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Effectively Handling Beneficiary Designations

Understand challenging issues that can arise with the administration of beneficiary designations.

The administration of beneficiary designations is an unexpectedly complex aspect of benefit plan administration. At issue are fiduciary obligations of plan administrators, litigation over benefit entitlements, and the financial risk of improper benefit payments. Gain an understanding of the statutory obligations related to the administration of beneficiary designations, learn how to draft clear plan documents, summary plan descriptions, and beneficiary designations forms, and know how to properly administer beneficiary designations. Be prepared to address special considerations for administering beneficiary designations under retirement, welfare and executive compensation arrangements. Topics to be covered include legal requirements, drafting to address unexpected circumstances (such as the absence of beneficiary designations, divorce and legal separations, and disputed payments), the importance of maintaining records, utilizing claims procedures, and recommendations for proper administration of beneficiary designations.

Runtime: 86 minutes
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Why Lorman?

Over 32 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Agenda

Legal Requirements (ERISA, Internal Revenue Other Relevant Laws)

  • Obligation to Administer Plans in Accordance With Plan Terms
  • Spousal Consent Requirements
  • Application Under Different Types of Benefit Plans

Importance of Plan Language

  • Invalid Beneficiary Designations or No Beneficiary Designations
  • Legal Separation or Divorce
  • Interpreting Plan Language
  • How to Fully Discharge Plan Obligations
  • Plan Record Issues
  • Asking for More Information
  • Importance of Claims Procedures

Importance of Clear Beneficiary Designation Forms

  • Consistency With Plan Terms
  • Clear Instructions on:
    • Consequences of Not Designating a Beneficiary
    • How to Request a Form
    • What Is Necessary to Properly Complete the Form
    • When a New Beneficiary Designation Form May Be Necessary
    • Plan Administrator's Right to Request Documentation

Issues Arising in Administering Beneficiary Designations

  • Incomplete Beneficiary Designations
  • Retention of Forms
  • Lost Participants and Beneficiaries
  • Determining the Designated Beneficiary:
    • Multiple Primary or Contingent Beneficiaries
    • Death
    • Marriage
    • Divorce
  • Claims Procedures
  • Special Issues Under Retirement, Welfare and Executive Compensation Arrangements
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Why Lorman?

Over 32 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Credits

OnDemand Webinar

This course was last revised on November 18, 2015.

Call 1-866-352-9540 for further credit information.

No Credit Available

This program does NOT qualify, nor meet the National Standard for NASBA accreditation.

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Why Lorman?

Over 32 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

Faculty

David M. Spaulding

David M. Spaulding

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

  • Shareholder of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP
  • Practice focuses on tax-qualified retirement plans and executive compensation arrangements
  • Counsels plan sponsors that include publically-traded, closely-held, and tax-exempt organizations
  • Speaks frequently on a variety of employee benefits-related topics, including benefit plan administration, the design and administration of executive compensation plans, payroll tax matters, and worker classification
  • More than 17 years of benefits and tax-related experience both as an attorney and as a consultant at an international accounting firm
  • Has written on beneficiary designation disputes and case law following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Kennedy v. Plan Administrators for DuPont Savings and Investment Plan, et al. (January 26, 2009) clarifying that, other than with respect to benefits subject to QDROs, the plan administrator of an ERISA plan is required to follow the terms of the plan document to determine the beneficiary to whom a deceased participant’s benefits must be paid
  • Admitted to practice law in Colorado, California and Louisiana
  • J.D. degree, Tulane Law School; LL.M. degree in taxation, University of Denver; B.B.A. degree in accounting, Loyola University
  • Can be contacted at 303-223-1241 or [email protected]
Nancy A. Strelau

Nancy A. Strelau

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP

  • Shareholder of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP
  • Practice focuses on employee benefits, ERISA, and executive compensation matters
  • Represents plan sponsors that include publically-traded, closely-held, governmental and tax-exempt employers, as well as trustees, consultants, and other third-party providers
  • Contributing editor for EBIA’s ERISA Compliance for Health and Welfare Plans
  • Lectures frequently on a variety of employee benefits-related topics, sharing more than 25 years of benefits-related experience both as an attorney and as a benefits professional at an international benefit consulting firm
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, and Colorado Super Lawyers
  • Professional memberships include the American Bar Association (Tax, Labor and Employment and RPTE Sections), the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals, the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, and the Colorado Women’s Bar Association
  • Admitted to practice law in Colorado, Pennsylvania and New Jersey
  • J.D. degree, Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law; B.A. degree, Muhlenberg College
  • Can be contacted at 303-223-1151 or [email protected]
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Over 32 years and 1.4 million customers worth of experience providing continuing education. Our passion is providing you world-class training to help you succeed in business and as a professional.

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Product ID: 393787
Published 2015
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