Duty of Prudence

News & Analysis as of

On Remand, District Court Rules for the Fiduciaries in Tatum v. R.J. Reynolds

The R.J. Reynolds defendants have again prevailed against allegations that they breached their fiduciary duties by divesting the RJR 401(k) plan of funds invested in Nabisco stock. Following remand by the Fourth Circuit, the...more

Pension Plan Sponsors Beware: The Department of Labor Is Investigating Plans That Fail to Locate and Pay Benefits to Terminated...

A Department of Labor (“DOL”) official recently disclosed a new DOL investigation initiative focusing on the adequacy of defined benefit plan procedures to locate and pay out benefits to terminated vested participants. The...more

Supreme Court Emphasizes Heightened Pleading Standard for Stock Drop Cases

On January 25, 2016, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a per curiam opinion in Amgen Inc. v. Harris, holding that the Amgen, Inc. employees who filed suit after the value of the employer stock in which they had...more

Will Plan Participants’ Demands for Perfection Retire Large 401(k) Plans?

Participants in Anthem Inc.’s $5.1 billion 401(k) plan have sued plan fiduciaries, alleging that they have top-shelf tastes that constitute a breach of the duties of loyalty and prudence owed to participants, and that the...more

U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies the Scope of ERISA Fiduciary Obligations in Recent Stock Drop Decision

In recent years, plaintiffs’ lawyers have brought numerous ERISA breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits against employers that offer employer stock funds in their 401(k) plans. These lawsuits are typically brought on behalf of...more

Supreme Court Revisits Stock Drop Fiduciary Standards

In Amgen v. Harris, the Supreme Court for the second time considered whether the plan participants sufficiently stated a claim against the plan fiduciaries for breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA by continuing to provide...more

SCOTUS Meant What It Said & Said What It Meant: Dudenhoeffer Imposes Higher Pleading Standards

In a rebuke to the Ninth Circuit, the Supreme Court granted the Amgen defendants’ petition for certiorari, reversed the Ninth Circuit’s judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with its opinion in the...more

Prudent is as Prudent Does: Divided Sixth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment in Favor of State Street in Post-Dudenhoeffer Review...

In 1995, the Third Circuit adopted the presumption that an employee stock ownership plan (“ESOP”) fiduciary’s decision to remain invested in the employer’s securities was prudent. Over the following years, a number of other...more

IRS Encourages Private Foundations to Consider Charitable Purposes in Investing Its Assets

As we previously reported, the IRS has updated its guidance with helpful examples concerning program-related investments for private foundations. In its recently issued Notice 2015-62, the IRS provides further assurance that...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Employers Must Periodically Review Investment Options In 401(k) Plans And Remove Imprudent Funds

An employer has fiduciary duties with respect to the 401(k) plan it provides its employees. Those duties include the obligation to choose prudent investment options and to consider the fees associated with service providers...more

IRS Provides Guidance on Mission-Related Investments by Private Foundations

New guidance permits private foundations to consider charitable purposes when making investments with a substantial purpose of capital appreciation or the production of income....more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - September 2015

Editor's Overview - It has been a little more than one year since the U.S. Supreme Court altered the legal landscape for litigating ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims relating to the investment in employer stock...more

UPDATE: The U.S. Supreme Court Decides ERISA Statute of Limitations Case – Implications for Plan Fiduciaries

Last November, we reported that the Supreme Court had granted certiorari in Tibble v. Edison International, a Ninth Circuit decision holding that a claim that a plan fiduciary breached its duty of prudence in selecting plan...more

DOL Clarifies Fiduciary Duties for Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors Offering Annuity Contracts

The availability of annuity options under defined contribution plans has increased in recent years due to the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans. Fiduciaries, however, are often concerned with potential...more

French Supreme Court rules out liability for undercapitalising companies

Minimum share capital requirements have disappeared from French legislation over the last few years, leaving the société anonyme as the last and only commercial company with such a requirement, set by the French Commercial...more

Eleventh Circuit Again Affirms Dismissal of Stock Drop Claim Against Delta Air Lines

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of ERISA breach of fiduciary claims against Delta Air Lines and other alleged plan fiduciaries in connection with a defined contribution plan’s investments in Delta Air Lines stock. ...more

Declaration of Independence: Preserving the Role of the Independent Fiduciary Post-Dudenhoeffer

In the wake of Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer, a complaint that seeks to hold an ERISA fiduciary liable for failing to divest a plan of employer stock based solely upon publicly available information fails to state a plausible...more

Ninth Circuit Again Wrestles with Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer, and Again Reverses Dismissal of Stock Drop Case

Factual Background - As described in greater detail in the December 18, 2014 edition of the ELU, this case involves claims for breach of fiduciary duty when two 401(k) plans remained invested in the employer stock at a...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - June 2015

Editor's Overview - In this month's newsletter, Anthony Cacace analyzes the heavily anticipated Supreme Court ruling in Tibble v. Edison Intl., 135 S. Ct. 1823 (2015), where the Court held that ERISA's fiduciary duty of...more

Advisors Advantage - June 2015

In This Issue: - For Retirement Plan Providers, It's All About Making A Connection - DOL Comment Period Extended - Supreme Trouble with Tibbles - My Referrals Aren't For Sale And Neither Should...more

Supreme Court Affirms Duty to Monitor Plan Investments

The Supreme Court’s decision will undermine a plan fiduciary’s ability to assert a statute of limitations defense based on when an investment option was added; rather, the six year statute of limitations will be measured from...more

Supreme Court Expands Scope of Fiduciary Liability

In Tibble v. Edison International, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the scope of the duty of prudence owed by ERISA fiduciaries. Although ostensibly a case about the statute of limitations, the Court ruled that trustees of...more

Supreme Court Hits Home Run for 401(K) Plan Beneficiaries

This week’s decision by the United States Supreme Court in Tibble v. Edison International, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 3171 (May 18, 2015), is expected to trigger an increase in lawsuits against 401(k) plan fiduciaries....more

U.S. Supreme Court Decision on ERISA Fiduciary Duty Statute of Limitations Case Provides Broad Principle But Little Practical...

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Tibble v. Edison International, a highly anticipated case involving whether ERISA’s six year statute of limitations for breach of fiduciary duty claims prevented a claim...more

Supreme Trouble with Tibble

While the Supreme Court ruled in the monumental 401(k) case Tibble v. Edison that mostly dealt with statute of limitations issues, one could read something into it a little more. Tibble was the case where the District...more

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