Employers in the Washington, D.C., area operate in one of the nation's most competitive job markets. Attracting qualified candidates will usually require offering a comprehensive benefits package as well as an attractive salary. Many of the benefits offered by employers must comply with standards outlined in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, but companies also consider industry standards and their current and future financial obligations when deciding what to offer their employees. This means that employment contracts are often complex documents that can be difficult to understand.
Employees in the Washington, D.C., area and throughout the country may be covered by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). It applies to most retirement and health plans, and it sets rules as to the information employees who are covered by an ERISA plan are entitled to know. It's worth noting that this legislation does not apply to most plans created outside of the United States. ERISA also doesn't apply to plans that were created or overseen by employees, government agencies or churches.
If you're a public sector or federal employee in the Washington, DC, area, you likely enjoy greater benefits than employees in the private sector. Your benefits package may include generous retirement, disability and medical benefits.
A major purpose of ERISA is to help employees in Washington, D.C., and around the country secure appropriate retirement and health benefits. However, benefit payments may not be dished out correctly if old data is used to determine annuity payment amounts. This, in a nutshell, is what's at the heart of a lawsuit involving a large military shipbuilding company's non-single-life-annuity plans.
Some employees in Washington, D.C. may have had the experience of having their retirement funds mismanaged by the investment manager in charge of them. The company Massachusetts Financial Services Co. agreed to a settlement of $6.875 million after a lawsuit was filed in July 2017 by employees who alleged that the company violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. The settlement document was filed on June 14.
Many District of Columbia workers depend on private employer-sponsored retirement plans. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 directs the operation of defined contribution plans, but some view the law as in need of a legislative overhaul. Until such a correction might be forthcoming, retirement plan disputes must be settled through private talks or litigation. Inconsistent decisions in lower courts, however, have inspired a deluge of petitions to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Lawmakers in Washington D.C. created the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 to direct the design and operation of retirement plans for private-sector employees. ERISA does not apply to retirement plans operated for employees of government agencies, and workers at Indian tribal governments largely fall into the non-ERISA category. An amendment to the act in 2006 altered this landscape for plan sponsors at Indian tribal governments and granted ERISA protections to workers employed within tribal commercial enterprises.
Many District of Columbia residents have built their careers in the public sector. One thing that can make these jobs so appealing is the exceptional benefits they offer, often significantly superior to those available to workers in the private sector. Government and other public service employees often have strong insurance packages that include disability, retirement and health benefits. However, even people who believe they can rely on great benefits may be shocked by an unjust denial or a dismissed benefits claim.
The nation's highest court may rule in Washington, D.C., on which party is responsible for proving loss causation when a dispute over the management of defined contribution benefit plans goes to court. One company currently involved in such a case appealed to the Supreme Court to settle the disparate approaches taken among federal appeals courts about who must prove losses when plan members file suit over fiduciary breaches of the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which protects employee benefits from misuse or fraud.
Governmental agencies employ many workers in Washington D.C. These organizations generally qualify for the government exemption to operational rules for pension and benefit plans imposed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. A brewing class action lawsuit brought by a group of current and former hospital employees has challenged the health care organization's assertion that ERISA rules do not apply to its health plan because it is a governmental entity.