often view these provisions as “boilerplate” with little or no meaning.  In actuality, these are substantive provisions of the plan and failure to follow those provisions can have substantial consequences. The Consequences Failure to follow the terms of the plan document is a potential qualification issue under IRS…

On January 11, 2018, the IRS issued Notice 1036, which provides the percentage method tables for income tax withholding in 2018. Key developments include: The flat withholding rate on supplemental wages, such as equity awards, of $1 million dollars and under a year is now 22% – down from 25%. As anticipated, the mandatory supplemental withholding rate for compensation in excess of $1 million is now 37% – down from 39.6%. The backup withholding rate…

As of December 20, 2017, both the House of Representatives and the Senate have voted to approve the final version of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, in substantially the form released by the Conference Committee on December 15th. The bill is expected to be presented to the President for signature before Christmas, making US tax reform a reality for 2018.

U.S. tax reform continues to move through the Halls of Congress at a brisk pace. Yesterday the House approved the bill proposed by the House Ways and Means Committee. For a discussion of the compensation-related provisions of the House bill, please refer to our alert dated November 13, 2017. The current draft of the conceptual mark-up under review by the Senate Finance Committee (the “Senate Mark”) has been amended in a way that generally aligns…

If you have been following the progress of U.S. tax reform, you will know that one of the most significant proposed changes in the compensation arena is currently up in the air, with a conflict between the final bill approved last week by the House Ways and Means Committee and the conceptual mark-up now under review by the Senate Finance Committee (the “Senate Mark”). Specifically, the final House bill eliminated proposed changes that would have…

We know we are not supposed to get too excited about a proposed tax bill, but The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the amended version of which was released by the House on November 3, 2017, is no ordinary tax bill. Not only does it propose sweeping changes to the taxation of executive compensation and employee benefits, it aims to be effective as of January 1, 2018 – which means limited time to mobilize against…

Pursuant to Department of Labor guidance, a “statement of investment policy” provides fiduciaries responsible for plan investments with written guidelines or general instructions concerning various types of investment management decisions.  Typically, an investment policy will establish criteria and procedures for the selection, monitoring, removal, and replacement of plan investments. Unlike the “funding policy” required for plans under Section 402(b) of ERISA, there is no requirement under ERISA that a plan have a written investment policy…

On April 21, 2017, the Trump Administration issued Executive Order 13789, which instructed the IRS to review all “significant tax regulations” issued on or after January 1, 2016 to identify as targets for modification, rescission or delayed effectiveness any regulations that (i) impose an undue financial burden on U.S. taxpayers; (ii) add undue complexity to the Federal tax laws; or (iii) exceed the statutory authority of the IRS. Having completed this review, earlier this month,…

Companies preparing CEO pay ratio disclosure for the 2018 proxy season should not assume they will be able to rely on the Privacy Exemption with regard to gathering information about non-US employees. For a summary of the key provisions of the SEC’s final CEO pay ratio disclosure rule and the limited exemptions provided for non-US employees, see Baker McKenzie’s recent client alert. Invoking these exceptions will likely be difficult in practice. Companies should, however, generally be…