Yet again, the Court has been called upon to negotiate the juxtaposition between Varity and Amara. According to the Complaint in Biller v. Prudential Ins. Co. and Six Continents Hotels, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 118577,...more
The Honorable Martin Reidinger, sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, declined Plaintiff’s invitation to extend the applicability of Cigna v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011), to...more
Two years ago, when called upon to address an ESOP fiduciary’s duty of prudence in the context of a motion to dismiss, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals followed a long line of cases: “We join our five sister circuits in...more
It is a deceptively simple statement: Governmental employee benefit plans are exempt from ERISA. 29 U.S.C. § 1003(b)(1). But what about an employee benefit plan of an entity affiliated with a governmental entity, but whose...more
When a participant of a defined contribution plan complains that the plan fiduciaries breached their duties in failing to remove poor performing funds from the 401(k)’s investment options, is the date of the breach when the...more
Not long ago, the Unites States Supreme Court in MetLife v. Glenn, 128 S. Ct. 2343 (2008) gave a stern warning to plan fiduciaries who required a claimant to apply for disability benefits with the Social Security...more
Executive Summary: Reimbursement claim brought under ERISA sec. 502(a)(3) was akin to “equitable lien by agreement,” and therefore could not be defeated by equitable defenses that contradicted plan terms. ...more
Executive Summary: ERISA “top hat” plan’s anti-alienation provision does not trump state garnishment laws.
A familiar feature of ERISA is its protection of a participant’s retirement savings from creditors; ERISA...more
The scenario is not difficult to imagine: An employee designates her spouse as the primary beneficiary under her employer’s life insurance and retirement benefit plans. Years later, the couple divorces, and in the marital...more
Executive Summary: The Fourth Circuit expands the scope of admissible evidence in an ERISA employee benefits case.
The very first principle applied in a lawsuit for benefits from an ERISA-governed employee benefit plan...more