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Pensions Ombudsman: law trumps regulatory guidance - Harrison v. Prudential Assurance Company Limited PO-3184 17 Apr 2015 (the...

"Classic" pensions liberation involves transferring pension savings from a legitimate pension scheme to a scheme which provides access to those savings in a manner that is not permitted under a legitimate pension scheme and...more

Closely Watched Weist SOX Whistleblower Case Dismissed

The Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently ruled that an employee’s SOX whistleblower retaliation claim failed as a matter of law because no causal connection existed between his complaints and termination and the employer...more

First Circuit Reviews Top Hat Plan Benefits Denial for Abuse of Discretion

The First Circuit recently applied an abuse of discretion standard of review to a claim for top hat plan benefits. Plaintiff Robert Niebauer, a former executive of Crane, brought a claim for executive severance plan benefits...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2015

Editor's Overview - In this month's Newsletter, Robert Rachal discusses recent "church plan" rulings where some federal judges have declined to give deference to long-standing, consistent guidance from the Internal...more

More ERISA Complications

In passing the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), Congress sought to make it as easy and economical as possible for employers to provide benefits to their workers; for example, pensions, health insurance,...more

California District Court Holds That LinkedIn’s “Reference Searches” Function Not a Consumer Report under the Fair Credit...

A Magistrate Judge in the Northern District of California recently handed down an important decision regarding the application of the Fair Credit Reporting Act to one of LinkedIn’s search products. The decision in Sweet v....more

Appellate Court Notes

- AC35807 - Llera v. Commissioner of Correction [Not summarized.] - AC36240 - Customers Bank v. Tomonto Industries, LLC Plaintiff bank acquired the assets of a defunct bank from the FDIC, including the $3...more

Supreme Court to Hear Arguments Involving a Health Plan’s Right to Recover Plan Overpayments

While public attention is currently focused on the upcoming high profile Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell (which involves subsidies for exchange-based coverage under the ACA), the Supreme Court recently decided to...more

Court Finds Lenders to Hedge Fund Not Liable as ERISA Fiduciaries

A federal court recently dismissed ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims asserted by Delphi Beta Fund, LLC, a hedge fund, against two of its bank lenders, because there was no precedent for applying ERISA’s fiduciary duties...more

6th Circuit Holds that Accountants Conducting Financial Arbitration Can Also Make Legal Determinations

A new case from the Sixth Circuit addresses whether accountants who are resolving a dispute about payments made under an agreement can also make legal determinations about the same agreement. In a 2-1 decision, the Sixth...more

View From McDermott: 2014 ERISA Litigation Review–Decisions From the Supreme Court and Beyond

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a number of significant ERISA cases. In its 2013-14 term, the Supreme Court decided two ERISA-based appeals – Fifth Third Bancorp. v. Dudenhoeffer and Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Acc....more

In Pursuit of Benefit Plan Overpayments

Benefit overpayments can (and often do) result from pension calculation errors that inflate a participant’s lump sum distribution or monthly pension payment. Overpayment scenarios are common in the disability and group health...more

How might the Supreme Court’s decision in Perez v. MBA affect the CFPB?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Ass’n invalidated a significant line of D.C. Circuit case law known, after the leading case, as the Paralyzed Veterans doctrine. A case involving a series...more

Ameriprise Agrees to Pay $27.5 Million to Settle Fiduciary Breach and Prohibited Transaction Claims

Defendants Ameriprise Financial, Inc., the fiduciary committees of the Ameriprise 401(k) plan, and individual committee members agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a class of participants in the Ameriprise 401(k) plan for...more

ERISA: Supreme Court to Determine Whether Money is Fungible…When it Comes to Recovery of Overpayments from ERISA Beneficiaries

When it comes to recovery of overpayments from ERISA beneficiaries… money is a fungible commodity in the Eleventh Circuit, but is not a fungible commodity in the Ninth Circuit....more

FCRA Class Actions

Hyping The “Hyper-technical” - The slowly rising waves of Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) class-action litigation are beginning to crash against employers. And if you thought that the FCRA only applied to credit...more

First Circuit’s RAA-Friendly Ruling Stands

The class plaintiffs’ challenge to a group life insurer’s use of so-called retained asset accounts (RAAs) in Merrimon v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America has come to an unsuccessful end. On January 26, the United...more

Background Check Suits: Whole Foods Class Action to Continue

In a previous blog I discussed the multiple class actions that are pending and which address the issue of the Fair Credit Reporting Act requirements in connection with on-line employment applications....more

Ameriprise Avoids Trial On Class Action Suit By Current and Former Employees With $27.5 Million Payment

In 2011, a group of current and former employees filed a class action lawsuit in the District Court of Minnesota claiming that Ameriprise Financial, Inc. and members of its 401(k) Plan fiduciary committee had breached their...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - March 2015

Editor's Overview - This month's newsletter discusses how to avoid liability under ERISA through plan design, including statute of limitations provisions, venue provisions, and anti-assignment provisions. Courts have...more

Second Circuit Revisits Remedies In Amara v. Cigna

The Second Circuit court of appeals held that a court can exercise its equitable powers to reform the terms of a cash balance retirement plan to provide greater benefits than stated in response to material misstatements made...more

Reach Out And Designate Someone?

The seemingly staid world of retirement plan beneficiary designations was surprised by a recent federal appeals court decision suggesting that a new beneficiary could be designated by a telephone call. ...more

Federal District Court Dismisses Class Action Litigation Concerning 401(k) Provider’s Float Practices

In In re Fidelity ERISA Float Litigation, Case No. 13-10222 (D. Mass. Mar. 11, 2015), the district court rejected an ERISA challenge to a 401(k) plan service provider’s float practices. ...more

Supreme Court Rules No Presumption of Lifetime Vesting of Retiree Health Benefits

The Supreme Court overturned the Sixth Circuit’s long-standing Yard-Man presumption, ruling that courts should apply ordinary contract principles to determine whether benefits have vested....more

Plan Sponsor Agrees to $62 Million Settlement in ERISA Case Challenging 401(k) Plan Fees

Lockheed Martin Corp. has settled the 401(k) excessive fee litigation pending against it in federal court in Illinois....more

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