Employee Retirement Income Security Act

Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1974 to set minimum standards for pension and health plans in the private sector and to protect participants in those plans.... more +
Employee Retirement Income Security Act is a United States federal law enacted in 1974 to set minimum standards for pension and health plans in the private sector and to protect participants in those plans.  ERISA requires plans to provide information to participants, establishes a grievance process,  and allows participants to sue for benefits or breach of fiduciary duties.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Ex-Husband Fails in Attempt to Use Texas Law to Impose Constructive Trust on Former Spouse’s Survivor Annuity

A former husband’s attempt to use Texas law to deprive his first wife of a survivor annuity under his pension plan has been firmly rejected by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Vanderkam v. Vanderkam,...more

ERISA-Disability: 1 in 3 Social Security Administration Disability Determinations Involve Mental Disorder Diagnosis

As you know, ERISA plan administrators must consider Social Security Administration (SSA) disability determinations when making the disability benefit decision. ERISA plan administrators are not bound by the SSA’s...more

BABC Attorneys Author Amicus Brief on Behalf of DRI Regarding Tibble Case in United States Supreme Court

In Tibble v Edison International, Plaintiffs brought fiduciary duty claims against Edison International for alleged mismanagement of Edison’s 401(k) Plan. Plaintiffs’ claims centered upon the fact that the Plan’s investment...more

"Dudenhoeffer: An Effective Tool to 'Weed Out Meritless' Employer Stock-Drop Claims?"

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 573 U.S. __, 134 S. Ct. 2459 (2014), a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held that fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) are not entitled to a special presumption that their...more

ERISA Section 4062(e) Significantly Reformed Effective December 16, 2014

On December 16, 2014, President Obama signed into law the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, which contains provisions that significantly reform ERISA Section 4062(e). The new law is meant to ensure that...more

Supreme Court Decides M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, holding that ordinary principles of contract law govern the interpretation of pension and insurance provisions of...more

The battle over 4062(e) 'facility closure' liability

Employers who sponsor defined benefit plans, or who are involved in a corporate transaction involving defined benefit plans, should be aware of developments in Washington concerning Section 4062(e) of ERISA. The Pension...more

The Financial Report - Volume 4, No. 2 • January 2015 (Global)

Discussion and Analysis - Last week, several of the world’s largest banks and brokerage firms lost hundreds of millions of dollars when the Swiss franc surged suddenly and surprisingly against the euro. It is eerily...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

Illinois District Court Holds That a Plan Maintained by a Religiously Affiliated Organization Is Not a Church Plan

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois recently had the opportunity to weigh in on the issue of whether a religiously affiliated employer was exempt from federal regulation of its employee...more

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Reminds ERISA Fiduciaries to Monitor Service Providers

In August 2014, GRQ Investment Management, LLC (GRQ) sued Financial Engines, Inc. and Financial Engines Advisors, LLC (collectively, Financial Engines), alleging that Financial Engines’ sale of account management and advisory...more

Supreme Court Will Hear Same-Sex Marriage Issue

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in four same-sex marriage cases in April, potentially settling the divisive issue by the end of the current term. The justices will consider an appeal from the 6th Circuit decision...more

PBGC Wants Reporting on Lump-Sum Pension Cash-Outs and Annuity Purchases

With pension buyouts continuing apace, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has asked the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval to modify the PBGC’s 2015 premium payment forms to require reporting of...more

In Florida, Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage Will Impact Employers

On January 6, Florida became the 36th state to recognize same-sex marriage. This development came as the result of several recent state and federal court decisions finding Florida's ban on same-sex marriage an...more

Most Attorneys are not ERISA Attorneys

Unfortunately, I have gotten involved in the politics of my local village which contains so much conflicts of interest and cronyism, it reminds me of the retirement plan business when I started in 1998. A lot of the fighting...more

Year-End Legislation Important for Employers

The 2015 Cromnibus and the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 solve some problems and raise others. On December 16, 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama signed the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act...more

ERISA: 8th Circuit: Choice-Of-Law Provision Trumps Insurance Regulation Banning Discretionary Review

You already know that when a claimant brings suit alleging wrongful denial of ERISA-governed disability benefits, the first issue the court looks at is: what standard of review applies. If the plan or policy includes...more

2014 in Review: ERISA Individual Prohibited Transaction Exemptions and Advisory Opinions

In 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) maintained a diminished program of advance guidance under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA), in response to requests from the regulated community....more

Excepted Benefits: Final regulations provide guidance on dental, vision and employee assistance plans

The Departments of Labor, the Treasury, and Health and Human Services (the “Departments”) have recently published final regulations related to when limited scope dental and vision benefits and employee assistance programs...more

Proposed Exemption of Limited Wraparound Coverage from Health Insurance Market Standards

On December 19, 2014, various federal agencies issued proposed regulations (“Proposed Regulations”) to amend the definition of “excepted benefits” to include certain limited wraparound health insurance coverage. “Excepted...more

Congress Makes It Possible to Reduce Some Union Pensions

As a part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 18, 2014, the 161-page "Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014" (Act) gives the...more

ERISA: 4th Circuit: When Is A Plan Administrator Obligated To Obtain Medical Records?

You already know that the primary responsibility for providing medical proof of disability undoubtedly rests with the claimant. But does the plan administrator sometimes have an obligation to obtain medical records and...more

Illinois Enacts Nation's First Auto-IRA Program

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation over the weekend enacting the Illinois Secure Choice Savings Program and making Illinois the first state in the nation to require covered employers to provide employees with...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

“Cromnibus Act” Changes for Multiemployer and Single-Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plans

The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (the so-called “Cromnibus Act”), enacted into law last week, is not just a $1.1 trillion spending bill that keeps most of the federal government open through...more

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