• DOL report finds major deficiencies in employee benefit plan audits

    The US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a report on its inspection of 2011 employee benefit plan audits, Assessing the Quality of Employee Benefit Plan Audits. The report is quite troubling as the DOL found a deficiency rate that is too high for such an important element of the system to protect participants in employee benefit plans.
  • Insurance regulators zeroing in on cybersecurity

    Recent activity by regulators shows an increased focus on cybersecurity in the insurance industry. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has published its Principles for Effective Cybersecurity Insurance Regulatory Guidance. In addition, the New York Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) recently released guidance for New York insurance organizations with their Report on Cybersecurity in the Insurance Sector.
  • What insurance organizations can do now to prepare for state regulatory cybersecurity initiatives

    Within the last several months, two significant insurance organizations have announced greater involvement in initiatives to reduce cybersecurity risk throughout the insurance industry. The New York State Department of Financial Services (NY DFS) released the results of its survey on cybersecurity practices and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently adopted a set of cybersecurity regulatory principles.
  • 831(b) captives draw scrutiny from IRS and Congress

    Large companies have been forming captive insurance companies (captives) to self-insure their risks since the 1950’s. In general, these captives were formed to lower insurance costs, provide access to the reinsurance market, and cover exposures where there are gaps in the commercial market. When congress enacted section 831(b) of the Internal Revenue code in 1986, it was intended to extend the benefits of self-insurance, from large publicly traded companies to smaller middle market closely held business entities.