As discussed in an earlier post on this blog, in Intel Corporation Investment Policy Committee et al. v. Sulyma, No. 18-1116 (Feb. 26, 2020), the U.S. Supreme Court addressed the statute of limitations for breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits under ERISA. In general, fiduciary breach claims are covered by the 6-year statute of limitations in 29 U.S.C. § 1113(1). However, there is a 3-year statute of limitations if the plaintiff had “actual knowledge” of the breach. 29 U.S.C. § 1113(2). Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Alito held that “actual knowledge” “does in fact mean what it says.” According to the Justice, under this standard a plaintiff must be actually aware of the fiduciary breach – not merely have information from which he or she could have become aware of the violation – for the 3-year statute of limitations to start running.
The allegations in Sulyma may help plan sponsors, administrators, and other plan fiduciaries understand the impacts of Justice Alito’s opinion.
Continue Reading Supreme Court’s Sulyma Decision May Complicate Plan Administrators’ Consideration of the DOL’s New Proposed Electronic Safe Harbor Disclosure Rule