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

Ninth Circuit Joins First Circuit in Finding that the Elimination of a Pension Transfer Option does not Violate ERISA's...

In Anderson v. DHL Retirement Pension Plan, the Ninth Circuit followed the First Circuit in finding that the elimination of the right to transfer an account balance from a defined contribution plan to a defined benefit plan...more

For Pension Plans – To Risk or to De-Risk: That is the Question!

U.S. private-sector retirement plans are voluntary in nature. There is no legal requirement that employers adopt or contribute to retirement plans in addition to the social security system. However, once established,...more

PBGC Issues Enforcement Moratorium on 4062(e) Cases through End of 2014

In response to plan sponsor concerns, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced a moratorium on the enforcement of ERISA Section 4062(e) cases through the end of 2014....more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - This month's newsletter focuses on repayment of pension plan overpayments. Our issue discusses pension plan overpayments to participants, a plan administrator's duties to seek repayment, corrections...more

PBGC Publishes Final Regulations on the Phase-In Period for Guarantee of Benefits for an Unpredictable Contingent Event

The Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (“PBGC”) recently published final regulations related to the phase-in period for its guarantee of benefits that are contingent upon the occurrence of an “unpredictable contingent...more

Financial Service Company’s Nonqualified Plan Found to be an ERISA Pension Plan

In Tolbert v. RBC Capital Markets (July 14, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a deferred incentive compensation plan maintained by a financial services company for certain employees was an...more

Fourth Circuit Adopts More Demanding Test for Exercise of Objective Prudence by Retirement Plan Fiduciaries -Tatum v. RJR Pension...

In the latest ruling in a long-running battle arising from company stock fund divestments, the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has underscored the importance of procedural prudence in the management of plan...more

Are You Selling Or Downsizing A U.S. Business? Plant Closing Liability Relief May Be Coming

A long overlooked and long unenforced provision of ERISA sometimes referred to as the “plant closing rule” has caused a stir in recent years as the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) began aggressively pursuing...more

PBGC Coverage May No Longer Apply to Puerto Rico-Only Qualified Retirement Plans

Employers that sponsor defined benefit qualified retirement plans benefiting only Puerto Rico employees should be aware that Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) coverage may no longer apply. Last year, the PBGC...more

Monthly Benefits Update - July 2014

Two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on the validity of subsidies for the purchase of health insurance under the federal marketplace established pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On July 22, a...more

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

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