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Bloomberg BNA's Pension & Benefits Blog is a special resource offered by Bloomberg BNA to provide commentary and insight on news and trends reported in our publications: Pension & Benefits Daily, Pension & Benefits Reporter, and the Benefits Practice Resource Center. The authors of the blog are members of our Benefits Practice Resource Advisory Board and members of staff (who contribute summaries of some of their recent stories). 

The ideas presented here are those of individuals, and Bloomberg BNA bears no responsibility for the appropriateness or accuracy of the communications between group members. We reserve the right not to post comments that are abusive or otherwise objectionable.

Communications regarding the Pension & Benefits Blog may be directed to Dana Domone via e-mail to ddomone@bna.com.

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Category : Litigation


February 19, 2014

Plan Fee Litigation Burned Hot in 2013, But Some Decisions Baffling, Speakers Say

Plan fee litigation had a big year in 2013, with divisive appellate court decisions affecting standards of judicial review, statutes of limitations and functional fiduciary status that may open the door for increased and novel litigation, employee benefits attorneys said during a conference panel presentation.

January 23, 2014

Year in Review: 2013 in ERISA Litigation

Several U.S. Supreme Court rulings broke new ground for employee benefits in 2013, and decisions in 2014 are also expected to push these issues into new territory. In addition to its landmark ruling recognizing same-sex marriage under federal law, the U.S. Supreme Court also issued two significant opinions under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in 2013—one involving contractual limitations periods, and the other involving Section 502(a)(3)'s equitable remedies provision. 

December 2, 2013

Solicitor General Asks High Court to Strike Pro-Fiduciary Presumption of Prudence

The U.S. Supreme Court should strike down the pro-fiduciary presumption of prudence that some federal courts have used to shield fiduciaries of employer stock plans from liability for declining share value, the U.S. solicitor general said in a brief filed with the high court.

October 16, 2013

High Court Hears Arguments on Accrual Of Limitations Periods in ERISA Plans

In considering the date on which a disability plan's contractual limitations period begins to run, the U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned attorneys on a wide range of issues, including federal law preemption, equitable doctrines, potential harm and the purpose of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's administrative exhaustion requirement.

June 27, 2011

What Does Amara CIGNA-fy?

Is CIGNA v. Amara (50 EBC 2569), the recent ERISA case from the U.S. Supreme Court, a major development? Notwithstanding the lack of surprise in the final result, the Court's rationale looks to be extremely important.

April 14, 2011

Recent 7th Circuit Decision for Defined Contribution Plan Fiduciaries to Watch

The U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in George v. Kraft Foods Global Inc. earlier this week impacting fiduciaries to defined contribution retirement plans such as 401(k) plans and other defined contribution plans (see 70 PBD, 4/12/11).

October 2, 2010

Digesting Recent Stock-Drop Analyses - A Possible Alternative to the Moench-ies

With all the cases and articles swirling around the question of when there is a fiduciary duty to stop acquiring or to dispose of employer securities, and the recent oral arguments on the point before the Second Circuit, I'd like to set out a possible analytical framework, as follows:

May 25, 2010

Hardt Times

The Supreme Court's decision in Hardt v. Reliance Standard should have been a reason to celebrate for participants and their lawyers (99 PBD, 5/25/10). The simple holding, that you don't have to be a prevailing party before a court can exercise its discretion to grant attorney's fees is unexceptionable. Their were no dissents. But the court seemed to be at pains to tie the decision to its facts. The participant was granted benefits by the plan on the remand. Did that matter?

May 5, 2010

ERISA Attorney Fees: An Unadulterated Rant on Conkright and Hardt

Heart of my Hardt. I love that mel-o-dy.

April 26, 2010

Conkright v. Frommert: The Justices Make Mistakes

"People make mistakes." Hand it to the Chief Justice, he's got an ear for a catch phrase. As BNA summarized the holding: "Employee Retirement Income Security Act plan administrators will not be stripped of deferential review by federal courts when they make a "single honest mistake" in administering and interpreting plans...." ( Conkright v. Frommert, U.S., No. 08-810, 4/21/10).

December 12, 2008

Automakers' Insolvency Opens All the Benefit Cutback Targets and Problems

The insolvency (whether or not in Chapter 11 reorganization) of the three automakers brings “legacy costs” back to the center stage of ERISA cutback negotiation and litigation.

September 30, 2008

9th Circuit Holds San Francisco Ordinance Not Preempted: Is There a Conflict in the Circuits?

Today's decision on the merits by the 9th Circuit in the Golden Gate Restaurant Association v. San Francisco case upholding the employer spending requirements of the San Francisco ordinance as not preempted by ERISA is a most interesting read.