Employee Benefits Law Report

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The illusion of an available job for the disabled: The Sixth Circuit’s decision in Kennard v. Means Industries, Inc. addresses long-term disability determinations

Many thanks to our summer clerk, Ryan Graham, for his significant contribution to this blog. A farmer was having a tough time understanding why his chickens were producing less eggs than in previous years. He wrote a letter to the local university, asking for guidance on increasing his chickens’ egg production. The university handed the … Continue Reading

Audits of Benefit Plan Financials – What They Are and Are Not

Department of Labor investigations of employee benefit plans can be challenging experiences for employers. The time demand can be a significant drain on the business, and the employer needs to be concerned about potential issues the investigator may raise. We believe the best defense is a good offense: we like our clients to take their responsibilities seriously well before an investigation. But employers are sometimes surprised that an investigator asks questions that were not asked by the auditors who conducted independent financial statement audits over the years. As a JD/CPA (double geek) I can tell you this audit is only one step in the ERISA fiduciary due diligence process. But, I thought it would be helpful to seek the input of a CPA who has been a member of both the Executive Committee of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center, and the AICPA Employee Benefit Plans Expert Panel – James E. Merklin, partner in charge of Assurance Services at Bober Markey Fedorovich, an independent CPA firm. Jim was gracious enough to share his perspective.… Continue Reading