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

Employee Benefits Developments - September 2014

CASES - Post-Retirement Medical Benefits Under Siege. A recent spike in retiree benefit litigation is evidence of a growing interest among employers in strategies designed to contain, reduce, and eliminate the current...more

Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Excessive Fee Claims Against Insurer

The Third Circuit has affirmed dismissal of all claims against the insurer in a 401(k) excessive fee suit, rejecting arguments that the insurer is an ERISA fiduciary for its product's fees, even where the service provider has...more

Identify Yourself! Deadline for Health Plan Identifiers is Fast Approaching

One of the lesser-known health plan requirements adopted by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has an initial deadline that is fast approaching, and most employers will need to take action to ensure that...more

Health Plans Petition the Supreme Court to Determine Whether FEHBA Preempts State Anti-Subrogation Statutes

The Federal Employees Health Benefit Act (FEHBA) governs federal employee health plans and contains a broad preemption clause comparable to the one found in ERISA.1 Despite the similarity, state and federal courts are split...more

Misclassified Employees Not Barred From Recovering Damages Based on Value of ERISA Plan Benefits They Should Have Been Provided:...

A federal court has held that plaintiffs who proved they had been misclassified as independent contractors, and should have been considered employees, could recover money damages under state law based on the value of the...more

What Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer May Mean for ERISA Stock-Drop Litigation

Did the future course of “stock-drop” litigation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) against fiduciaries of public company employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) take a sharp turn on June 25, 2014, when...more

Supreme Court Establishes New Standard for Fiduciaries of ESOP Plans

The Supreme Court, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. John Dudenhoeffer (Dudenhoeffer), recently established new standards for determining when fiduciaries of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) act prudently regarding a company’s...more

ERISA: 2nd Circuit — Tough to Appeal District Court’s ERISA Remand Order

What happens when the district court orders a remand to the ERISA plan administrator? Can you appeal it? It depends on the circuit. FACTS: Mead sought ERISA-governed long term disability benefits, which were...more

ERISA Litigation Review

The courts have been busy in 2014, addressing a variety of issues in the employee benefits field in decisions that impact everyone from union travelers to ESOP fiduciaries. This advisory summarizes a selection of the 2014...more

Tales of a Former TPA Attorney

I was very lucky that when I started as an ERISA attorney in 1998, I worked as a staff attorney for third party administrators (TPAs) because it gave me insight and experience that I could never have gotten as an attorney...more

Can't You Hear Me Knocking? Amending ERISA

On October 15, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co., 134 S.Ct. 604 (2013). The specific question before the Court in that case, as expressly stated by...more

Inside The Courts - September 2014 | Volume 6 | Issue 3

In This Issue: - CLASS CERTIFICATION: ..Goodman v. Genworth Fin. Wealth Mgmt. Inc., No. 09-CV-5603, 2014 WL 1452048 (JFB) (GRB) (E.D.N.Y. Apr. 15, 2014) - DEMAND FUTILITY: ..Rosenbloom v. Pyott,...more

The Ambushed Fiduciary: Does Authority over a Corporate Account Cross the Line?

Corporate officers can wear two hats under ERISA: the corporate officer hat or the ERISA fiduciary hat. Actions taken wearing the corporate officer hat are traditionally not fiduciary functions. The courts recognize...more

ERISA Fiduciary Obligations: More on Application to Life Insurance Coverage

This article examines the case of Biller v. Prudential Insurance, in which the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied a motion to dismiss a claim brought against an employer by the beneficiaries of a...more

Contingent Workers . . . From An ERISA Perspective

The Issue: Companies often divide their workers into a variety of categories . . . agency employees, temporary employees, provisional employees, independent contractors, and so on. Unfortunately, many companies believe that...more

District Court in 11th Circuit Deems Claim for Equitable Relief Appropriate under Amara and Varity

Yet again, the Court has been called upon to negotiate the juxtaposition between Varity and Amara. According to the Complaint in Biller v. Prudential Ins. Co. and Six Continents Hotels, Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. Lexis 118577,...more

May v. AT & T Umbrella Benefit Plan No. 1: Independent Physician Reviews of the "Paper File" Under Fire

On August 25, 2014, the Ninth Circuit upheld a District Court decision that an ERISA administrator’s denial of a short-term disability (STD) benefit claim may not be based solely on an independent physician’s review of the...more

ERISA Applied to Deferred Compensation Plan

Last month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found in Tolbert v. RBC Capital Markets that a nonqualified deferred compensation plan was an "employee pension benefit plan" under the Employee Retirement Income...more

First Circuit Confirms No Fiduciary Breach in Use of a Retained Asset Account

For the second time this summer, the First Circuit Court of Appeals addressed whether an ERISA fiduciary’s use of a retained asset account (“RAA”) to pay death benefits is a breach of fiduciary duty. In Merrimon v. Unum Life...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - As the summer draws to a close, no one would fault you if you missed the Fourth Circuit's decision in Tatum v. RJR Pension Investment Committee, which was published on August 4th. However, plan...more

Mental Health Parity Act: A Litigation Update

The Federal Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (the “Federal Parity Act”), like many similar state parity laws, mandates that financial requirements (e.g., copayments, coinsurance, or deductibles) and treatment...more

Retirement Plan Professionals That Plan Sponsors Should Avoid

In the Nelson Algren novel, A Walk on The Wild Side, there are 3 important rules of life to follow: “Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom’s. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse...more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 16: So What, Exactly, is an “Offer of Coverage”?

Whether an employer makes the requisite offer of group health plan coverage is critical to the application of the Affordable Care Act’s employer shared responsibility rules as reflected in final implementing regulations...more

Legal Alert: It’s Time to Review Benefit Denial Letters

On August 7, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit decided in Moyer that the contractual time limits governing the period during which a participant must initiate judicial review of a benefits denial must be...more

Sixth Circuit says ERISA does not preempt state law claim for fraudulent inducement.

The Sixth Circuit recently held that ERISA did not preempt a plan participant’s claim for state law fraudulent inducement. McCarthy v. Ameritech Pub., Inc., No. 12-4510, 2014 WL 3930572 (6th Cir. 2014). Defendant-API’s...more

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