ERISA is the underpinning of the law and rules that govern qualified plans. This section covers updates and revisions to the law and the growing number of lawsuits under ERISA, outlines best practices and provides insights into how advisors can understand ERISA’s nuances, use them to help clients and win more business.


By Craig Hoffman10/2/2014 • 1 Comments

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to review the Tibble v. Edison Int’l case, it was announced Oct. 2. One of the many “excessive fee” cases being pursued through the federal court system, Tibble arose in California and was the subject of a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decision last year.


By Nevin Adams10/2/2014 • 1 Comments

Another of the so-called “excessive fees” cases has been tossed by a federal appellate court.


By NAPA Net Staff9/26/2014 • 0 Comments

Roughly 6,800 American companies have an employee stock ownership plan, or ESOP. Recently Assistant Secretary of Labor Phyllis Borzi had some cautionary comments for those who have, and work with, those plans.


By Nevin Adams9/26/2014 • 1 Comments

A plan sponsor’s decision to eliminate an option to transfer DC account balances to a DB floor-offset plan didn't violate ERISA’s anti-cutback rules, according to a federal appeals court.


By Nevin Adams9/23/2014 • 1 Comments

While there are plenty of cautionary tales about the way(s) in which you can unintentionally become a plan fiduciary, a recent court case highlights another potential trap for company officials.


By Nevin Adams9/15/2014 • 0 Comments

With employer stock holding no longer “presumed” to be prudent, a federal appeals court has vacated the dismissal of a stock drop suit against Lehman Brothers, re-opening the case.


By Ray Harmon9/11/2014 • 0 Comments

At a recent event commemorating ERISA’s 40th anniversary, Phyllis C. Borzi, Assistant Secretary of the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), did not directly address her agency’s forthcoming proposed change to the definition of a fiduciary. But then, she didn’t have to. 


By NAPA Net Staff9/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Advisors wanting to provide their insights to the Department of Labor on two topics — outsourcing employee benefit services and ways to facilitate lifetime plan participation — now have an opportunity to do so.


By Nevin Adams9/8/2014 • 0 Comments

A class action lawsuit brought by plan participants, a retiree and a plan fiduciary claims that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway broke a promise it made as part of an acquisition agreement not to cut benefits.


By Fred Barstein8/20/2014 • 0 Comments

To sue or not to sue your employer over your 401(k) plan? That is the question that a Forbes guest columnist poses to plan participants, providing red flags that participants should look out for when determining whether to sue or not.

By Nevin Adams8/18/2014 • 0 Comments

With the ERISA fiduciary community still absorbing the impact of the Supreme Court’s rejection of the presumption of prudence standard for company stock in retirement plans, a federal appellate court has introduced a new and potentially complicating aspect to consider.

By Fred Barstein8/15/2014 • 0 Comments

Jerome Schlichter may be the most polarizing person in the DC industry. Some demonize his efforts to sue plan sponsors and service providers, opening what some view as a floodgate of lawsuits; others think his efforts have led to helpful reforms and practices. In a thoughtful editorial in InvestmentNews, Schlichter reviews the main issues he has found in DC plans and what caused them.

By Fred Barstein8/13/2014 • 0 Comments

A lawsuit against Fidelity by participants in their plan was just settled for $12 million plus certain relief provisions. The case, Bilewicz v. FMR, had claimed excessive fees were charged and that prohibited transactions had occurred. The part of the case related to float income will continue. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein7/29/2014 • 0 Comments

Getting your clients, especially smaller plan sponsors, to pay attention to the litigation risks of DC plans can be hard, even in the wake of recent wins by plaintiffs. A recent article in may help you get the attention of clients and prospects. The article features a list of seven best practices for plan sponsors.


By John Ortman7/9/2014 • 0 Comments

Stephen Rosenberg of The McCormack Firm, LLC in Boston offers a concise summary of the meaning of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer case. Rosenberg’s blog post features a roundup (with links) of the best online analyses of the meaning and impact of the decision, which rejected the widely applied “Moench presumption” in stock-drop cases.


By Fred Barstein6/26/2014 • 0 Comments

While there are already plenty of reasons why companies may not want to include their own stock in their ERISA plans, the U.S. Supreme Court just gave them another. A unanimous decision by the Court in the Fifth Third court case clearly puts fiduciaries on notice that the so-called Moench presumption is no longer valid and will not give them special protection for the use of company stock. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein6/5/2014 • 0 Comments

In a far-reaching PlanAdviser interview with 401(k) plaintiff’s attorney Jerome Schlichter, the focus was on plan fees and the duty that employers have in negotiating with third party vendors on behalf of their employees. 


By Fred Barstein5/28/2014 • 0 Comments

Denying MassMutual’s motion for summary judgment in the long-running Golden Star v. MassMutual class action suit brought by similarly situated plan sponsors, a federal district court in Massachusetts ruled that the record keeper was a functional fiduciary based on discretionary pricing controls and the administrative services it provided. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein5/7/2014 • 0 Comments

What are the dangers of using the proprietary investments of a record keeper? Lawsuits. In fact, over the last decade or so, there have been 18 claims filed, including recent ones filed against MassMutual and Fidelity, as chronicled in a detailed chart compiled by the Groom Law Group. READ MORE

By Fred Barstein4/15/2014 • 3 Comments

Another lawsuit involving alleged excessive fees and improper receipt of revenue sharing has been settled, pending approval by the federal district court that heard the case, FRA PlanTools reports. Parties in the class action lawsuit brought by plan sponsors against ING in the Heathcare Strategies case agreed to settle late in the week of April 7. READ MORE

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