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

2015 in Review: ERISA Civil Enforcement Recoveries Remain Low, Criminal Investigations Continue to Rise

The United States Department of Labor (DOL) recently published its Fiscal Year 2015 “Fact Sheet” documenting civil and criminal enforcement activities under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)....more

Questionable Retaliation Theory Gets Traction

Since our earliest postings, we have warned of a notion, prevalent among employee counsel, that an employer plan sponsor unlawfully retaliates against an employee by reducing her work hours in order to deprive her of ACA...more

IRS releases guidance on mid-year amendments to Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans

A few years back, an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) official opined that the IRS would not look favorably on safe harbor 401(k) plan making any amendments mid-year except in some circumstances such changing a trustee,...more

ERISA (5th Circuit): Are There Exceptions to the Exhaustion of Administrative Remedies Requirement

You already know that claimants with a denied claim must submit an appeal and exhaust administrative remedies before filing suit. But are phone calls sufficient to trigger the appeal process?...more

DOL’s Fiduciary Regulation – One Step Closer to Final

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) controversial fiduciary regulation, which will subject a multitude of new financial market participants to strict fiduciary requirements under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of...more

Reminder: Certain U.S. Reporting and Compliance Obligations for Investment Advisers and Funds

The U.S. federal securities laws and the rules of U.S. self-regulatory organizations (such as the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) impose certain reporting and compliance obligations on investment advisers and funds....more

Do Your Assignment of Benefits Clauses Need a Check-up? Recent Southern District of Florida Decision Highlights the Importance of...

A frequently litigated issue in reimbursement cases brought by in- and out-of-network healthcare providers against insurers under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) is provider standing. Because...more

The Problems with 403(b) Plans

I always say that as bad as 401(k) plans may be, 403(b) plans are in much worse shape. It didn’t help that the Internal Revenue Service only issued regulations that governed them only 30 years too late, back in 2008. It also...more

Advisors Advantage - February 2016

Avoiding The “Bumps” Of Being A Retirement Plan Provider - I’m a big fan of business history and every successful company that has ever been founded has had a few bumps along the way. For example, Apple almost went out...more

Health and Welfare Plans: Big Compliance Burdens, Big Penalty Exposures

Health and welfare have been around for a long time, and they are ubiquitous. Employees have come to expect medical, dental, life, and other insurance as part of their benefits packages. Employers offer coverage in order to...more

Third Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects Hospital’s Religious Exemption from ERISA

On December 29, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit decided in Kaplan v. Saint Peter's Healthcare System, No. 15-1172 (3d. Cir. Dec. 29, 2015) that the pension plan for Saint Peter’s Healthcare System in New...more

The Year in Social Enterprise: 2015 Legislative and Policy Review

The past year proved to be a landmark year in the brief history of the emerging social enterprise sector. Indeed, 2015 witnessed continued legislative efforts and important policy developments that illustrate the increased...more

Supreme Court Interprets ERISA to Limit Remedies Available to Plans to Subrogate and Recover Overpayments

Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan is the fourth decision by the U.S. Supreme Court addressing the subrogation rights of self-insured ERISA-covered health plans. Three...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

Courts Continue To Expand ERISA Church Plan Exemption

Most employers know that there is a federal law – the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA – that governs employer-sponsored employee benefit plans. There are a few notable exceptions that could apply to...more

ERISA Plans Should Act To Reinforce Reimbursement Rights In Light Of Recent SCOTUS Decision

Group health plan administrators should take actions to address the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision holding that an ERISA plan cannot enforce its equitable lien, which had been established through the plan’s reimbursement...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: For ERISA Plans, Time May Be Money

A new U.S. Supreme Court decision is a reminder that Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) plans must act promptly if they want to assert a lien to secure a participant’s obligation to reimburse medical expenses or...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

The Supreme Court Meant What It Said On Employer Stock Funds

On January 25, 2016, in Amgen, Inc. v. Harris, 2016 WL 280886, the Supreme Court sent a strong message to the lower courts, plaintiffs and ERISA fiduciaries that pleading standards for breach of fiduciary duty prudence claims...more

The Big 401(k) Issue Many Don’t Focus On

The fixation and discussion about plan expenses usually flares up when the stock market isn’t doing well. Two major corrections within a 10-year period (2000-2010) made fee disclosure regulations inevitable.  With the way the...more

What Amgen and Tackett Tell Us About ERISA Litigation Trend Lines

Two recent Supreme Court decisions, and a recent Sixth Circuit analysis on remand from the Supreme Court, offer a roadmap of sorts on ERISA litigation. In both decisions, the Supreme Court did away with presumptions, and at...more

Employee Benefits Developments - January 2016

IRS Guidance Addresses Numerous ACA Issues Related to HRAs. Just before the New Year, the IRS issued Notice 2015-87 (Notice), addressing the application of Affordable Care Act (ACA) market reform rules to different...more

Be Careful What You Wish For – Dudenhoeffer May Do “More Harm Than Good” For ERISA “Stock Drop” Plaintiffs

In its June 2014 decision in Dudenhoeffer v. Fifth Third Bank, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declined to recognize a “presumption of prudence” that had favored retirement-plan fiduciaries faced with allegations of...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - January 2016

Future Trends In 401(k) That A Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of. Who to pick and why. What was good yesterday might not be good today. There were cigarette ads in the 1930s that suggested that smoking had health...more

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