A major employer in Washington, D.C., and around the country, Salesforce is facing an ERISA lawsuit over claims that it did not properly handle its retirement program. Specifically, the plan administrators are accused of breaching their fiduciary duty to plan members and beneficiaries. Salesforce, its board of directors and its investment committee are all named as defendants in the suit, which alleges that the company failed to save the assets of its plan members by opting for lower-fee investment management options. The large retirement plan had over $2 billion in assets in 2018, which the plaintiffs say gives it significant leverage in negotiating a better deal.
The recent US Supreme Court Ruling on the Intel ERISA Challenge stemming from a recent lawsuit regarding employee benefits has set a new framework for the establishment of "actual knowledge" in such cases. While this update out of Washington DC isn't major news for many political and commercial entities, it does have profound implications for employers across the country and members of the retirement planning industry.
D.C. residents who have corporate pensions should take note of a recent spate of lawsuits against companies who have allegedly breached their fiduciary duties by underpaying joint and survivor annuity benefits (JSA). Recently, there was a lawsuit filed against UPS which was the latest suit to claim that a company effectively shortchanged those who elected to take their pensions as a joint and survivor annuity as opposed to a single life annuity (SLA).
Many people in the District of Columbia have benefits plans through their jobs that are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Workers might want to be aware of a lawsuit that has been filed against Shell Oil and Fidelity for alleged violations of ERISA.
A major defense contractor with employees in Washington, D.C., and across the country is settling a class action suit linked to its retirement plan. Members of Northrop Grumman's 401(k) plan brought a lawsuit under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), a law that protects employee benefits from misuse, mismanagement or violation of fiduciary duties. Members of the plan said that the participants' assets were placed at risk by management decisions, including charging excessive fees and overpaying for plan administration.
The federal Department of Labor in Washington, D.C., has intervened in a case that could have a significant effect on how workers affected by ERISA protect their rights against plan fiduciaries that make unfair changes. A class-action lawsuit representing terminated employees of Wawa, a large convenience store chain, accuses Wawa, its employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) trustees and plan administrators of violating ERISA, the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act of 1974. The law aims to protect employees from losing their pensions, health insurance, disability insurance and other employee benefits due to plan administrators' misconduct.
Under the law, Washington, D.C., employers do not need to provide their workers with employee benefits like disability insurance or retirement plans. However, many workers specifically choose their jobs because of the attractive benefits on offer, and employee benefits can help companies secure the best and most experienced workers. However, once those benefit plans are in place, companies have an obligation under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 to handle those benefits responsibly and act according to the workers' best interests. If you are facing serious problems with your benefits, you first need to understand your rights under ERISA.
Employees in Washington, D.C., and across the country are protected by the provisions of the Employee Retirement and Income Security Act of 1974, or ERISA. The law contains regulations that require companies with employee benefits plans, including retirement funds, disability plans and health insurance programs, to provide explicit documentation and manage those plans in the best interests of the workers. When companies fail to do so, they can be held accountable in court, and significant damages can be assessed. One case involving the Massachusetts Institute of Technology retirement plan is moving toward a settlement.
Several industry groups in Washington, D.C., are urging the Supreme Court to rule in a case addressing required disclosures for retirement plans covered by ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Several organizations, including the National Association of Manufacturers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the American Benefits Council and the American Retirement Association, submitted a joint friend-of-the-court brief calling on the nation's highest court to overturn a decision by the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. In that decision, the court allowed a lawsuit over an alleged breach of fiduciary duties by a plan manager to move forward.
The purpose of ERISA is to protect employee benefit plan participants and designated beneficiaries in Washington, D.C., and other parts of the country. Even so, there are times when violations occur, some of which can have a serious impact on an employee's company-related benefits. Here's a closer look at common violations and related ERISA provisions.