Fiduciary Duty The United States Department of Labor

News & Analysis as of

“Socially Responsible” Investing Under ERISA: New DOL Guidance

Fiduciary concerns may have prevented plan committees from considering “economically targeted investments” (ETI) – such as investments that observe environmental, social or governance responsibility (ESG) standards – as...more

Federal Court Determines that Employer Use of Employee Health Insurance Premium Payments Breach of ERISA Fiduciary Duties

On November 9, 2015, Minnesota Federal District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that the president and CEO of Faribault Woolen Mills Company breached his fiduciary duties under ERISA by diverting Employee health insurance...more

Department of Labor Clarifies ERISA Fiduciary Requirements With Respect to Economically Targeted Investments and Environmental,...

Last month, the Department of Labor (the “Department”) issued an Interpretive Bulletin 2015-011 (the “Bulletin”) clarifying the extent to which the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) permits fiduciaries...more

DOL Issues New Guidance on Economically Targeted Investments

The guidance clarifies that environmental, social, and governance factors may be relevant to a plan fiduciary’s evaluation of an investment’s economic merits. The US Department of Labor (DOL) recently published an...more

I’m Guessing That The DOL Didn’t Have in Mind Negative Weighing OF ESG Factors

In this post, I noted a recent study by Professor Tracie Woidtke at the University of Tennessee concluding that social-issue shareholder-proposal activism appears to be negatively related to firm value. I therefore raised...more

Pension Plan Investments: ERISA Fiduciaries May Consider Environmental, Social, and Governance Factors Related to Economic Value

Over the past two decades, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a number of advisory opinions and interpretive bulletins on “economically targeted investments” (ETIs). These investments are generally defined as...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2015

Editor's Overview - This month, we review the Second Circuit's ruling in New York State Psychiatric Ass'n, Inc. v. UnitedHealth Grp. wherein the Second Circuit ruled that: (i) a provider association has associational...more

Investment Management Update - October 2015

Below is a summary of recent investment management developments that affect registered investment companies, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment advisers, and others in the investment management industry. Schwab...more

Are You My Fiduciary? The DOL Takes Aim At A Fiduciary Standard For All Giving Retirement Investment Advice

The Department of Labor is pressing forward in its efforts to impose a fiduciary standard on anyone giving retirement investment advice. A fiduciary standard would require every retirement investment adviser to put the...more

EXPECT FOCUS: Onboard Technology, NAIC Cybersecurity, DOL, ACA Litigation, SEC Regulation (Vol. III, Summer 2015)

In This Issue: IN THE SPOTLIGHT - - Your Data Breach Collided With My Personal Injury Coverage LIFE INSURANCE - - Phantom Injury Dooms “Shadow Insurance” Case - Latest NAIC Cybersecurity News - A...more

Perspectives - September/October 2015

In a decision in which no opinion commanded a majority, the Ohio Supreme Court sided with a private entity — a charter school operator — in a dispute over the ownership of personal property purchased by the operator with...more

A Summary of Predicted Litigation Under the DOL’s Proposed Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor’s recent Proposed Rule, which defines the term "fiduciary" as it applies to persons who provide "investment advice" to ERISA plans and IRAs, will impact the likelihood and severity of fiduciary...more

Federal District Court Addresses Measure of Damages in ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case

Fiduciaries of two defined contribution retirement plans sponsored by the same employer (the “Plans”) sued the Plans’ former investment manager for breach of ERISA fiduciary duties and state law violations in connection with...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - September 2015

Editor's Overview - It has been a little more than one year since the U.S. Supreme Court altered the legal landscape for litigating ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims relating to the investment in employer stock...more

Changes In The Money Market Fund Rules: The Fiduciary Response

The SEC’s modifications to the money market fund rules won’t become effective for approximately a year, but plan fiduciaries should already be considering what to do about them.2 Almost certainly, they’ll need to make changes...more

DOL Provides Guidance Regarding Monitoring Annuity Providers

The DOL issued Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2015-02, which provides clarity regarding selection and monitoring of annuity providers for fiduciaries of defined contribution retirement plans. There is a safe harbor regulation...more

Second Circuit Reinstates Mental Health Parity Case Against UnitedHealth

In late August the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reinstated a lawsuit by a physician association against a third-party plan administrator. The case against UnitedHealth Group and related entities (United) had...more

Several Insurance Related Issues to Dominate as Congress Returns to Work

As Congress returns to work this week, a number of issues impacting the insurance and financial services industries are expected to be evaluated. First, on Thursday, September 10, two House subcommitees will hold a hearing...more

Financial Services Weekly News - September 2015 #2

Regulatory Developments: DOL Releases Transcripts of Fiduciary Standard Hearings - The Department of Labor (DOL) has released the transcripts of the hearings held by the agency in August on its proposed fiduciary...more

DOL Clarifies Fiduciary Duties for Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors Offering Annuity Contracts

The availability of annuity options under defined contribution plans has increased in recent years due to the shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans. Fiduciaries, however, are often concerned with potential...more

Employee Benefits Developments August 2015

Certain Closely Held For-Profit Employers Need Not Provide Women’s Contraceptive Services. Under the ACA, non-grandfathered group health plans must cover specified preventive services, including certain women’s preventive...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - August 2015

Editor's Overview - As the summer draws to a close, this month's Newsletter previews three cases that the U.S. Supreme Court already has agreed to hear that ought to be of particular interest to ERISA plan sponsors and...more

Commenters React to DOL’s Proposed Expansion of Fiduciary-Duty Rules

Four months after proposing a significantly expanded definition specifying when “investment advice” to employee plans and IRAs would give rise to fiduciary status under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the...more

DOL Hearings Debate “Fiduciary Duty” not “Suitability” Standard for Retirement Accounts

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL“) recently heard public comment to its proposed regulatory changes implementing a fiduciary duty on any individual receiving compensation for advice tailored to a plan sponsor, participant...more

Advisors Advantage - August 2015

How Retirement Plan Providers Can Avoid Communication Problems. It's all about relationships and communication. Life is all about relationships, whether it's family, friends, or business. Whether it's starting a...more

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