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Bank Bond Covers Third-Party Losses Arising out of Bank Employee’s Fraud, Eighth Circuit Holds

Fidelity bonds are purchased primarily to protect against loss to the policyholder’s own assets, from things like employee theft or embezzlement. In Avon State Bank v. BancInsure, Inc., however, the Eighth Circuit interpreted...more

For Life Insurers and Agents – A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule (the “Proposal”), which defines the term “fiduciary” as it applies to persons who provide “investment advice” to ERISA plans and IRAs, will impact the likelihood and severity of...more

Sixth Circuit Holds No Disgorgement of Profits Based on Wrongfully Denied ERISA Disability Benefits

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, recently decided a closely-watched case regarding the scope of "other appropriate equitable relief" under ERISA Section 502(a)(3). In Rochow v. LINA, the court held that...more

ERISA Preemption Trumps State Insurance Law Yet Again: Ninth Circuit Declines to Apply California’s Insurance Notice-Prejudice...

In a recent decision, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a Plan participant’s attempt to extend California insurance law’s notice-prejudice rule to self-insured ERISA plans. Zagon v. Am. Airlines, Inc., 2015 BL...more

Analysis: The Impact of the DOL’s Fiduciary Proposal on Sales of Insurance Products

This paper explains the basis for our conclusions about the impact of the Department of Labor (DOL) proposal to amend the fiduciary investment advice regulation and the prohibited transaction (PT) exemptions for sales of...more

Fiduciary Risks Involved in Transferring Assets from a Seller’s 401(k) Plan to the Buyer’s Plan

In many transactions, particularly those where the buyer is a portfolio company of a private equity fund, the buyer agrees to cause its 401(k) plan to accept a transfer of assets from the seller’s 401(k) plan. The asset...more

U.S. Department of Labor Re-Proposes Rules Governing the Definition of “Fiduciary”—Part 4: The Impact on 401(k) Plan Consultants...

This post highlights the significant impact the proposed regulations may have on advisers to mid-sized and small 401(k) retirement plans if adopted. Previously, Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series described the...more

U.S. Department of Labor Re-Proposes Rules Governing the Definition of “Fiduciary”—Part 2: The “Best Interest Contract” Exemption

In Part 1 of this series, we reported on recently proposed regulations issued by the U.S. Department of Labor amending the definition of the term “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) and the...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

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

FCA Releases Discussion Paper Under MiFID II

The revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (“MiFID II”) came into force on 2 July 2014. It will have effect on 3 January 2017, reflecting the period required for European Union member states to transpose its...more

Ninth Circuit Rules That Harmless Procedural Violation Does Not Alter Standard of Review

The Ninth Circuit held that a plan administrator’s failure to render a decision on a long-term disability benefits claim within the period mandated by the plan and ERISA did not alter the standard of review that the court...more

2014 Pension Plan Regulatory Highlights

The start of the new year is as good a time as any to look back at some of the employee benefits regulatory developments of 2014 that were not previously covered in this column. Originally published in Employee Benefit...more

SEC Issues Rule 482 No-Action Relief to Non-ERISA 403(b), 457 Plans

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a no-action letter extending relief to certain investment-related information provided to participants in non-ERISA 403(b), 457(b), and other qualified participant-directed...more

NY Whistleblower Bounty Program On The Horizon?

NY Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently announced his plans to propose legislation that would create a whistleblower incentive program at the state level. The proposal, titled the Financial Frauds Whistleblower Act,...more

New York AG Set to Propose Whistleblower Legislation

On February 26, New York AG Eric Schneiderman announced that he intends to propose state legislation to reward and protect employees who report information about misconduct in the banking, insurance, and financial services...more

The Directed Trustee in the Post-Dudenhoeffer World

Overview - Court cases challenging the actions of Employee Retirement Income Security Act fiduciaries have continued unabated since the scandal of Enron in 2002. Since then, a large number of cases are in the ‘‘stock...more

Divorce and Beneficiary Designations—Florida Law Changes

Introduction - This article discusses a significant change in Florida law regarding the effect of dissolution or annulment of marriage on designations of one former spouse as beneficiary upon death of the insured other...more

Expect Focus - Spot The Regulator, Volume IV, Fall 2014

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT ..Crisis Management: Five Steps to Take Before Providing That Comment - LIFE INSURANCE ..Third Circuit Limits ERISA Fiduciary Liability to those with Ultimate...more

Service Provider Not A Fiduciary In Negotiating Its Contract

A federal district court in Iowa dismissed a putative class action complaint brought by several 401(k) plan sponsors who alleged that Principal Life Insurance Company breached its fiduciary duties to the plans by charging...more

U.K. Court Approves Insurance Business Transfer Scheme

A court in the United Kingdom has approved the transfer of the entire long-term insurance business of Prudential Annuities Limited (PAL) to The Prudential Assurance Company Limited (PAC). The transfer’s purpose was to...more

Third Circuit Limits ERISA Fiduciary Liability

Former and current annuity holders sued John Hancock Life Insurance Company in New Jersey federal court several years ago, alleging that, as a service provider to their 401(k) plans, John Hancock was an ERISA fiduciary and...more

Second Circuit: Class-Wide Reformation Is Appropriate Equitable Relief

In the latest chapter of the Amara saga, the Second Circuit recently affirmed the district court’s class-wide order to reform CIGNA’s cash balance plan, as a means to remedy what the district court previously found to be...more

How to Settle an ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case and Sleep at Night: A Checklist for Plan Trustees to Consider

Plan trustees often look to settle ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought against them as a way to put the past behind them. Assuming there is enough fiduciary liability insurance coverage available to pay the proposed...more

Insurer Agrees to $140 Million Settlement in ERISA Case Challenging Revenue Sharing Practices

Nationwide Life Insurance Co. has agreed to settle ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought on behalf of a class of retirement plan trustees that purchased annuity contracts and/or services from Nationwide for their plans....more

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