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Williams Mullen Alert: Court’s Remedial Power Under ERISA Includes Grant to the Substitute Fiduciary to Terminate Pension Plan

Solis v. Clark Consulting v. Malkani, et al. , No. 09-1383(L) (4th Cir. Mar. 16, 2011) BY: Mark S. Thomas & Robert W. Shaw A recent decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has confirmed the breadth of the district court's equitable powers over a retirement benefit...

High Court: ERISA Permits District Court To Reform Plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled May 16 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...

Williams Mullen Alert: Supreme Court Expands the Scope of Equitable Relief for Retirement Plan Plaintiffs

BY: MARK S. THOMAS AND ROBERT W. SHAW The Supreme Court has issued a significant decision that may broadly expand the scope of equitable remedies for ERISA retirement plan plaintiffs. In CIGNA Corp. v. Amara , No. 09-804 (May 16, 2011), the Court set aside the trial court's decision for the...

Ballard Spahr Alert: Deadlines Revised; Prepare Now for New Rules for Retirement Plan Fiduciaries

The U.S. Department of Labor has slightly delayed the deadlines on significant new affirmative obligations for fiduciaries of retirement plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Although the deadlines have been pushed back to April 1, 2012, employers should be preparing...

SCOTUS Grants Cert in ERISA Case

On Monday, while the Supreme Court was busy not deciding the health care case, it found time to grant certiorari in two employment law cases. I already blogged about the supervisor liability case, Vance v. Ball State Univesity . The other employment law case is U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen (3d Cir...

2012 SCOTUS Employment Law Preview!

It's here! The new SCOTUS season kicks off today! Let's see what kind of employment law goodies the Court has in store for us (in order of my personal preference): Supervisor Liability In Vance v. Ball State University, the Supreme Court will determine who counts as a supervisor in harassment...

Roundup of Supreme Court employment cases -- right here!

All right, kiddies. My posts over the last few weeks have been juicy and entertaining. (Or as juicy and entertaining as employment law can get.) But summer is over, and it's time to buckle down. The Supreme Court of the United States (aka "SCOTUS") began its new term this past Monday...

What is the Correct Standard of Prudence in Employer Stock Cases?

45 J. Marshall L. Rev. 541, Spring 2012 Author: José M. Jara I. Introduction A decade after the collapse of Enron and WorldCom, the headlines were flooded with the collapse of companies like Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers due to the subprime mortgage crisis. After this latest economic...

High Court Considers Whether Participant Must Reimburse Health Plan Under ERISA

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in ruling that a health plan administrator's claim for reimbursement against a plan participant is subject to equitable limitations, including unjust enrichment, under Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section...

High Court: Plan Terms Govern ERISA Reimbursement Action Based On Equitable Lien

WASHINGTON, D.C. - (Mealey's) The U.S. Supreme Court on April 16 ruled that a health plan administrator's claim for reimbursement against a plan participant under Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 502(a)(3) based on an equitable lien by agreement is governed by the terms of the...

U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen: SCOTUS Says Enforcement of ERISA Plan Terms Is Not “Inequitable”

by Sara E. Hauptfuehrer Employer-sponsored group heath plans typically allow reimbursement to the plan for benefits paid in connection with injuries sustained as a result the tortious conduct of a third party. That right of reimbursement arises when the injured plan participant obtains a recovery...

Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Limitations Period in ERISA Benefits Denial Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) A beneficiary’s claim for wrongful denial of disability benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act does not accrue for limitations purposes until the plan’s internal benefits resolution process has been exhausted, notwithstanding a...

Supreme Court Rules on Limitations Period in ERISA Denial Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on Dec. 16 ruled that the contractual limitations provision of a disability benefits plan that requires participants to bring suit within three years after “proof of loss” is due is enforceable under the Employee Retirement...

US Supreme Court Rules That Fund’s Appeal of Merits Ruling Is Untimely

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court today ruled that a federal district court’s decision on the merits that left unresolved a multiemployer pension fund’s request for contractual attorney fees is a final decision subject to immediate appeal under 28 U...

Court Holds That ERISA Plaintiff Cannot Claim Equitable Remedies When the Plaintiff Has Adequate Remedies to Recover Plan Benefits

Court So Holds Notwithstanding the Expansion of the Kinds of Equitable Relief in CIGNA Corp. v. Amara by Mark S. Thomas & Robert W. Shaw A federal court has ruled that, although a recent U. S. Supreme Court decision expanded the kinds of equitable remedies available to a plaintiff under ERISA...

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments on ERISA Presumption of Prudence

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) Fifth Third Bank and its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) trustees in oral arguments this morning urged the U.S. Supreme Court to find that the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred by holding that participants in the ESOP were not required to allege...

U.S. Supreme Court: No Special Presumption of Prudence For ESOP Fiduciaries

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled unanimously that under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) fiduciaries are not entitled to a presumption of prudence and are subject to the same standard of prudence as all ERISA...

Klein and Sharman on Fifth Third Bancorp. v. Dudenhoeffer and the Demise of the Moench/Kuper Presumption

In Fifth Third Bancorp. v. Dudenhoeffer , No. 12-751, 2014 U.S. LEXIS 4495 (June 25, 2014) [an enhanced version of this opinion is available to lexis.com subscribers] , the Supreme Court unanimously held that plan fiduciaries are not entitled to a "presumption of prudence" under the Employee...

Supreme Court Will Review Continuing Duty of Prudence Under ERISA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 2 granted review of a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals opinion that ruled that revenue sharing between mutual funds and a 401(k) plan’s administrative service provider did not violate the plan or the Employee Retirement...

Employee Benefits: The Importance of the Official Plan Document

by Sara E. Hauptfuehrer “Every employee benefit plan shall be established and maintained pursuant to a written instrument.” That is the first sentence in ERISA’s fiduciary responsibility provision. The ERISA-mandated “written instrument” – the official plan document...

Third Circuit on Attorney's Fees Under ERISA

I took last week off from blogging to wrap up my first year of teaching employment law at Penn State. Now I'm back with an exciting new development from the Third Circuit . . . a precedential decision on the standard for awarding attorney's fees under ERISA! Okay, "exciting" might not...

Supreme Court Says Trust Law Informs Limitations Question in Imprudent Retention Case

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous opinion today that the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals erred in holding that Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section 413(1) bars breach of fiduciary duty claims based on the fiduciaries’ initial selection...

U.S. Supreme Court Makes It Easier for Plan Sponsors to Challenge the Prudence of 401(k) Investment Options

On May 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision that effectively expands the time period during which a 401(k) plan participant may file suit for certain ERISA violations. In Tibble v. Edison International , the Court considered the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal’s decision...

U.S. High Court Considers Equitable Relief In ERISA Reimbursement Dispute

WASHINGTON, D.C. — (Mealey’s) The U.S. Supreme Court today heard arguments regarding whether an employee welfare plan’s attempt to recover an alleged overpayment from a participant constitutes permissible “equitable relief” under Employee Retirement Income Security Act Section...