The Supreme Court Of The United States Holds That ESOP Fiduciaries Are Not Entitled To A Presumption Of Prudence, Clarifies Standards For Stock Drop Claims


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. 12-751, 573 U.S. ___ (June 25, 2014) (slip op.).

Background -

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”) imposes legal duties on fiduciaries of employee benefit plans, including ESOPs. Specifically, ERISA requires the fiduciary of an employee benefit plan to act prudently in managing the plan’s assets. In addition, ERISA requires the fiduciary to diversify plan assets...

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