Employee Retirement Income Security Act Employee Benefits

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

Supreme Court Rules that Plan Fiduciaries Owe a Fiduciary Duty to Periodically Review Plan Investments

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court in Tibble v. Edison International held that plan fiduciaries owe an ongoing duty to review plan investments periodically to ensure compliance with their obligations under the...more

Out-of-Network, Out of Luck? A Growing Body of Caselaw Addressing Claims by Out-of-Network Providers Seeking Full Reimbursement...

It’s become a common scenario for medical providers: a provider treats a patient covered by employer-provided health insurance for which the provider is out-of-network, receives an assignment of benefits from the patient and...more

Supreme Court: ERISA Fiduciaries Have Ongoing Duty to Monitor Investments - Selection of Plan Investment Alternative Is Not a...

In Tibble v. Edison International, 13-550 (U.S. May 18, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) requires ERISA plan fiduciaries to monitor plan investments for...more

Are Top Hat Plans Entitled to a Discretionary Standard of Review?

Many years ago the Supreme Court decided that qualified retirement plans that gave their fiduciaries discretion to determine plan benefits were entitled to have their decisions, reviewed by a court under a generous “abuse of...more

Internet Posting of SPD is Insufficient

Employers know that they must prepare and distribute a summary plan description (SPD) for their ERISA benefit plans, including retirement benefits, health insurance, life insurance and disability insurance. Because of the...more

Supreme Court: 401(k) Plan Fiduciaries Have An Ongoing Duty To Monitor

In April 2013 I reported on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision in Tibble v. Edison International which involved an alleged breach of fiduciary duty by the Edison 401(k) Savings Plan committee selecting six retail...more

Supreme Court Clarifies Scope of Fiduciary Duty Under ERISA

On May 18, the Supreme Court held, in Tibble v. Edison International that a fiduciary “has a continuing duty to monitor trust investments and remove imprudent ones. This continuing duty exists separate and apart from the...more

Traps for the Unwary: A Look at Employees and Benefits in M&A Transactions

Employees drive the success of a company. In fact, in some industries (technology, for example) talent acquisition can be a primary motivation for a transaction. From identifying the target’s key employees, to assessing the...more

Traps for the Unwary: A Look at Employees and Benefits in M&A Transactions

Employees drive the success of a company. In fact, in some industries (technology, for example) talent acquisition can be a primary motivation for a transaction. From identifying the target’s key employees, to assessing the...more

A Bad Deed is Not Entirely Unpunished

Richard Thomas embezzled nearly $20,000,000 from his employer. The employer then kept Thomas’s profit sharing account of about $21,000 as an offset against the embezzled amount. Of course, this violated ERISA’s...more

ERISA: Public School Teacher’s Employee Benefits Governed by ERISA? Yes!

When you see a claim for disability or life insurance benefits by a public school teacher, you might assume the claim is not governed by ERISA because of the governmental plan exception....more

Department of Labor Proposes New Fiduciary Regulation and Prohibited Transaction Exemption Relief for Investment Advice...

On April 20, 2015, more than three years after withdrawing a similar proposal that was staunchly opposed by the financial services industry, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published in the Federal Register a proposed...more

More ERISA Complications

In passing the Employee Retirement Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), Congress sought to make it as easy and economical as possible for employers to provide benefits to their workers; for example, pensions, health insurance,...more

The Sixth Circuit Vindicates the Fourth and Eleventh.

The en banc Sixth Circuit reaffirmed what the Fourth and Eleventh Circuits knew all along. Ever since Cigna v.Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011), in which the United States Supreme Court provided fresh theories (e.g.,...more

2014 Pension Plan Regulatory Highlights

The start of the new year is as good a time as any to look back at some of the employee benefits regulatory developments of 2014 that were not previously covered in this column. Originally published in Employee Benefit...more

Seller Beware: Eighth Circuit Finds Insurer Potentially Liable for Enrollment Mistakes of Employer

In Silva v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 762 F.3d 711 (8th Cir. 2014), the Eighth Circuit joined a number of other circuits in recognizing equitable remedies of reformation and surcharge based on a breach of fiduciary...more

ERISA: Sometimes A Government Employee’s Benefits Could Be Governed By ERISA?

You already know that employee benefit plans established by governmental entities are exempt from ERISA. But ERISA might apply if the employee benefit for the government employee is established through an association....more

DOL Issues Final Rules on Annual Funding Notice for Defined Benefit Plans

The Department of Labor recently issued final regulations implementing the annual funding notice that defined benefit plans are required to provide under Section 101(f) of ERISA. The final regulations are similar to the...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

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

Employee Benefits Developments - November 2014

Health Care Cost Consideration May Support Age Discrimination Claim. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overturned a lower court’s summary judgment ruling against a plaintiff’s age discrimination...more

Considerations for Employee Benefit Programs That Benefit Employers and Employees

Employers must compete in the marketplace for talented employees at every level—both in recruitment and retention. It is thus in employers’ best interests to provide employee benefit plans that are attractive to employees and...more

Fifth Circuit Adopts Majority Rule on What Constitutes “Other Instruments” of an ERISA Plan

ERISA plan administrators facing broad requests for production under ERISA section 104(b)(4) may limit their production to formal legal documents governing the plan, based on new guidance from a panel of the Fifth Circuit in...more

Proposed Bankruptcy Fairness and Employee Benefits Protection Act of 2014 would place significant restrictions on employers in...

Legislation recently introduced in the Senate would place many restrictions on the ability of a corporation navigating bankruptcy to change the compensation and benefits of employees and retirees. The bill would also create a...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2014

Editor's Overview - The first article in this month's newsletter focuses on whether specific language in ERISA employer-provided disability insurance plans confer discretionary authority to plan administrators to...more

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