PANC 2010: Hidden Traps of ERISA

The first step retirement plan advisers should take to avoid lawsuits is to educate plan sponsors on their role as a fiduciary and their need for insurance, according to Attila Toth, Principal, Portfolio Evaluations.

Court Throws Out Cash Balance Conversion Suit

A federal appellate court has cleared Solvay Chemicals Inc. of wrongdoing in its cash balance plan conversion, but sent a narrowly drawn notice issue back to a lower court for further hearings.  

General Growth Settles Stock Drop Suit

General Growth Properties, the second-largest U.S. Mall owner, in the process of emerging from bankruptcy, has agreed to a $5.75-million settlement of a 401(k) stock-drop case.

Court Dismisses FA Suit over Merrill WealthBuilder

Merrill Lynch’s WealthBuilder Plan did not violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) because it was a top-hat plan, a federal judge ruled in throwing out a proposed class-action lawsuit by three financial advisers against the company.

Court Finds Plan Trustee Could not Act on Knowledge of Breaches

A federal court in Illinois ruled that participants of the Antioch Company Employee Stock Ownership Plan are not barred from moving forward with their claim that company fiduciaries and GreatBanc Trust Co. breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Pfizer Cleared in Stock Option Suit

Pfizer Inc. did not breach its Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) responsibilities by giving an employee incorrect information about stock options granted under a non-ERISA plan, a federal appellate court ruled.

Chubb, Law Firm Team up for ERISA Guide

An Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) law firm and an insurer have teamed up to prepare a guide about ERISA’s fiduciary liability provisions and how fiduciary insurance can help mitigate potential liability. 

ESOP Trustee Cleared of ERISA Wrongdoing

The trustee of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) acted in good faith when it determined the fair market value of company stock, so it did not violate prohibited transaction rules, a judge has determined.