ERISA & Employee Benefits

Suggested Administrative Practices in Light of Intel Decision - Ensuring "Actual Knowledge"

by Stephen Wilkes and Livia Aber

Advisors: Time to Finish What was Started….ERISA and Fiduciary Process Have Evolved…Have You?

Over 46 years ago, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) was passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives by a 376-4 vote.  Congress passed ERISA to empower American workers toward retirement security.  Fast forward, on May 23, 2019, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (“SECURE Act”) by a vote of ...

Supreme Court's Actual Knowledge Decision Underscores Importance of Plan Administrator Best Practices

The Supreme Court settled the debate over what constitutes "actual knowledge" in the context of an ERISA fiduciary breach claim in a unanimous and simple decision that applied dictionary definitions of the term "actual" to find that the fiduciary breach knowledge requirement means that "the plaintiff must in fact have become aware of that information." The Intel Investment Policy Committee v. ...

Eighth Circuit Delivers Guidance on Whether Rate Setting Amounts to Fiduciary Conduct

Courts have long struggled to set the boundaries at which point ERISA plan service providers exert sufficient control and discretion over plan assets to make them fiduciaries under ERISA 3(21). The significance of being an ERISA fiduciary is self-evident in the litigation context: if an entity is not an ERISA fiduciary, then it cannot be liable for a breach of ERISA's fiduciary duties and ...

Court Rules that IRA Custodian was not a Fiduciary but did Violate MA Consumer Protection Law

In UBS Financial Services, Inc. v. Aliberti (SJC-12662), the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that no fiduciary relationship existed between the commercial custodian of an individual retirement account (IRA) and a named beneficiary of that account, because the IRA was not a “trust” under either state or federal law, finding that the complaint did not adequately plead sufficient ...