Employee Retirement Income Security Act Pensions

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

Discriminatory Defined Benefit Plans: Finding Retirement Gold in the Least Likely of Places

We live in politically charged times. Congress seems unable to reach a consensus on anything, including where to have the annual congressional Christmas ball! Years of political crossfire over the Affordable Care Act have...more

Ninth Circuit Takes Narrow View of ERISA Surcharge Remedy

In Gabriel v. Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, the Ninth Circuit ruled that a pension plan participant could not be “made whole” by using the equitable remedy of surcharge to recover pension benefits he was erroneously told he...more

Religious Institutions Update - Lex Est Sanctio Sancta

"Church plans" are pension plans (including defined benefit or defined contribution plans) exempt (without an irrevocable election) from many of the legal requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)...more

Death, Taxes and …ERISA Disclosure Regulations?

There are few sure things in life, and although it is probably safe to say that ERISA disclosure regulations would not be considered one of them, there has certainly been a steady stream of new ERISA-related disclosure and...more

Court Rejects Plaintiff’s Attempt to Prevent Plan from Recouping $250,000 Overpayment

A federal district court in the Northern District of California dismissed an equitable estoppel claim brought by a pension-plan participant seeking to prevent the plan from recouping an overpayment. See Groves v. Kaiser...more

Unpaid Employer Contributions as Plan Assets: Expansion Of Liability Under ERISA

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (“ERISA”), requires trustees of multiemployer pension and benefit funds to collect contributions required to be made by contributing employers under their...more

Monthly Benefits Update

As expected, the Department of the Treasury and the IRS (the “Agencies”) finalized the employer information reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (the “ACA”) earlier this month. The final rules, which are...more

Private sector pension de-risking and participant protections

On Nov. 5, 2013, the ERISA Advisory Council submitted findings and recommendations on pension de-risking to the Secretary of Labor. Pension de-risking transactions have received a lot of attention lately, both in the media...more

U.S. Supreme Court Round-Up: Sun Capital Cert Denied, Omnicare Cert Granted and Whistle-Blower Protection Extended

As first discussed in July 2013 the First Circuit Court of Appeals held in Sun Capital Partners III, LP, et al. v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund that a Sun Capital Partners private equity fund (Sun...more

Litigation Alert: Trust/Owner Not 'Trade or Business' for Withdrawal Liability Purposes

Pacific Coast Shipyards Pension Fund v. Nautical Engineering, Inc. - On January 13, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (the "District Court") granted a motion to dismiss, holding that...more

CalSTRS Extends Time to Elect to have Service Count Toward CalSTRS Retirement

CalSTRS recently issued new guidance that applies when a CalSTRS member changes to a new position that may not be eligible for participation in the retirement system. The guidance, found in Employer Information Circular,...more

The First Circuit’s Sun Capital Decision: Much Ado About Nothing?

The First Circuit’s much-discussed decision in Sun Capital Partners III, LP, et al. v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund et al., No. 12-2312 (1st Cir. 2013) has forced many practitioners and commentators...more

Long Arm of ERISA Tags Non-US Parent Company With Pension Liabilities of Its US Subsidiary

A non-United States entity seeking to acquire a United States entity should be aware that the acquisition may expose the non-US entity to any pension plan termination and withdrawal liabilities of the US target entity in...more

Private Equity Fund Deemed Trade or Business

In my previous post on this blog, I discussed the possibility of a Canadian company being called upon to pay for an affiliated U.S. company’s pension liabilities. As discussed therein, this possibility potentially exists...more

Capital Infusion: Private Equity Funds: Potential Liability for Portfolio Company Pension Obligations

In Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Indus. Pension Fund, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 15190, No. 12-2312, ___ F.3d ___ (1st Cir. 2013), the United States Court of Appeals recently ruled on a matter of...more

Recent Decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit May Have Significant Implications for Private Equity Funds

In late July of this year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed a Massachusetts District Court, and in a decision of first impression, held that one of Sun Capital Partner’s private equity funds was liable...more

Employer Wins Bankruptcy Discharge of Withdrawal Liability

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently ruled that employers may discharge multiemployer trust withdrawal liability in bankruptcy. Employers required to contribute to multi-employer pension trusts face growing withdrawal...more

Ninth Circuit Allows Bankruptcy Discharge of ERISA Withdrawal Liability

The Ninth Circuit recently held that an employer who failed to pay $170,045 in withdrawal liability could discharge the liability in bankruptcy. Carpenters Pension Trust Fund v. Moxley, No. 11-16133 (9th Cir. August 20,...more

Private Equity Fund May Be Liable for Portfolio Company Withdrawal Liability

In Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters and Trucking Industry Pension Fund, the First Circuit Court of Appeals held that an investment fund managed by private equity firm Sun Capital Advisors, Inc. (“Sun...more

Private Equity Fund May Be “Trade or Business” Under ERISA

First Circuit holds that an investment fund may be responsible for controlled group pension liabilities of portfolio companies. On July 24, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued a significant decision...more

Private Equity Funds May Be on the Hook for the Pension Liabilities of Portfolio Companies

A recent decision of the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit makes it more likely that private equity funds could be liable for the pension obligations of the portfolio companies in which they invest. Key to the decision...more

PE Funds May Be Liable For Portfolio Company Pension Liabilities

Introduction - A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit increases the risk that a private equity fund could be liable for its portfolio company’s unfunded pension liabilities. Additionally,...more

A Warning Shot for Private Equity Funds: First Circuit Court of Appeals Holds Fund Engaged in a "Trade or Business" for Purposes...

Under Title IV of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), withdrawal liability upon cessation of participation in a multiemployer pension plan and termination liability upon the involuntary or distressed...more

First Circuit: Private Equity Fund May Be “Trade or Business” and Subject to Portfolio Company Pension Liabilities

The First Circuit Court of Appeals has recently held in Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, No. 12-2312 (July 24, 2013), a case of first impression at the Circuit Court...more

PE Fund Deemed a 'Trade or Business'—May Be Liable for Portfolio Companies' Pensions

The First Circuit Court of Appeals recently became the first federal appellate court to hold that a private equity (“PE”) fund can be a “trade or business,” and thus potentially included in a “controlled group” with its...more

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