News & Analysis as of

Seeing the Retirement Plan Dentist to avoid a Plan Root Canal

About a dozen or so year ago, there was a medical report that dental plaque could cause heart disease. The cynic in me tells me that this was some sort of dental conspiracy to increase revenue as fluoridated water and other...more

In Tiblier, Fifth Circuit Holds Investment Advisor Was Not a Fiduciary With Respect to Investment that Resulted in Plan Losses

The Fifth Circuit ruled last month that a plan investment advisor could not be held liable under ERISA for plan losses as a result of an investment, where the advisor did not act as a fiduciary with respect to that...more

Eleventh Circuit Joins Fourth Circuit in Rejecting Continuing Breach Approach to ERISA's Statute of Limitation

When a participant of a defined contribution plan complains that the plan fiduciaries breached their duties in failing to remove poor performing funds from the 401(k)’s investment options, is the date of the breach when the...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - March 2014

Our first article this month addresses the treatment of the attorney-client privilege in employee benefits matters. Pursuant to the so-called "fiduciary exception," communications between an attorney and a plan fiduciary are...more

View From Proskauer: ERISA Plan Fiduciaries—Are Your Conversations With Counsel Privileged?

It is generally understood that communications between clients and lawyers are privileged and that the substance of those conversations may not be divulged to third parties except in the rarest of circumstances. In the...more

Fiduciary Breach Claims Barred by ERISA’s Six-Year Statute of Limitations

The Eleventh Circuit recently dismissed a participant’s fiduciary breach claims against SunTrust’s 401(k) plan fiduciary committee members on the ground that the claims for imprudently selecting certain investment options was...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Review “Presumption of Prudence” that Favors Fiduciaries of ERISA Plans that Hold Employer Stock

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, in which the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in response to a motion to dismiss, declined to adopt a presumption of prudence in favor of a...more

Employee Benefits Developments - January 2014

CASES - Court Finds Former NFL Player’s First Wife Is Surviving Spouse - A recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit demonstrates once again the importance of divorcing your first spouse...more

ERISA Fiduciary Duties and the Tension Between the Affordable Care Act and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("ACA") has significantly changed the healthcare industry in the United States. Among the many changes is the new requirement that healthcare providers must provide all "Food...more

Advisors Advantage - January 2014

Things They Never Tell You as a Retirement Plan Provider. Stuff plan providers should avoid. I always say that whatever I learned as an ERISA attorney and the retirement plan business; I couldn't have learned...more

Improve Compliance Of Retirement And Group Health Plans In 2014

Retirement plan fiduciaries should consider the following best practices to improve their plan’s governance in 2014: (i) if fiduciary duties have been delegated, make certain that the delegations are in writing and are being...more

Supreme Court to Review Sixth Circuit’s Reinstatement of ERISA “Stock-Drop” Class Action

The Supreme Court recently agreed to resolve a circuit split on the pleading requirements for claims that ERISA fiduciaries imprudently invested employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) assets in the stock of the...more

Supreme Court to Address Presumption of Prudence for ERISA “Stock Drop” Cases

The Supreme Court agreed on December 13, 2013 to review an issue critical to ERISA “stock drop” cases and important more generally for ERISA individual-account plans that invest in employer stock....more

Things They Never Tell You as a 401(k) Plan Sponsor

When my wife and I bought our house, there were quite a few things that the previous owner forgot to tell us such as the fact they never bothered to pull the pipes from the dental office run by a previous owner 20 years...more

Supreme Court Picks Up ERISA Stock-Drop Case: What’s Next?

In what circumstances should you be permitted to invest your retirement savings in your own employer’s stock? We have blogged before about an ERISA class action pending at the Supreme Court regarding when plan fiduciaries...more

Sixth Circuit Expands Availability of Remedies Under ERISA

The Sixth Circuit recently concluded that a disability plan participant was entitled to relief consisting of benefits under the plan and disgorgement of defendant’s profits for delaying payment. In so ruling, the Court found...more

U.S. Supreme Court Grants Certiorari in ERISA Stock Drop Case

On December 13, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Dudenhoeffer v. Fifth Third Bancorp, et al., No. 12-751, to review a decision by the Sixth Circuit reversing dismissal of a complaint in an ERISA stock drop...more

Courts Disagree over Jury Trial Right in ERISA Fiduciary Cases

Federal district courts in Missouri and Vermont have come to opposite conclusions regarding a right to jury trial with respect to fiduciary breach claims brought under ERISA section 502(a)(2). Applying the Supreme Court’s...more

District Court in Tenth Circuit Adopts Presumption of Prudence

A district court in the Tenth Circuit adopted the presumption of prudence in dismissing a class action alleging that the defendants violated their fiduciary duties by allowing participants to continue investing in company...more

End of Year Tips For Retirement Plan Sponsors

With the Holiday season about to start, we know that the end of the year will soon follow. While plan participants maybe more concerned about holiday shopping or the firm’s annual holiday party, it’s a great and necessary...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2013

This month we return to the age-old question – "What makes someone a fiduciary?" As Nicole Eichberger explains, the Seventh Circuit reminded us that the meaning of a "functional fiduciary" depends on exercise/conduct in...more

Seventh Circuit Again Grants Class Certification In Excessive Fee Case

On remand from the Seventh Circuit, a federal district court in Illinois granted class certification in a case where participants in a Boeing 401(k) plan alleged that Boeing breached its fiduciary duties under ERISA by: (i)...more

10 Concepts That Every Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Know

Unless they are involved in the retirement plan industry a plan sponsor must delegate much of their duties to retirement plan providers that may include third party administrators (TPAs), financial advisors, and ERISA...more

Fiduciary Implications of Revenue Sharing Arrangements

For years, 401(k) plan service providers have utilized revenue sharing arrangements to "share" in the revenue earned from plan investments as a source of compensation. Until recently, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") had...more

In Abbott, Seventh Circuit Refines Applicability of Class Action Device in Defined Contribution Challenge

In its continuing analysis of when a class may be certified in a case alleging breach of fiduciary duties with respect to a defined contribution plan, the Seventh Circuit, in Abbott v. Lockheed Martin Corporation, reversed...more

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