Summary of ERISA Benefit Legislation

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was signed into law on September 2, 1974 by President Gerald Ford.  Since then, Congress has passed over 100 major pieces of employee benefit legislation since ERISA was signed.  Chronological Summary of Major Post-ERISA Benefit Legislation provides a summary of the major employee benefits legislation:

The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act)

President Signs Extenders And Omnibus Acts, Impacting Broad Range Of Provisions provides a summary of The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act) that was signed into law on December 18, 2015.  The legislation permanently extended provisions that previously had to rely on “extenders” to apply retroactively to the past year and also extended other provisions.  Here are some relevant highlights:

S. 1212: Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2015

S. 1212: Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2015 was introduced on May 6, 2015, by Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD], and is co-sponsored by Ayotte, Kelly [R-NH], Blunt, Roy [R-MO], Collins, Susan [R-ME], Crapo, Michael [R-ID], Franken, Alan “Al” [D-MN], Heitkamp, Heidi [D-ND], Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN], Leahy, Patrick [D-VT], Risch, James [R-ID], Roberts, Pat [R-KS], Stabenow, Debbie [D-MI], Thune, John [R-SD], and Whitehouse, Sheldon [D-RI]. Baldwin, Tammy [D-WI], Sanders, Bernard “Bernie” [I-VT], King, Angus [I-ME], and Kirk, Mark [R-IL] have also co-sponsored the legislation.  It has been referred to the Senate Finance committee.

H.R. 2096: Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2015

H.R. 2096: Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2015 was introduced on April 29, 2015, by Rep. Reichert [R-WA], and was originally co-sponsored by Blumenauer, Earl [D-OR]Boustany, Charles [R-LA], Kind, Ron [D-WI]Neal, Richard [D-MA]Pascrell, Bill [D-NJ]Paulsen, Erik [R-MN], and Tiberi, Patrick “Pat” [R-OH].  As of May 21, 8 additional co-sponsors have signed on to the legislation: Ashford, Brad [D-NE2], Dold, Bob [R-IL10], Moore, Gwen [D-WI4], Conyers, John [D-MI13], Davis, Rodney [R-IL13], Goodlatte, Bob [R-VA6], Marchant, Kenny [R-TX24], and Smith, Jason [R-MO8].  It has been referred to the House Education and the Workforce Committee, the House Small Business Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee.

H.R. 4837: Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2014

H.R. 4837: Promotion and Expansion of Private Employee Ownership Act of 2014 was introduced on June 11, 2014, by Rep. Reichert [R-WA], and was originally co-sponsored byBlumenauer, Earl [D-OR]Boustany, Charles [R-LA]Kind, Ron [D-WI]Neal, Richard [D-MA]Pascrell, Bill [D-NJ]Paulsen, Erik [R-MN], and Tiberi, Patrick “Pat” [R-OH].  As of July 31additional co-sponsors include Fitzpatrick, Michael [R-PA]Ruppersberger, A. Dutch [D-MD]Bonamici, Suzanne [D-OR]Moore, Gwen [D-WI]Jenkins, Lynn [R-KS]Peters, Gary [D-MI],Roskam, Peter [R-IL]Thompson, Mike [D-CA]Courtney, Joe [D-CT]Reed, Tom [R-NY]Connolly, Gerald [D-VA], and Schock, Aaron [R-IL].  It has been referred to the House Education and the Workforce Committee, the House Small Business Committee, and the House Ways and Means Committee.

Pro-ESOP Legislation Introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders

press release from the office of Sen. Bernard Sanders [I-VT] announces the introduction of S. 2411: United States Employee Ownership Bank Act and S. 2412: Employee Ownership and Participation Initiative that would expand employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and employee ownership:

S. 2412: Employee Ownership and Participation Initiative

S. 2412: Employee Ownership and Participation Initiative was introduced on June 2, 2014, by Sen. Bernard Sanders [I-VT] and co-sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown [D-OH], and Sen. Patrick Leahy [D-VT].  It has been referred to the  Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, and the committee chair, Sen. Thomas “Tom” Harkin [D-IA] will determine whether the bill will move past the committee stage.

S. 2411: United States Employee Ownership Bank Act

S. 2411: United States Employee Ownership Bank Act was introduced on June 2, 2014, by Sen. Bernard Sanders [I-VT] and co-sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown [D-OH], and Sen. Patrick Leahy [D-VT].  It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and the committee chair, Sen. Tim Johnson [D-SD], will determine whether the bill will move past the committee stage.

March 2014 ESOP and Corporate Tax Reform Update

Here is an update on ESOP legislation and corporate tax reform.

President's 2015 Budget Eliminates Certain ESOP 404(k) Dividends

Last week we discussed the news that the House Draft of Tax Reform Legislation did not have a direct impact on ESOPs.  While this is definitely positive news for ESOPs, President Obama's Budget for Fiscal Year 2015 has been released and it includes language to eliminate the IRS Section 404(k) ESOP dividend deduction for publicly traded C Corporations.  IRC Section 404(k) is the section in the Internal Revenue Code that provides the C Corporation provisions for paying Deductible Dividends to an ESOP:

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