New Challenges to Pension Risk Transfers

STEPHANIE PLATENKAMP, April 30 2024 Plan sponsors have found it increasingly difficult to predict and manage the cost of their defined benefit pension plans (“DB plans”) due to fluc­tuating interest rates, investment returns, increased costs, and participant longevity. As a result, pension de-risking has become a common way for plan sponsors to manage risk and […]

Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Clarifies Pleading Standards Applicable to Suits for Violations of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

STEPHANIE LAO, April 30 2024 In Ryan S. v. UnitedHealth Group, Inc., 2024 WL 1561668 (9th Cir. Apr. 11, 2024), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently overturned a California district court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought on behalf of a putative class of group health plan participants against UnitedHealth Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries […]

The Cost of Drugs: Johnson & Johnson Lawsuit Could Signal the Opening of a New Area of ERISA Class Action Litigation Against Health Plan Fiduciaries

MARY POWELL, DYLAN RUDOLPH and SARAH KANTER, March 21 2024 Over the past two decades, fiduciaries of health plans governed by the Employee Retire­ment Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) have largely avoided involvement in the increasingly active area of “excessive fee” fiduciary breach litigation, which has mainly targeted fiduciaries of defined contribution retirement plans. […]

A Closer Look at Arbitration Provisions in ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims

BRIAN D. MURRAY and ANGEL L. GARRETT, December 19 2023 As plan sponsors increasingly look to arbitration provisions to avoid costly class action litigation, courts across the nation have weighed in on whether plan-wide claims for breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA § 502(a)(2) can be subject to mandatory arbitration.  ERISA § 502(a)(2) provides that […]

Self-Correction of Plan Failures Made Easier — At Least For Now

ADRINE A. CARGILL and JOELLE TAVAN, December 19 2023 Since 1990, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided plan sponsors with programs and related mechanisms to correct plan qualification failures (or “defects”) and avoid significant penalties for their failures to comply with certain of the tax-qualification requirements under section 401(a) of the Internal Revenue Code […]

INVESTMENT ADVICE FIDUCIARY RULE, ROUND THREE — Retirement Security Rule: Definition of an Investment Advice Fiduciary & Proposed Amendment to Prohibited Transaction Exemption 2020-02

YATINDRA PANDYA and ROBERT GOWER, November 30 2023 Introduction On October 31, 2023, the Department of Labor (DOL) released its proposed rule (the “Proposed Rule”) providing a draft new regulatory definition of an “investment advice fiduciary” under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). The Proposed Rule breathes new life into the DOL’s […]