You already know that the primary responsibility for providing medical proof of disability undoubtedly rests with the claimant.
But does the plan administrator sometimes have an obligation to obtain medical records and...more
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
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
- 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
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
A federal district court held that participants in a defined benefit plan had standing to challenge plan fiduciaries’ strategy of investing 100% of the plan’s assets in equities, but dismissed those claims based on ERISA’s...more
The Ninth Circuit recently held that where an ERISA plan provides the plan administrator discretionary authority to determine benefit claims, procedural violations that occur during the course of the administrative claims...more
Earlier this year, the IRS published updated guidance on the application of the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor to qualified retirement plans. In Windsor, the Court held that the Defense of Marriage Act’s...more
Plaintiff Kristopher Towles, the son of a deceased participant of a life insurance plan, challenged the plan’s decision to pay the life insurance proceeds to the deceased’s husband, contending that the beneficiary form...more
Editor's Overview -
The first article in this month's newsletter focuses on whether specific language in ERISA employer-provided disability insurance plans confer discretionary authority to plan administrators to...more
Now is the time that plan sponsors who are on extension to file their Form 5500 should be receiving them via email from their third party administrator (TPA).
While plan sponsors just immediately file them to get it...more
What happens when the district court orders a remand to the ERISA plan administrator?
Can you appeal it? It depends on the circuit.
FACTS: Mead sought ERISA-governed long term disability benefits, which were...more
Taft-Hartley plan trustees must stay up to date on the most recent rules and regulations regarding plan administration. One of the best places to be educated on the legislative framework governing collectively bargained...more
Retirement plan sponsors have a lot of headaches and liability because of their role as plan fiduciaries. They can sit back and do nothing, thereby increasing their potential liability. They can also be proactive and take...more
As discussed in our July 2014 Blakes Bulletin: Alberta’s New Pension Legislation to Take Effect September 1, 2014, the Alberta government has announced that the new Employment Pension Plans Act (New Act) and its associated...more
The administrative burden of determining the validity of rollover contributions to qualified retirement plans, and the associated risk of jeopardizing the plan’s tax-qualified status, traditionally has been a significant...more
This case discusses the fiduciary obligation of plan administrators to inform participants in advance of ERISA’s statutory notice periods regarding the potential impact caused by a change of life insurance carrier under a...more
Dealing with adversity.
It's about how you deal with it.
I'm a huge Aerosmith fan since high school and it's because the music resonates with me because it reminds me of the experiences that I have gone through...more
The Health Care Reform Act made many changes to health plans, but one thing it did not do was expressly eliminate or change the COBRA rules. Although health care reform does not expressly change COBRA, it does, in many ways,...more
When I was a child, I remember bringing the soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever for my first grade class’ Chanukah party (I went to a Jewish day school). To this day, I still don’t how to operate a record player. Around the...more
The George Clooney-Brad Pitt trilogy of heist films known as Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, and Ocean’s Thirteen were remembered for their twist endings, stylish pacing, and lightheartedness. Since the Ocean gang were...more
According to 29 U.S.C. § 1132(c)(1)(B) of ERISA, it is within a court’s discretion to award a penalty of up to $110 per day based on an administrator’s failure to comply with a plan participant’s or beneficiary’s request for...more
If they made the poor Plan decisions, they may take offense on your criticism.
They will take offense.
Two years ago, I had the worst call with a prospective client in the 14 years I have been an ERISA attorney...more
Animal Farm by George Orwell was a clever allegory of the Bolshevik Revolution and the Soviet Union where the oppressed animals overthrew Farmer Mr. Jones, only to start oppress- ing each other. A similar situation is when I...more
The Sixth Circuit held in Hi-Lex Controls, Inc. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan that a service provider was liable as a fiduciary under ERISA for unauthorized fees it assessed against a self-funded health plan. In...more
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