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

Refusal to Pay Claims to Gain Negotiating Leverage Is Abuse of Discretion Under ERISA, Court Says

A federal district court found that Cigna Healthcare abused its discretion, and thus was liable under section 502(a)(1)(B) of ERISA, when its primary motivation for refusing to pay a hospital’s claims was to enhance its...more

Seventh Circuit Eases ERISA Plaintiffs’ Pleading Burden Against Private Company Plan Fiduciaries

On August 25, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Allen v. GreatBanc Trust Co., No. 15-3569, 2016 WL 4474730 (7th Cir. 2016), held that (1) the defendant in an ERISA case, rather than the plaintiff,...more

Watching SCOTUS – ERISA Church-Plan Exemption Revisited

Seyfarth Synopsis: Currently before the Supreme Court are two petitions regarding the thorny legal question of which organizations can qualify for ERISA’s Church-plan exemption. If the Supreme Court grants certiorari and...more

Dealing with Long-Winded Out-of-Network Provider Nuisance Letters

Over the past couple years, more and more of my clients with self-funded plans have received letters from out-of-network providers appealing denied claims. The letters are usually 20 to 30 pages long, not very specific, and...more

ERISA: Are Social Security Administration Disability Decisions, Made After the Final Claim Decision, Part of the Administrative...

Are Social Security Administration disability determinations, issued after the final appeal decision, part of the ERISA administrative record? NO. Plaintiffs often seek reversal of a denial of ERISA-governed disability...more

Compensation and Benefits Insights – September 2016 #2

Hardly Water Under the Bridge: NLRB, SEC, OSHA Mount Offensive Against Confidentiality Agreements - A recent New York Times story shed light on complaints by an employee of Bridgewater Associates, a $154 billion hedge...more

PBGC Proposed Rule May Offer DC Plans New Tool for Finding Missing Participants

For many years, the PBGC has been helping reunite missing participants with their benefits under single-employer defined benefit plans. Now, a new PBGC proposed rule may open up the program to missing participants under other...more

Eighth Circuit Affirms Enforcement of ERISA Plan Forum Selection Clause

The Eighth Circuit enforced an ERISA plan’s forum selection clause and denied plaintiff’s appeal to have her lawsuit for disability benefits transferred back to the District of Arizona. Plaintiff Lorna Clause, who lives in...more

401(k) Plan Sponsor ERISA Fiduciary Litigation Update: White v. Chevron Corporation

On August 29, 2016, the District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed the lawsuit filed against Chevron Corporation by several participants in the Chevron Employee Savings Investment Plan (the “Plan”). ...more

Advisors Advantage - October 2016

The Laurita Rules for 401(k) Plan Providers. Once upon a time in the 401(k) world, I knew a man named Richard A. Laurita. I worked with Rich (as his friends called him) for two different third party administration (TPAs)...more

Double-Breasted Company Owners, Officers Can Be Indicted for Underpaying Benefit Contributions

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts held in September that the shareholders and officers of a double-breasted construction company can be indicted and could go to prison if the government proves they...more

How Secure is Your Retirement Plan?

Most employers are generally aware of their fiduciary status as a “plan sponsor” of an ERISA-governed retirement plan (e.g., 401(k) and 403(b) plans). In fact, the employer’s hiring of a service provider is in and of itself a...more

Employee Benefits Developments - September 2016

Final IRS Regulations Eliminate Requirement to File 83(b) Election with Tax Return - Under Section 83(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”), if property is transferred in connection with the performance of...more

Cutting Through the Fog: The Applicability of DOL Conflicts of Interest Rule to Financial Advisors

The Department of Labor’s (DOL’s) new Conflicts of Interest rule1 expands the scope of the definition of “fiduciary” under ERISA2 and the Code3 to cover more classes of financial advisors. This rule replaces a long-standing...more

California Clamps Down On Surprise Out-Of-Network Bills

On September 23, 2016, Governor Brown signed AB 72, California’s surprise out-of-network law. The bill protects patients who seek care at an in-network facility from balance billing by individual health care providers who are...more

California Targets Surprise Medical Bills, Follows on the Heels of New York and Florida

Governor Brown approved a new law last Friday that limits patient exposure to so-called surprise medical bills. AB 72 caps the cost-sharing obligations of patients who unexpectedly receive care from non-contracted providers...more

New DOL fiduciary rule and swaps - ISDA update

The Department of Labor’s final revised fiduciary regulation will become applicable on April 10, 2017. Those affected by the revised regulation will include banks and other financial institutions that negotiate investment...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - September 2016

Editor's Overview - This month, we have re-published an interview of our colleague Seth Safra discussing the Department of Labor’s final regulation concerning fiduciaries and conflicts of interest. In this interview,...more

How the DOL’s Impartial Conduct Standard Affects Exemptions Used by Financial Services Companies

In conjunction with its issuance in April 2016 of a new regulation redefining the concept of “investment advice” for purposes of fiduciary status under ERISA and Section 4975 of the Code, the Department of Labor amended a...more

The Next Big Thing: Audits Regarding the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

Over the last six years, employers and insurers have been working diligently to adapt to the ever-changing landscape under the Affordable Care Act. Meanwhile, the agencies have also issued comprehensive...more

UnitedHealth Plan Holders Win Class Certification in ERISA Lawsuit

The District Court for the Northern District of California recently granted certain members of UnitedHealth health plans class certification in their suit alleging improper denial of benefits. Plaintiffs in the putative...more

ERISA: How Do You Spell (Equitable) Relief?

In an ERISA case, what does it take to assert a claim for equitable relief? If the complaint does not assert an alleged breach of fiduciary duty, the claim for equitable relief should be dismissed… Here’s the case of...more

ERISA: Court Establishes New Incentive to Bring Early Motions to Dismiss “Breach of Fiduciary Duty” Claims

You know that in ERISA cases most courts typically will limit review to the administrative record, absent special circumstances. Courts may also allow limited discovery when assessing whether a “conflict of interest” affected...more

Seventh Circuit Rejects Dudenhoeffer Applicability to Privately Held Stock - Decision Clarifies Burden to Plead ERISA Section 406...

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit's Aug. 25, 2016, decision in Allen v. GreatBanc Trust Co., No. 15-3569, made it the first court in a published opinion to expressly reject Fifth Third Bancorp v....more

Misclassification Of Workers Just Got Riskier For Oklahoma Employers

For years, we have been warning employers of the dangers of misclassifying workers as independent contractors when they are actually employees. Information-sharing among agencies on the rise - The federal government...more

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