News & Analysis as of

Death Benefits Employee Retirement Income Security Act

Back to Basics – Costly Consequences of Ignoring Process in Benefits Administration

The stories of an employer and a long-term disability insurer and claims fiduciary for an ERISA plan, defendants in two recent cases, ring so true. In the first case, the insurer was designated as claims fiduciary for an...more

Accidental Disinheritance: Update Wills, Estate Plans Annually

by Lewitt Hackman on

So you have an estate plan? Good for you. You funded it? Even better. But have you updated it and your will in the last year? If you haven’t, your loved ones or favorite charities may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Your...more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2015

by Hodgson Russ LLP on

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

First Circuit Upholds Use of Retained Asset Accounts in ERISA Class Action

by Pierce Atwood LLP on

On July 2, 2014, a unanimous panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held that Unum Life Insurance Company’s practice of using Retained Asset Accounts (RAAs) to pay death benefits claims on group...more

ERISA – 5th Circuit: Ambiguities In Plan Terms CANNOT Be Construed Against Plan Administrator When Plan Confers Discretion “To...

How will a court construe ambiguities in ERISA plan terms? If the plan confers discretion to the administrator “to interpret plan terms,” ambiguities may NOT be construed against the plan administrator....more

How will a court construe ambiguities in ERISA plan terms?

If the plan confers discretion to the administrator “to interpret plan terms”, ambiguities may NOT be construed against the plan administrator. Here’s the case of Porter v. Lowe’s Companies, __ F.3d__ (5th Cir....more

The Impact of the Supreme Court’s Windsor Decision — Death Benefit Goes to Spouse in Same Sex Marriage

See how the Supreme Court’s June 26, 2013 United States v. Windsor decision, which concluded the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutionally restricted spousal benefits to members of the opposite sex, affects ERISA beneficiary...more

Two Federal Courts Recognize Same-Sex Spousal Rights for Residents of States Not Permitting Same-Sex Marriage

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Obergefell v. Kasich and Cozen O’Connor v. Tobits may reflect a growing trend of courts and other bodies to recognize same-sex marriages validly celebrated elsewhere even if the couple’s current state of residence does not...more

First Post-Windsor ERISA Decision

In the first reported ERISA decision post-Windsor, the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania held (in Cozen O’Connor, P.C. v. Jennifer Tobits) that a same-sex spouse is to be treated as the decedent’s...more

Same-Sex Spouse Is Entitled To Death Benefits Under ERISA-Qualified Plan

by Fisher Phillips on

Following on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, a federal district court in Pennsylvania recently held that the same-sex spouse of a deceased employee is entitled to receive death benefits under the...more

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