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First Circuit hears oral arguments in Tasker v. DHL (09-2661); whether Treasury regulation permits elimination of benefit transfers despite ERISA’s anti-cutback rule

On Tuesday, September 14, the First Circuit heard oral arguments in the case of Jeffrey R. Tasker v. DHL Retirement Savings Plan, et. al. (Docket Number 09-2661). Click here to listen to the oral arguments. Plaintiff Tasker had a defined benefit plan and a defined contribution plan through his employer...

Williams Mullen: ERISA Case Alert - May 2011: George v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc.

George v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., No. 10-1469 (7th Cir. April 11, 2011) BY: MARK S. THOMAS and ROBERT W. SHAW George, et al. v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., et al., No. 10-1469 (7th Cir. Apr. 11, 2011) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers / unenhanced version available from lexisONE...

Supreme Court: Employee Retirement Income Security Act Allows District Court to Reform Pension Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on May 16 ruled that although Section 502 (a)(1)(B) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act does not permit a district court to reform the terms of a pension plan, Section 502(a)(3) does authorize such relief ( CIGNA Corporation, et al....

Zanglein and Stabile on Rendering Retirement Plan Investment Advice for a Fee

Retirement plans governed by ERISA must be established and maintained under written agreements authorizing fiduciaries to control and manage the plan's operation and administration. ERISA generally considers an entity a fiduciary to the extent that it holds discretionary authority or responsibility...

District Court's Discretion to Award Attorneys' Fees Under ERISA after Hardt

With respect to the exercise of discretion to award attorneys' fees under ERISA, what is the impact of the United States Supreme Court's decision in Hardt v. Reliance Std. Life Ins. Co. , 130 S. Ct. 2149 (U.S. 2010) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers / unenhanced version available...

Williams Mullen: Plan Investment Decisions Are Protected in Loomis v. Exelon Corporation

By MARK S. THOMAS & ROBERT W. SHAW The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has issued another important decision in favor of plans and plan administrators in a case involving allegations of excessive fees and expenses. In Loomis, et al. v. Exelon Corporation, et al. , Nos. 09-4081...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Interest Rate for 401(k) Plan Participant Loans May Need to Be Prime Plus 2%

By Jonathan A. Kenter , Evelyn Small Traub , Jeffery R. Banish , Lynda M. Crouse , Tina A. DeNapoli , Jeanne E. Floyd , Stephen G. Gorell , Kristina Rae Jones , Edith "Edie" Margaret Lindsay , Roger S. Reigner Jr. , Mamta K. Shah and Wallace "Wally" M. Starke During a recent phone...

Williams Mullen: Case Holds That ERISA Claims Based On Initial Investment Decisions Are Time-Barred

BY: MARK S. THOMAS & ROBERT W. SHAW In a suit brought under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended ("ERISA") against Bank of America and its Corporate Benefits Committee, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina held that certain...

Troutman Sanders LLP: Second Circuit Adopts Moench Presumption of Prudence in ERISA Litigation

By Pamela L. Signorello, Kim S. Orbeck, Terrence R. McInnis and Cathy A. Simon, On October 19, 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of two putative class actions alleging that ERISA fiduciaries breached their duties to plan participants by imprudently continuing...

Sutherland Legal Alert: DOL Releases Final PPA Participant Advice Regulation

By Joanna Myers and Mark Smith On October 25, 2011, the Department of Labor (DOL) published its final regulation implementing the ERISA prohibited transaction exemptions for participant investment advice enacted in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA). This final regulation brings to a conclusion...

Sutherland Legal Alert: ERISA Participant Disclosure Will Not Violate SEC Advertising Rules

By Mark Smith and Vanessa Scott In response to a request from the Department of Labor (DOL), the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on October 26, 2011, issued a no-action letter concluding that disclosure provided by a retirement plan administrator to plan participants that is...

Williams Mullen: Fourth Circuit Rules That Retirement Plan Trustees’ Failures Must Have Causal Link to Plan Losses In Order to Hold Trustees Liable: Plasterers’ Local Union No 96 Pension Plan v. Pepper, No. 10-1364 (4th Cir., December 1, 2011)

BY: MARK S. THOMAS & ROBERT W. SHAW The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has ruled that retirement plan trustees cannot be held liable for failures to investigate the prudence of plan investments or to diversify those investments, unless there is a proven causal link between such...

Williams Mullen: Fourth Circuit Upholds Plan Administrator's Interpretation to Deny Disabled Doctor's Benefits Claim

BY: MARK S. THOMAS & ROBERT W. SHAW The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a plan administrator's interpretation of a long term disability plan and affirmed the denial of a disabled physician's claim for benefits in Fortier v. Principal Life Insurance Company , No....

Williams Mullen: Corporate Spin-Off and a New Retirement Plan Did Not Violate Employees’ Rights Under ERISA: Nauman v. Abbott Laboratories

BY: MARK S. THOMAS & ROBERT W. SHAW The U. S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has affirmed [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ] a trial judgment against a class of former employees of Abbott Laboratories ("Abbott"), ruling against their claim that Abbott used...

Milgram v. Orthopedic Assocs. Defined Contribution Pension Plan

Do ERISA and the IRC prohibit enforcement of a money judgment against a defined contribution plan? In this Analysis, Barry L. Salkin of Olshan Grundman Frome Rosenzweig & Wolosky LLP addresses this and the other issues. He writes: SUMMARY : A defined contribution plan beneficiary sued under ERISA...

Gabelman v. Sher: Defining a "Plan" Under ERISA

What is a "plan" under ERISA? In this Analysis, Barry L. Salkin of Olshan Grundman Frome Rosenzweig & Wolosky LLP addresses this question and discusses Gabelman v. Sher, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 40334 (March 23, 2012) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], which provides...

Williams Mullen: Retirement Plan Plaintiffs Were Not Required To Exhaust Administrative Remedies Before Filing Their Class Action

The Second Circuit has held that a putative class of ERISA plaintiffs was not required to exhaust a plan's administrative remedies prior to filing claims for a redetermination of future retirement benefits and alleged irregularities in plan amendments. ...