Attorneys with Mayer Brown say there has been little consensus or direction from the federal courts (at least so far) as to what exactly constitutes prudent administration of tax-qualified benefit plans; this will remain a challenge in 2019 and beyond.
PLANSPONSOR Magazine has published a 2019 ERISA Plan Compliance Calendar that can help your clients track important due dates and requirements for their qualified plans.
The court officially ended the case by approving a dismissal motion jointly filed by the parties.
Practical answers to technical questions have been added to appropriate locations within ERISApedia.com's Qualified Plan eSource.
In a colorfully worded opinion, the district court judge chides plaintiffs for failing to acknowledge basic facts about the way annuities work and their well-established role in 403(b) plans.
The complaint stems from defendants’ alleged refusal to pay post-termination benefits to the plaintiff—and a sizable similarly situated class of would-be beneficiaries—pursuant to terms and definitions in plan documents.
The decision against Mutual of Omaha’s preliminary motions to dismiss a self-dealing lawsuit underscores the way district court judges tend to allow for discovery in ERISA matters, given the complex and often secretive nature of the facts and circumstances in question.
Similar to a lawsuit the firm settled a few years ago, a newly filed district court complaint says Transamerica “saddled its defined contribution plan participants with substandard investment portfolios that were managed by an affiliate.”
ERISA lawsuits very often lead to settlements or dismissals, but 2018 brought a series of important and potentially precedent-setting decisions in both district and appellate courts.
The judge approved just one part of General Electric’s motion to dismiss an ERISA lawsuit alleging self-dealing, allowing seven counts to proceed to discovery.
The appellate panel concluded that disputes of material fact exist as to the timing of the plaintiff’s actual knowledge of the alleged fiduciary breach, precluding summary judgment for untimely filing; after a detailed discussion of ERISA requirements, the case is remanded for further district court proceedings.
The decision breaks from other cases in which district and appellate judges have found plaintiffs did not meet strict pleading standards established by the influential Dudenhoeffer decision.
The plaintiffs accused Edward Jones of favoring its own investments and those of its “preferred partners” in its 401(k) plan, at the expense of performance; they also raised questions about excess recordkeeping fees.
The complaint suggests MetLife is failing to meet its obligations to ensure different annuity options offered to pension plan participants are actuarially equivalent default benefit, as required under ERISA.
The appellate court found that the allegations showed only that Chevron could have chosen different vehicles for investment that performed better during the relevant period, or sought lower fees for administration of the fund, not that any breach of ERISA duties had occurred.
The case has been vigorously litigated for over three years; now, just weeks ahead of a scheduled trial, negotiations between the parties have delivered a resolution, pending a judge’s approval.
The question before the high court is, “Whether an agreement to arbitrate ‘all claims’ that an ERISA plan participant ‘may have’ against a plan fiduciary encompasses a breach-of-fiduciary-duty claim under ERISA § 502(a)(2).”