Fiduciary Duty Employee Retirement Income Security Act

News & Analysis as of

Eleventh Circuit Addresses Statutory Penalty Claims under ERISA

The ERISA statute authorizes a court to award a penalty of up to $110 per day based on the failure of an Administrator to respond to a participant’s or a beneficiary’s request for plan documents. The term “Administrator” is...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

Ninth Circuit: Multiemployer Plan Calling Unpaid Contributions “Plan Assets” Does Not Make Persons Controlling Contribution...

The Ninth Circuit recently held that a multiemployer pension plan (MEP) cannot label unpaid contributions as “plan assets” so as to impose ERISA fiduciary status on persons controlling the payment of employer contributions to...more

Eleventh Circuit Again Affirms Dismissal of Stock Drop Claim Against Delta Air Lines

The Eleventh Circuit affirmed dismissal of ERISA breach of fiduciary claims against Delta Air Lines and other alleged plan fiduciaries in connection with a defined contribution plan’s investments in Delta Air Lines stock. ...more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2015

Second Circuit Holds That Posthumous QDROs Are Valid. Yale-New Haven Hospital brought an action in federal court to resolve competing claims by a former spouse of a deceased participant and the deceased participant’s...more

Benefits Litigation Update – July 2015

Welcome to the new, rejuvenated version of the Benefits Litigation Update, which we bring you jointly with the law firm of Epstein Becker Green. Our goal is to provide a concise and, we hope, insightful glimpse into recent...more

Tenth Circuit Addresses ERISA Limitations Provision in Class Action Decision

In Fulghum v. Embarq. Corp., 785 F.3d 395 (10th Cir. 2015), the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals considered the claims of a class of telephone company retirees whose life and health insurance benefits were reduced or eliminated...more

The Top 7 Concerns for Employee Benefits Administrators

For years, employers have been getting a free pass from the courts for a number of different violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA") relating to the operation of retirement, medical,...more

Changes to the Terms of BCBSM’s Administrative Services Contracts in the Wake of Hidden Fees Suits

Effective January 1, 2016, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan ("BCBSM") will implement significant changes to the Administrative Services Contracts ("ASCs") issued to its self-funded customers. Notably, BCBSM has attempted to...more

Analysis: Impact of the DOL’s Fiduciary Proposal on Participant Investment Advice

This paper explains the basis for our conclusions about the impact on the investment recommendations to participants of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) proposal to amend the fiduciary investment advice regulation and to...more

Focus on Private Equity - July 2015

What Private Equity Funds Should Know About ERISA: Basics of ERISA Coverage - The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) imposes numerous duties on fiduciaries holding employee benefit...more

The DOL and the Proposed Fiduciary Rule: A Prediction

Public comments regarding the Department of Labor’s proposed new fiduciary rule were due and the process will continue. I have said all along that the Department of Labor (DOL) will get a new fiduciary rule in place...more

Third Circuit Rules That Actual Harm Needed for Monetary Equitable Remedy

The Third Circuit recently held that a plaintiff was not entitled to a monetary, equitable remedy under ERISA § 502(a)(3) where he failed to prove actual harm. Perelman v. Perelman, Nos. 14–1663, 14–2742, 2015 WL 4174537 (3d...more

Seeking Guidance In Fiduciary Duty Compliance? Work With Experienced Attorney

In our last post, we spoke about the importance of businesses being aware of their fiduciary responsibilities and establishing solid compliance policies to ensure they are meeting their legal obligations. One area where this...more

Employee Benefits Developments - June 2015

Supreme Court: Plan Fiduciaries Have a Continuing Duty to Monitor Plan Investments. In 2007, participants and beneficiaries under a 401(k) plan sued the plan fiduciaries and the plan sponsor to recover damages for alleged...more

United State Supreme Court Confirms ERISA Fiduciary’s Continuing Duty To Monitor Investments

In its Tibble v. Edison International decision the United State Supreme Court confirmed that the scope of an ERISA fiduciary’s duty of prudence continues after initial investments are made and imposes an ongoing duty to...more

District Court Rules Privately-Held Stock Plan Fiduciary May Have Affirmative Duty To Disclose

A federal district court in Georgia held that plan fiduciaries of a closely-held company’s single stock ERISA fund may have a duty to disclose material, non-public information concerning the value of the company’s shares when...more

Declaration of Independence: Preserving the Role of the Independent Fiduciary Post-Dudenhoeffer

In the wake of Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer, a complaint that seeks to hold an ERISA fiduciary liable for failing to divest a plan of employer stock based solely upon publicly available information fails to state a plausible...more

DOL Proposes Broader ERISA Fiduciary Definition

In April, the Department of Labor (the “DOL”) issued controversial proposed regulations that would broaden the category of service providers who become fiduciaries under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974...more

Economic Analysis in Fiduciary Monitoring Disputes Following the Supreme Court’s ‘Tibble’ Ruling

The topic of fiduciary monitoring is receiving a lot of attention in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Tibble v. Edison (‘‘Tibble’’). In this decision, the Court ruled that plan fiduciaries have a...more

Advisors Advantage - July 2015

In This Issue: - How Retirement Plan Advisors Can Benefit From Any New DOL Fiduciary Rule - Avoid Other Providers Who Are The Sticks in the Wheels of Progress - Sometimes It's Just Words - Never...more

Supreme Court Denies Review of Fourth Circuit Loss Causation Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to grant certiorari to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision in RJR Pension Investment, et al. v. Tatum, 761 F.3d 363 (4th Cir. 2014). As we previously reported, a divided panel of the...more

Ninth Circuit Again Wrestles with Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer, and Again Reverses Dismissal of Stock Drop Case

Factual Background - As described in greater detail in the December 18, 2014 edition of the ELU, this case involves claims for breach of fiduciary duty when two 401(k) plans remained invested in the employer stock at a...more

Federal District Court Allows Most Claims to Proceed in Stable Value Product-Related Litigation

In Teets v. Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company, Case No. 14-2330 (D. Col. May 22, 2015), the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado denied in part and granted in part a motion to dismiss claims under ERISA...more

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