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What Does the Supreme Court’s Ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer Mean for ESOPs and Other Retirement Plan Fiduciaries?

Fiduciaries of qualified retirement plans, including Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs), have generally been entitled to a presumption that they have acted prudently in offering employer stock as an investment alternative...more

Fifth Circuit Holds Deferred Compensation Plan Is Governed by ERISA

The decision details important implications for employers that use deferred compensation arrangements....more

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Review of Restrictions on Federal Agency Rulemaking in Mortgage Loan Officer Overtime Case

In our July 2013 alert, we reported on a federal appellate court ruling in Mortgage Bankers Association v. Harris. Mortgage Bankers Association challenged a U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) 2010 opinion letter in support of...more

Perspectives - Fall 2012 Volume 3, Edition 2: An Executive Compensation, Benefits & Human Resources Law Update

In this Issue: - Don’t “Moench”ion It: Supreme Court Rejects Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries - Avoiding Claims of Excessive Fund Fees - Risk of ERISA Class Actions Can Be Reduced by Use of...more

The Latest on the Use of Retained Asset Accounts to Pay Life Insurance Benefits

In Merrimon v. Unum Life Insurance Co. of America, 2014 WL 2960024 (1st Cir. July 2, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit became the third circuit court to approve an insurance company’s use of a retained...more

U.S. Supreme Court Changes Fiduciary Rules for Retirement Plans with Employer Stock

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision affects fiduciaries of retirement plans that have investments in employer stock. In the decision, the Supreme Court held that a retirement plan fiduciary is not entitled to a presumption...more

SEC Charges Hedge Fund Adviser with Engaging in Prohibited Principal Transactions and Retaliating Against Whistleblower

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued a cease and desist order on June 16, 2014 (the Order) against Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. (Paradigm) and its founder, Director, President and Chief...more

Employee Benefits Update: Unanimous Supreme Court Issues ERISA Fiduciary Duty Opinion

On June 25, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, which is likely to change the future of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) stock drop litigation. ...more

Supreme Court Refocuses the 11th Circuit in its Review of an ESOP Fiduciary's Duty of Prudence.

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

Supreme Court Rejects Presumption for ERISA Fiduciaries, But Makes Clear Stock-Drop Claims Are Difficult to Sustain

What you need to know: In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, et al., decided earlier this month, the Supreme Court seemingly handed a victory to the plaintiff’s bar, striking down a presumption of prudence that ERISA...more

U.S. Supreme Court Abolishes the Presumption of Prudence in ERISA Stock Drop Cases

A recurring scenario in ERISA litigation involves claims against fiduciaries of 401(k) retirement plans who are alleged to have breached their fiduciary duty by failing to discontinue investment in employer stock following a...more

DC Circuit Holds Named Plaintiff Who Settles Individual Claims Retains Standing To Appeal Denial Of Class Certification

In Stephens, two former pilots brought a putative class action lawsuit against their employer airline and their retirement plan, alleging that a delay in paying retirement benefits and failure to pay interest during the delay...more

De Facto Plan Administrator Claims in the First Circuit

According to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(c)(1)(B) of ERISA, it is within a court’s discretion to award a penalty of up to $110 per day based on an administrator’s failure to comply with a plan participant’s or beneficiary’s request for...more

First Circuit Upholds Use of Retained Asset Accounts in ERISA Class Action

On July 2, 2014, a unanimous panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that Unum Life Insurance Company’s practice of using Retained Asset Accounts (RAAs) to pay death benefits claims on group...more

Supreme Court Rejects Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoffer, declared that no “presumption of prudence” applied to fiduciaries of “employee stock ownership plans” (ESOPs). ...more

Supreme Court Axes "Presumption of Prudence" in ESOP Stock-Drop Cases

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision that gives comfort to "stock-drop" plaintiffs and may cause shockwaves among employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) fiduciary committees. In Fifth Third Bancorp v....more

Supreme Court Rejects “Presumption of Prudence,” Adopts New Pleading Standards in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer

The Supreme Court of the United States has issued its highly anticipated decision in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, No. 12-751. In an opinion written by Justice Breyer for a unanimous court, the Supreme Court held...more

The Mistaken Fiduciary: Can You Correct Overpayments to U.S. Retirees?

Even the best run pension plans occasionally pay retirees the wrong amount due to errors in employee classification, or calculating participant service or compensation. Correcting underpayments is easy enough – though it is...more

D.C. Circuit Rules That "Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies" Is Not Required For Violations of ERISA’S Statutory Guarantees:...

The U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has joined five other federal circuits to rule that pension plan participants need not exhaust a plan’s internal remedial procedures before they file suit in...more

SEC Settles with Hedge Fund Adviser over Principal Transactions and Retaliation Against Whistleblower

The SEC settled administrative proceedings against an investment adviser, Paradigm Capital Management, Inc. (the “Adviser”), and Candace King Weir, the Adviser’s principal owner (the “Principal”), over violations of the...more

The Supreme Court Of The United States Holds That ESOP Fiduciaries Are Not Entitled To A Presumption Of Prudence, Clarifies...

On June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States unanimously held that there is no special presumption of prudence for fiduciaries of employee stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”). Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, No....more

Sharply Divided Illinois Supreme Court Narrows Circuit Court Jurisdiction Over Pension Board Decisions

In its second significant decision on public employee pensions of the morning, the Illinois Supreme Court has reversed the Appellate Court in The People ex rel. Madigan v. Burge. In an opinion by Justice Anne M. Burke, joined...more

Illinois Supreme Court Adopts Broad Construction of Constitutional Pension Clause

The Illinois Supreme Court has issued its much-anticipated opinion in Kanerva v. Weems. Kanerva represents the Court’s first opportunity to address the state Constitution’s Pension Protection Clause since the Illinois General...more

ESOP Fiduciaries Not Entitled to Presumption of Prudence

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held that there is no presumption of prudence for fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) who invest in employer securities. The case...more

Supreme Court Abolishes Presumption of Prudence in ERISA Stock-Drop Cases But Sets High Bar for Plaintiffs

In an opinion that reversed nearly two decades of lower-court ERISA class action jurisprudence, the Supreme Court axed the well-established “presumption of prudence” in ERISA “stock-drop” cases. On June 25, the Court issued...more

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