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If employee benefits compliance doesn't sound fun to you, then you haven't listened to ERISA is a friend of minea podcast hosted by the Compliance Services professionals from Lockton. Join hosts Edward Fensholt, J.D., director of Compliance Services, and Scott Behrens, J.D., director of Government Relations, to learn the intricacies of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and other employee benefits laws, one hilarious topic at a time. 


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Sep 21, 2020

What exactly is the “lost ark” of ERISA? Ed and Scott welcome Lockton’s very own tomb raider, Jay Kirshbaum, J.D., LLM, to find out. Together they decode a recent private letter ruling (PLR) from the IRS to discover a surprise lever that may allow employers to offer employees a nontaxable choice between employer contributions to a retirement plan or to a retiree HRA.

Jay leads the boys through the labyrinth of tax rules like only someone with a master’s degree in tax law can and delivers up the holy grail of tax-favored benefits. Full of exciting twists and turns, this episode dives into:

  • Is tax law interesting and provocative? (Hint: depends on who you ask)
  • What exactly is a PLR?
  • Does the recent PLR change the rules for offering employees a choice between HRA and retirement plan contributions?
  • What is constructive receipt, and why do we care?
  • How does the PLR promote the gloriously tax-advantaged vehicle that is an HRA? Why should employers care?
  • What is an unfunded liability? Why does the term give Ed a fever? How can he get his hands on the Social Security trust fund?
  • Where does COLI come into play? Is it even still legal? Has an employer that buys COLI “chosen wisely?”