Fiduciary Duty Employee Retirement Income Security Act

News & Analysis as of

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - April 2015 #5

Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing of Northstar v. Schwab. On April 28, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied the petition of Schwab Investments’ (Schwab) for rehearing and rehearing en banc in the case of...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

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes New Fiduciary Standard

Last week, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its highly anticipated, re-proposed regulation addressing when a person providing investment advice with respect to an employee benefit plan or individual retirement...more

The DOL Seeks an Ideal Balance in a Brave New World of “Investment Advice” Under ERISA

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) on April 14, 2015 issued the long-awaited re-proposal (the “2015 Proposed Regulations”) of the regulations defining “investment advice” in connection with the “fiduciary” rules under...more

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed Fiduciary Rules

Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor issued its highly anticipated re-proposed regulation addressing when a person providing investment advice with respect to an employee benefit plan is considered a fiduciary under ERISA....more

Fiduciary Breach Claim Based On Oral Representation Can Proceed

A federal district court in New Jersey held that oral misrepresentations may support a breach of fiduciary duty claim under ERISA. Plaintiff Richard Lees was hired by American Re–Insurance Company, although he was paid by...more

Sixth Circuit Rejects Claim that Disgorgement of Profits Is Appropriate Remedy in ERISA Benefit Denial Action

On March 5, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, sitting en banc in the matter of Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, 2015 WL 925794 (6th Cir. Mar. 5, 2015), reversed the finding of a prior...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

Breaching Fiduciary Cannot Seek Equitable Indemnity from Another Fiduciary

A California federal district court dismissed a plan fiduciary’s equitable indemnity claim because such claims are not available to a breaching fiduciary under ERISA. Plaintiff William Brown commenced a putative class action...more

Tibble Supreme Court Argument: Fiduciaries Must Monitor Investments

Section 413 of ERISA provides in general that no action for breach of fiduciary duty may be brought after the earlier of: (1) six years after (A) the date of the last action which constituted a part of the breach, or (B) in...more

The SEC Commissioners Speak: Part II

Yesterday’s article reviewed the remarks of SEC Chair Mary Jo White and Commissioner Kara M. Stein at SEC Speaks. The article today reviews the remarks at the conference of Commissioners Michael S. Piwowar and Daniel M....more

The Administration Proposes Imposing a Fiduciary Standard on Retirement Advisers

Yesterday, the Obama administration called on the Department of Labor to draft rules that, in effect, would require brokers who provide retirement advice to abide by a fiduciary standard. In a speech at an event hosted by...more

Oil Price Decline: Positioning for Turnaround or Sale

As a reaction to the dramatic oil price volatility, many energy companies plan to streamline operations by reducing work force and shedding assets. Those who do so face tightening credit and decline in asset value that may...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - February 2015

In This Issue: - Small Steps That Plan Sponsors Can Take To Limit Their Fiduciary Liability - "Plain" Advice to Retirement Plan Sponsors - Pick Plan Providers Just Because They Are Cheap Is A Bad...more

BABC Attorneys Author Amicus Brief on Behalf of DRI Regarding Tibble Case in United States Supreme Court

In Tibble v Edison International, Plaintiffs brought fiduciary duty claims against Edison International for alleged mismanagement of Edison’s 401(k) Plan. Plaintiffs’ claims centered upon the fact that the Plan’s investment...more

"Dudenhoeffer: An Effective Tool to 'Weed Out Meritless' Employer Stock-Drop Claims?"

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 573 U.S. __, 134 S. Ct. 2459 (2014), a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held that fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) are not entitled to a special presumption that their...more

The Directed Trustee in the Post-Dudenhoeffer World

Overview - Court cases challenging the actions of Employee Retirement Income Security Act fiduciaries have continued unabated since the scandal of Enron in 2002. Since then, a large number of cases are in the ‘‘stock...more

Third Circuit Limits ERISA Fiduciary Liability

Former and current annuity holders sued John Hancock Life Insurance Company in New Jersey federal court several years ago, alleging that, as a service provider to their 401(k) plans, John Hancock was an ERISA fiduciary and...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - December 2014

This month's newsletter focuses on how Plan Trustees can appropriately settle ERISA breach of fiduciary duty claims in order to achieve "complete peace." The article provides a check list and discusses strategies for handling...more

DOL 2014 Fall Regulatory Agenda

Introduction - The Department of Labor has released the 2014 Fall Regulatory Agenda. The updated agenda provides the anticipated publication dates for the next steps in the regulatory process for nearly a dozen ERISA...more

ERISA Fiduciaries Have a Duty to Inform

SUMMARY: In this case, the court found that the employer, serving as plan administrator of a group life insurance plan providing basic and supplemental coverage, may be liable for monetary damages for breach of its fiduciary...more

How to Settle an ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Case and Sleep at Night: A Checklist for Plan Trustees to Consider

Plan trustees often look to settle ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought against them as a way to put the past behind them. Assuming there is enough fiduciary liability insurance coverage available to pay the proposed...more

Insurer Agrees to $140 Million Settlement in ERISA Case Challenging Revenue Sharing Practices

Nationwide Life Insurance Co. has agreed to settle ERISA fiduciary breach claims brought on behalf of a class of retirement plan trustees that purchased annuity contracts and/or services from Nationwide for their plans....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

Watch For A New Wave Of ERISA Stock Drop Cases

Plan fiduciaries may create a fiduciary duty in stock drop cases by incorporating filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission into the Summary Plan Description. We have been waiting for the Ninth Circuit to...more

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