Mealey's ERISA

  • October 04, 2021

    High Court Denies Review Of Pension Plan Dissolution Lawsuit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4 let stand an 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that held that a district court properly entered summary judgment for the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp. (PBGC) because the owner of a dissolved company and his related companies were liable for failing to inform the PBGC of the dissolution of the company and the subsequent termination of the dissolved company’s pension plan.

  • October 04, 2021

    High Court Denies Review Of Deference Due PBGC Benefits Rulings

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4 denied review of a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruling that held that deference under Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. applies to all Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) interpretations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, including decisions upholding final benefits determinations that the PBGC makes as trustee of a pension plan.

  • October 04, 2021

    2nd Circuit Affirms ERISA Plan Is Not ‘Top Hat,’ Vacates Award For Recalculation

    NEW YORK — In a ruling that it said largely agreed with former employees who asserted claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act against a defunct corporation and its owner in regard to a deferred compensation plan, a Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 29 issued an opinion partly affirming but mostly vacating the ruling of a federal judge in Vermont and remanding the suit for further proceedings.

  • October 04, 2021

    Retirees May File Certiorari Petition Against PBGC Under Seal

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on Oct. 4 granted retirees’ motion to file a petition for a writ of certiorari under seal with redacted copies for the public record in a case seeking review of a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that held that the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) did not violate due process in terminating a pension plan.

  • October 04, 2021

    Federal Judge Dismisses ERISA 401(k) Fees, Funds Suit Against Hospital Nonprofit

    COVINGTON, Ky. — A retirement plan participant who asserted breach of fiduciary duty claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act has standing but failed to state a claim, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled Sept. 8, dismissing the complaint with prejudice and citing reasons including failure to provide meaningful benchmarks for allegedly imprudent funds and failure to show substantial underperformance.

  • October 01, 2021

    6th Circuit Ruling Addresses Multiemployer Fund Withdrawal Liability Questions

    CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 28 affirmed a lower court’s decision that using the Segal Blend for withdrawal liability calculations in a multiemployer fund violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s requirement that the interest rate assumption be the “best estimate of anticipated experience under the plan” but vacated part of the decision that upheld a determination that partial withdrawal liability was triggered based on interpretation of the term “insubstantial portion,” remanding the case in part for consideration of what the phrase means.

  • September 27, 2021

    Termination Of LTD Benefits Reasonable Based On Self-Reported Symptom Provision

    BOSTON — A disability insurer’s termination of long-term disability (LTD) benefits based on the plan’s self-reported symptom limitation provision was not arbitrary and capricious, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals said Sept. 22, noting that it also was reasonable for the insurer to require the claimant to provide objective evidence of her functional limitations.

  • September 27, 2021

    Judge Stays Duty Of Prudence 401(k) Case Pending High Court’s Decision In Hughes

    NEW YORK — A ruling in Hughes v. Northwestern University “will settle a key issue that has direct bearing” on a different fiduciary duty suit over a defined contribution retirement plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a federal judge in New York said on Sept. 7, granting a motion by defendants to stay all proceedings pending a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • September 27, 2021

    TIAA, Amici Urge Reversal Of Class Certification In Pension Plan Loan Procedure Suit

    NEW YORK — A pension plan participant seeking equitable relief for plan loan procedures that allegedly violate the Employee Retirement Income Security Act should not have been granted class certification because she failed to prove commonality and because the court improperly “absolved Plaintiff of her evidentiary burden under Rule 23,” Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) argues in its July 20 opening brief before the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals; in a joint amicus curiae brief filed the same day, the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America and four other nonprofits also urge reversal.

  • September 24, 2021

    Ruling ERISA Funds, Fees Claims Sufficiently Stated, Judge Denies Dismissal

    GREENSBORO, N.C. — Participants in a defined-contribution retirement plan alleged facts sufficient to state claims that plan fiduciaries breached their duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a federal judge in North Carolina ruled on Sept. 21, denying a motion to dismiss a putative class action.

  • September 24, 2021

    5th Circuit OKs Mental Health Benefits Denial In Reversal; Judge Questions Standard

    NEW ORLEANS — A Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Sept. 22 issued an unpublished per curiam opinion in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act case reversing a federal judge in Louisiana’s ruling that overturned a plan administrator’s decision to deny benefits for part of months-long mental health treatment that followed a beneficiary’s fifth suicide attempt; a concurring opinion questioned “whether our current standard for reviewing benefit denials under ERISA is justifiable.”

  • September 23, 2021

    10th Circuit OKs Insurer’s Reliance On PBA, Upholds Dismissal Under ERISA

    DENVER — A federal judge in Oklahoma did not err in ruling that an insurer’s decision to rely on a preference beneficiary affidavit (PBA) “was reasonable given that it had no reason to doubt” the sworn statement, a 10th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel said Sept. 20 in an unpublished ruling, affirming the lower court’s grant of dismissal for failure to state a claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • September 22, 2021

    Most ERISA Claims Survive Dismissal In Hemophiliac’s Suit Over Pharmacy Benefits

    TAMPA, Fla. — Most claims survive in a hemophiliac’s suit for injunctive relief in a dispute over specialty medicine access under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, a federal judge in Florida ruled Sept. 17, granting motions to dismiss only as to a discrimination claim against the health plan sponsor and pharmacy benefits manager (PBM) and a failure-to-monitor-fiduciaries claim against the PBM.

  • September 21, 2021

    Federal Judge Won’t Decertify Medical Providers’ Facility-Fee Class

    NEW YORK — Medical providers’ allegedly denied Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan benefits were not given the benefit of the bargain, a loss that suffices as an injury even in the absence of monetary damages, and reprocessing claims is an appropriate form of relief and provides commonality to the class, a federal judge in New York said Sept. 20 in denying a motion for decertification the insurer based in part on recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent.

  • September 21, 2021

    Judge Trims Some Loyalty Claims In ERISA Spat Over Proprietary CITs, Fees

    FLORENCE, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina trimmed some allegations of breach of the fiduciary duty of loyalty but allowed breach of the duty of prudence and parts of other claims to proceed in a putative class suit filed by retirement plan participants challenging investment in proprietary collective investment trusts (CITs) and alleging excessive fees in a Sept. 16 ruling on three motions to dismiss.

  • September 21, 2021

    Amici Argue Duty Of Loyalty Theory In Suit Over 401(k) Service Provider

    ST. LOUIS — A 401(k) plan participant seeking reversal of a ruling that a service provider did not breach its fiduciary duty of loyalty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act because it used a reasonable process in setting the crediting rate for a guaranteed return insurance product argues an erroneous theory of that duty, amici curiae The Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America and The American Benefits Council and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) contend in briefs filed Sept. 16 and Sept. 17 urging the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to uphold the ruling.

  • September 17, 2021

    Insurer Largely Prevails In 9th Circuit ACA, ERISA Lactation Class Appeal

    SAN FRANCISCO — Nothing in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires an insurer to cover out-of-network lactation services when if offers in-network care, which means that the named plaintiffs’ full-and-fair review claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act fail for lack of redressable injury, that the claims reprocessing class was properly rejected and that the judge improperly failed to look at the universe of communications in granting the denial letter class, a Ninth Circuit panel held Sept. 16.

  • September 16, 2021

    Judge Denies Dismissal In ERISA Case Against SAG-AFTRA Health Plan Trustees

    LOS ANGELES — Finding that plan participants’ putative class complaint had stated claims for breach of fiduciary duty and co-fiduciary liability under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in relation to a merger and benefit cuts, a federal judge in California on Aug. 30 denied a motion to dismiss by the boards and trustees of union health plans.

  • September 16, 2021

    D.C. Circuit Upholds Ruling For Multiemployer Plan, Union In Benefits Denial Suit

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A multiemployer pension plan’s conclusion that a union worker who was not part of a collective bargaining unit was not a participant and not due benefits was reasonable, and the plan did not impermissibly subdelegate its decision to a union, the District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Sept. 3 in an unpublished per curiam judgment affirming a lower court’s ruling.

  • September 15, 2021

    DOL Petitions For Enforcement Of Subpoena Against Reinsurer In ERISA Probe

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A reinsurer should be forced to comply fully with an administrative subpoena that seeks information on all of its services to employee welfare benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the U.S. Department of Labor says in an Aug. 31 petition before a federal court in Puerto Rico.

Can't find the article you're looking for? Click here to search the Mealey's ERISA archive.