News & Analysis as of

Retirement Plan Fiduciary Duty Benefit Plan Sponsors

Plan Fee Litigation: Protecting Fiduciaries

by Burns & Levinson LLP on

Targeting Educational Institutions - Since August, 2016, sixteen institutions of higher education with large retirement plans have become targets of federal lawsuits for breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA. To date, the...more

Plan Providers and Plan Sponsors Can Still Lose By Winning

by Ary Rosenbaum on

The news comes trickling in for 401(k) plan providers and plan sponsors beating back class action lawsuits. Many plan providers win their case as defendants because the plan participants fail to convince a judge that the...more

The Trouble With 401(k) Investment Policies

by SmithAmundsen LLC on

The most common area in which 401(k) plans are being scrutinized these days is in their selection and design of investment offerings. While participants often get to direct how their funds are invested, that direction is...more

The Final Rule: DOL Proposes to Extend Transition Period until July 1, 2019, and Issues Additional Non-Enforcement Policy for...

By a notice published in the Federal Register on August 31, 2017, the Department of Labor proposed to extend from January 1, 2018, until July 1, 2019, the date for compliance with the full conditions in its new “investment...more

If You’re A Plan Sponsor, A Scanner Can Be A Good Friend

by Ary Rosenbaum on

Being a plan sponsor is a tough job and the amount of paperwork that goes with it can be overwhelming. The paperwork includes plan documents, summary plan descriptions, amendment, valuations, trusts statements, and payroll....more

Can Financial Institutions Use In-House Funds for Their Own Retirement Plans?

by Burns & Levinson LLP on

Financial institutions that sell mutual funds to the public often maintain 401(k) and other retirement plans for their own employees. In these plans, many financial institutions make their own mutual funds available to...more

Back to School for ERISA Fiduciary Claims: How to Prepare for This Trend in University Litigation

In the past 10 years, there have been an increasing number of lawsuits asserting Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) fiduciary claims. These have been accompanied by an increased focus by the Department of...more

Exhaustion of Plan Administrative Remedies: Important Considerations Following Hitchcock v. Cumberland

Recently, the Sixth Circuit ruled in Hitchcock v. Cumberland University 403(b) Plan that pension plan participants are not required to exhaust their plan’s administrative remedies before pursuing claims alleging statutory...more

Even if you’re doing your job as a plan sponsor, you still can get sued

by Ary Rosenbaum on

The fact is that sometimes, bad things happen to good people. That can be said about retirement plans and the good plan sponsors and providers who do their job. No matter how great a job you do, the threat of potential...more

Benefits Litigation Update – Summer 2017

by Epstein Becker & Green on

Welcome to the Summer edition of Benefits Litigation Update, brought to you by The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) and the law firm Epstein Becker & Green. With a new Administration and executive branch, we are already...more

Don’t gyp employees on retirement plans

by Ary Rosenbaum on

As I’ve stated before, I wouldn’t hire employees because I was an employee once too. That pretty much means that I never met an employee whoever thought they were overpaid. For that matter, I never met an employer who thought...more

Employers, Be Aware of - but Don’t Worry about - the Fiduciary Rule’s June 9 Deadline

by Miles & Stockbridge P.C. on

If you’ve had better things to do, you might only be vaguely aware that the new fiduciary rule becomes effective on June 9, 2017. We’ve written about this before (here and here), but a quick refresher might be helpful as the...more

Company Liable for Not Providing Accurate Information about Benefits

by Dickinson Wright on

A recent court case, Erwood vs Life Insurance Company of North America, is a reminder that plan sponsors must understand the terms of their welfare and retirement benefit plans, and ensure that their staff follows the...more

ERISA Newsletter - First Quarter 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

After a brief hiatus, Proskauer's ERISA Newsletter is back with a brand new look. We hope you like it and find it is easier to navigate. In addition to implementing our new format, we have moved to a quarterly publication...more

Don’t hire relatives as your plan providers

by Ary Rosenbaum on

I have some simple rules to live by. I never bet on the Mets, eat at a place called Mom’s, play cards with a guy named Doc, or do business with family. Yet I have come across so many financial advisors who bemoan to me...more

Does the Fiduciary Exception Apply to Legal Advice Received By Insurers During the Claims Process

by Seyfarth Shaw LLP on

Seyfarth Synopsis: Adding to the body of conflicting authority on the scope of the attorney-client privilege in ERISA lawsuits, a district court has found that the fiduciary exception to attorney-client privilege applies to...more

Education is an important part of the fiduciary process

by Ary Rosenbaum on

Advisors ask me all the time of the role of education in participant directed 401(k) plans. Participant directed 401(k) plans that are governed under ERISA §404(c) offer the plan sponsors liability protection based on a...more

Being a Plan Sponsor is all about the Process

by Ary Rosenbaum on

Imagine a diet where it doesn’t matter how much weight you lost. Imagine a golf game that wasn’t about your score. Imagine about a job and not how much money you make. Being a plan sponsor isn’t about a specific result, it’s...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - January 2017

by Ary Rosenbaum on

Concepts You May Not Be Aware Of As A 401(k) Plan Sponsor. Quite a few things out there. As a child, I was never taught the birds and the bees. I was actually handed some cartoon book from my parents when I was...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - January 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

Editor’s Overview - In 2016, we saw a considerable uptick in the number and variety of excessive fee lawsuits commenced against plan fiduciaries of defined contribution plans. We begin the year by taking a look at these...more

The Final Rule: DOL Releases Additional FAQs Related to New Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor (DOL) has released two additional sets of FAQs providing guidance related to its final rule expanding the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” (the Final Rule) for purposes of the Employee...more

A Poet's Guide to Employee Benefits Law - 2017 Edition

by Shipman & Goodwin LLP on

The employee benefits world, with all its legal rules and regulations, is viewed by human resources people, financial people, and for that matter most lawyers, as forbidding territory - the "darkest forest" from the Wizard of...more

401(k) Plan Sponsor ERISA Fiduciary Litigation Update: Sequoia Fund Litigation

by K&L Gates LLP on

While much of the 401(k) fiduciary litigation in recent years has focused on investment and recordkeeping expenses, a large number of claims filed against 401(k) fiduciaries have alleged that fiduciaries simply made a bad...more

Proof Again That Small Plans and Their Fiduciaries Can Get Sued

by Ary Rosenbaum on

I’ve heard of for years on how small 401(k) plans and their plan fiduciaries don’t get sued. While they are never going to be the target for a class action lawsuit because they don’t have enough assets to justify an ERISA...more

Dear Plan Sponsors, it’s about Reasonableness

by Ary Rosenbaum on

Thanks to fee disclosure regulation and litigation against plan sponsors, plan sponsors are focusing on the costs of administering their plan. That’s great, but there’s a problem because of the focus. A study recently shows...more

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