Retirement Plan Employee Retirement Income Security Act

News & Analysis as of

Universities: Growing Concern With Explosion of Retirement Plan Fee-Related Lawsuits

In a concerning development for universities and other institutions of higher learning nationwide, a growing number of schools, including Massachusetts Institute of Technology, New York University, Yale University, Johns...more

Multiple Universities Sued Over 403(b) Retirement Plan Investment Fees

In the last several days, a number of large private universities have been sued regarding the investment fees in their 403(b) retirement plans. The lawsuits claim that these universities breached their fiduciary duties under...more

Excessive Fee Litigation Hits 403(b) Plans: What Nonprofit Fiduciaries Need to Know

The recent well-publicized announcement of lawsuits against 403(b) plans of Duke, Yale, NYU, Vanderbilt, and other universities opens a new chapter in ERISA litigation over excessive plan fees. We have reported on this type...more

Under Attack: ERISA Class-Action Lawyers Target Colleges and Universities

Class-action lawyers have begun targeting retirement savings plans offered by a number of colleges and universities across the country. These lawsuits are founded in claims of ERISA breaches of fiduciary duty - alleging the...more

The New Front in Retirement Plan Litigation: Higher Education in the Crosshairs

Over the past week, lawsuits have been filed against seven prominent private universities in connection with their respective retirement plans. The suits allege breach of ERISA fiduciary duties to plan participants because...more

ERISA Class Actions Filed Against Higher Education Institutions

Several ERISA breach of fiduciary duty class actions involving allegedly excessive retirement plan fees were filed this week against higher education institutions including colleges, universities, and medical schools. The...more

Universities Are Targets of Lawsuits over Retirement Plan Fees

Three lawsuits filed in early August suggest that plaintiffs’ law firms, representing employees of colleges and universities, are looking at higher education retirement plans as potential targets for lawsuits seeking millions...more

401(k) Litigation: The Next Frontier

With the proliferation of litigation against 401(k) plans, it should be noted that it focuses on only one thing: cost. Litigation surrounding share classes, proprietary funds, and overall plan expenses is all about plan...more

DOL Significantly Increases Certain ERISA Civil Penalties Effective August 2, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has significantly increased a number of civil monetary penalty amounts (CMPs) that may be assessed by the DOL's Employee Benefits Security Administration for violations of Title I of the...more

When you should step aside and let someone else speak

One of my least favorite days during the year is my birthday because I’ve been accustomed to it being a so-so to a bad day. I took my Criminal Law final on that day during my first year at law school and I was abandoned by my...more

Advisors Advantage - August 2016

Why 401(k) Plan Providers Should Push Automatic Enrollment. It just makes sense. We have a retirement crisis in this country thanks to a Social Security program that has too many retirees to pay to, and the death...more

ERISA Litigation Newsletter - July 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we take a look at the plaintiffs' past successes in fee litigations, and the influx of such lawsuits seeking to impose heightened fiduciary standards for 401(k) plans. Regardless of the...more

Proposed Changes to Form 5500 Reporting Requirements May Have Significant Impact on Retirement Plan Sponsors

On July 11, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced a proposal to implement sweeping changes to the forms and regulations that govern...more

Fidelity Prevails In ERISA Float Litigation

The First Circuit joined the Eighth Circuit in finding that Fidelity’s practice of earning overnight “float” interest on the cash paid out to 401(k) participants redeeming shares in mutual funds did not violate ERISA’s duty...more

The Problem With Providers Using Their Own Funds In Their 401(k) Plan

I always say that I come up with many ideas, but most of them are bad. Seriously, there are so many bad ideas out there in the 401(k) space and one of the really bad ideas out there are bundled plan providers using their own,...more

States Move Forward with Auto-IRA Programs: What’s Next for the Feds?

As the nation continues to struggle with the retirement preparedness gap, policymakers are exploring proposals to require employers that do not offer retirement plans to automatically enroll employees in Individual Retirement...more

Taking on the Retirement Gap: Bipartisan Interest Grows in Open MEPs

As the U.S. continues to grapple with the retirement preparedness gap, policymakers on both sides of the aisle are increasingly focused on facilitating access to retirement plans. In the last few years, policy proposals...more

DOL Fiduciary Rule-Making Overreach? Stay Tuned for the Judgment of the Courts

In April, the Department of Labor issued new regulations under ERISA related to individuals who offer investment advice to ERISA plans, their fiduciaries, or participants for a fee. The DOL now says that a fiduciary is...more

Private Investment Fund Managers and Other Investment Advisers May Be Affected by the U.S. Department of Labor’s New Fiduciary...

On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its highly anticipated final rule addressing when a person is considered to be a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the...more

ERISA Fiduciary Rules: Court Challenges and Considerations for Employers

Employers and their financial advisors should consider enacting a multi-step plan amid anticipation that the proposed ERISA Fiduciary Rules turn effective. Last month, several business groups filed a complaint in the...more

401(k) Litigation Overkill?

The landscape for the retirement plan business has radically changed since when I first started in 1998. Normal courses of business such as revenue sharing and non-transparency of fees were the order of the day. No one cared...more

Department of Labor Increases Penalties for Certain ERISA Violations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published on July 1, 2016, an interim final rule adjusting the civil monetary penalties that it can enforce. These adjustments are the result of the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation...more

Big Fish and Service Provider Lawsuits

It seems like every week, there is another major lawsuit against a plan sponsor and one of their service providers. Allegations of impropriety are just allegations until decided by a trier of fact of whether they are...more

Penalty Amounts Get Adjustment (Upward, of Course)

The Department of Labor (DOL), along with several other federal agencies, recently released adjusted penalty amounts for various violations. The amounts had not been adjusted since 2003, so there was some catching up to do,...more

Financial Services Quarterly Report - Second Quarter 2016: Does the Supreme Court’s Dudenhoeffer Decision under ERISA do “More...

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Amgen v. Harris, in which the Court revisited and clarified its 2014 holding in Dudenhoeffer v. Fifth Third Bancorp.2 Both cases concern the application of a...more

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