The Limits of Jebian — Not Every Technical Breach Means De Novo Review

Not too long ago, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals gave ERISA plan administrators a sharp jolt when it ruled that a plan’s failure to decide a benefits claim within the time limits set forth in the plan or under Department of Labor regulations would deprive the plan’s ultimate determination of the claim of the […]

Recent Developments in Washington

Bankruptcy Reform The Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (S.256) was signed by the President on April 20, 2005. In addition to its general overhaul of the bankruptcy law, the Act contains some provisions specifically relevant to employee benefit plans: Expanded Exclusion.The Act extends the exclusion from a debtor’s estate to encompass […]


This fall has seen two important developments in the area of veterans’ rights under employee benefit plans. On September 20, 2004, the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (“VETS”) of the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued proposed regulations under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployments Rights Act of 1994, as amended (“USERRA”). (For more information about […]

Benefit Plan Issues Raised by Same-Sex Marriages

The Issue Same-sex marriages produce uncertainty as to who is a “legal spouse” and create confusion for benefit plan administrators who must make many determinations based on an individual?s status as a “spouse.” For example, a plan administrator might need to determine whether a same-sex spouse is eligible to enroll in health benefits as a […]

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