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

Industry Organizations Sue to Prevent Enforcement of the Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s (“Department”) Fiduciary Rule and related Best Interest Contract Exemption and Prohibited Transaction Exemption amendments (collectively, the “Regulatory Package”) have faced significant resistance...more

The Cold Comfort of the Best Interest Contract Exemption

The BIC Exemption to the new DOL Fiduciary Rule offers some relief, but at a potentially prohibitive cost. The US Department of Labor (the DOL) recently forced the most significant change to the investment community...more

Why Should Hospitals with “Church Plans” Be Concerned Now? - Hospital Industry Viewpoint

Religiously affiliated hospitals and health systems have recently come under attack by private litigants for exercising the right to remain exempt from ERISA requirements. Such hospitals and health systems should assess their...more

ERISA: Is It Wrong to Take an Offset for Social Security Benefits Received by the Children of a Long Term Disability Claimant?

Is it wrong to take an offset for Social Security benefits received by the children of a long term disability claimant? No, says a new decision. And… just because you reinstate benefits does not mean you have to provide...more

For ERISA Section 502(c) Penalties — Must Plaintiff Prove “Actual Injury”? A Recent U.S. Supreme Court Decision Creates the...

These Section 502(c) penalty claims seem to be added to most every ERISA lawsuit... Does a claimant have to prove “actual injury” to win ERISA Section 502(c) penalty claims? MAYBE. Here’s why...more

The Financial CHOICE Act; Dodd-Frank Reform (Not Repeal)

On June 7, 2016, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) released an executive summary of the Financial CHOICE Act (the “FCA”), his highly anticipated bill to revisit the Dodd-Frank Wall Street...more

“Off the Rails:” A Plan Administrator’s Burden

When an ERISA plan provides the plan administrator with discretion to interpret the terms of the plan, the administrator’s claims and appeals decisions are generally reviewed by courts under a lenient standard of review such...more

ERISA: Court’s Short Checklist to Reduce Plaintiff/Claimant Attorney Fees

Attorney fees in ERISA cases continue to be a challenge. What happens when both sides can claim wins during a case? What is a reasonable hourly rate for Plaintiff’s attorneys?...more

Spokeo—New Hope for Defending Against ERISA Claims?

Last month, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, No. 13–1339 (May 16, 2016). Spokeo involved a lawsuit brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970 (FCRA). ...more

The Final DOL Fiduciary Rule—Considerations for Plan Sponsors

The final rule has implications for plan sponsors and may impact certain relationships with service providers. On April 6, after a long (and some might say tortured) process, the US Department of Labor (DOL) issued a...more

Plan Sponsors are Seeking ERISA Fiduciary Services

When I was in law school at American University and we moved into a new building (20 years later, they are now in another new building) a few blocks away from the main campus. The computer sync site at the new building had a...more

The Department of Labor’s 2016 Final Fiduciary and Conflict of Interest Regulations: The Principal Transactions Exemption

This post continues our examination of the Department of Labor’s suite of final fiduciary and conflict of interest regulations. Our prior posts discussed the newly expanded definition of “investment advice fiduciary” and the...more

Lawsuits Filed Challenging The USDOL’s Final Fiduciary Rules

On April 6, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor released its Final Rule addressing when a person providing services to an employee benefit plan or individual retirement account (IRA) is considered to be providing investment...more

Perspectives - June 2016

In April 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) released the final version of the fiduciary rule. The final rule was six years in the making and impacts retirement plans, including 401(k) plans, and the employer who offer...more

Arbitrator Slashes Annual Withdrawal Liability Payments in Underfunded Multiemployer Pension Plan Dispute

Employers who cease contributing to an ERISA multiemployer pension plan are liable for their allocable share of any underfunding, or “withdrawal liability.”...more

Court Orders Cigna to Pay Out-of-Network Surgical Claims

On June 1, 2016, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas ordered Cigna to pay nearly $13.7 million to Humble Surgical Hospital, LLC (“Humble”). Of the nearly $13.7 million, almost $11.4 million...more

The DOL’s New Fiduciary Rule: Capturing the Apparent Conflict at the “Moment of Rollover”

The US Department of Labor’s final fiduciary rule captures rollover, transfer and distribution recommendations to retirement investors. In essence, under the rule, a financial organization or adviser is acting as a fiduciary...more

DOL Sued over Fiduciary Rule

One of the questions that I am repeatedly asked is whether the Department of Labor overreached their rulemaking capability by applying their new fiduciary rule to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). I always tell people...more

Exceptional Plan Governance: Beat Back the Coming Litigation Onslaught

It was bound to happen. For several years, the plaintiffs’ bar has sued fiduciaries of large 401(k) plans asserting breach of their duties under ERISA by failing to exercise requisite prudence in permitting excessive...more

“Call to Action” May Create Fiduciary Liability under ERISA

Traditional investment advisers, as well as broker-dealers, insurance brokers, banks, and employers, are abuzz with questions and concerns relating to the final regulation issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on April 8,...more

Ninth Circuit Rules that Stock Rights Plan is Not Subject to ERISA

In a case of first impression in the Ninth Circuit, the Court held that the Booz Allen Hamilton, Inc. Stock Rights Plan (“SRP”) was not subject to ERISA because its primary purpose was not to provide deferred compensation or...more

Advisors Advantage - June 2016

How to Communicate and Understand Retirement Plan Sponsors. There is a method to it. Being a retirement plan provider isn't just about selling services, it's really about selling yourself and you can't sell yourself...more

ERISA and Cybersecurity

Employee benefit plan data stored online may include participants’ names and Social Security numbers, account information and protected health information (PHI), all of which are inviting targets for hackers....more

Court Declines to Decide Whether ERISA Protects Employee From Reprisal For Informal Complaint

A federal court in Missouri was asked to determine whether a former employee proved a viable claim for retaliation under ERISA Section 510 by virtue of being terminated after she sent emails disparaging the company’s owner...more

Don’t Be a Menace to South Central (Houston Action Council) When Your ERISA Claim Is No Good

Seyfarth Synopsis: A recent decision district court ruling affirms that in a benefit discrimination claim, just as in a typical claim of employment discrimination, to survive summary judgment a plaintiff must demonstrate that...more

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