The basic purpose of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, is to set minimum standards for voluntary pension and health plans. It's a piece of legislation meant to protect the interests of plan participants in Washington, D.C., and other states and their designated beneficiaries. However, there are times when certain benefit plans are not set up in a way that keeps the best interests of participants in mind.
Some people in Washington, D.C., may be aware of a number of recent lawsuits brought by college and university employees against their employers regarding retirement plan mismanagement. In a case involving the University of California, a federal appeals court ruled on July 24 that investors could not be forced to settle their claims in arbitration.
Washington, D.C., members of the Employers Midwest Pension Fund and the United Food & Commercial Workers Union might be interested in learning that the trustees have filed a lawsuit against Ocwen. Ocwen, which is a mortgage lender, allegedly forced people into foreclosure in an effort to drive up profits.
Some employees in the District of Columbia may have had their retirement funds mismanaged. A lawsuit filed against Georgetown University and several officials alleges that the university's defined contribution retirement plans were not adequately overseen and that this resulted in fees that were excessive and unreasonable. According to the lawsuit, the university in fact had a significant amount of bargaining power and could have used that for the benefit of plan participants and their beneficiaries.