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DOL Seeks to Extend Transition Period under the Fiduciary Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has filed a proposal with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to delay implementation of the following exemptions under the fiduciary rule from January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019: Best Interest Contract Exemption (PTE 2016-01) Class Exemption for Principal Transactions in Certain Assets Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries … Continue Reading

New Look. Same Blog.

As a result of my joining the Robinson+Cole Employee Benefits and Compensation Group in January 2017, the ERISA Claim Defense Blog has been added to the firm’s Thought Leadership offering. In addition to new posts, the blog has all of the same content it did from when I started it in 2012. For those of you who … Continue Reading

Heimeshoff v. Hartford – Motion to Dismiss

Hartford moved to dismiss the action because it was filed after the expiration of the policy’s contractual limitation period. The plain language of the Policy gave her until December 8, 2005 to submit proof of loss: she alleged that her disability began on June 6, 2005; the ninety-day Elimination Period would ordinarily end on September … Continue Reading

Heimeshoff v. Hartford – Facts and Chronology

Wal-Mart established an employee benefit plan to provide disability benefits to its employees, which it funded through a group disability policy issued by Hartford.  The policy contained a contractual limitation provision specifying the deadline for lawsuits: “Legal actions cannot be taken against the Hartford … after … 3 years after the time written proof of … Continue Reading

Presumption that Plan Administrator Acted Prudently Does Not Apply in Stock-Drop Case

ERISA requires fiduciaries to follow a prudent person standard regarding investment decisions. For plans requiring investment in the employer’s stock, often called Employee Stock Ownership Plans, or ESOPs, courts have developed a presumption that the investment in employer stock is prudent. A recent 9th Circuit case has addressed the limits of that presumption. Harris v. … Continue Reading

Private Employers May Be Able to Avoid ESOP Disclosures

Privately held companies that have pension plans which own some of the company’s own stock (employee stock ownership plans, or ESOPs), have been concerned about publication of private information about their finances. The problem stemmed from the  Department of Labor’s publication of annual filings by ESOPs that included the private financial information. In a very … Continue Reading

Vesting of Employee Welfare Benefits – Who Knew It Was So Complicated?

One of the great things about writing this blog is learning something new. I sometimes fall into the trap of determining the law on a particular issue in the circuit in which I practice most (the Second), and assume that other circuits are the same. Sometimes, though, it turns out that one circuit is not … Continue Reading
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