The past two decades have seen a rise in Employee Retirement Income Security Act lawsuits against employers and plan fiduciaries, as the plaintiffs’ bar has become more sophisticated and recognized that certain types of ERISA claims are well suited for class certification. Given the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in CIGNA Corp. v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866, 50 EBC 2569 (U.S. 2011), which held that ERISA permits a broad range of equitable remedies, the expanded pool of potential plaintiffs as the baby boomer generation enters retirement age, and the numerous legal pitfalls associated with designing and implementing large and complex employee benefit plans, ERISA lawsuits will continue to be a fact of life for plan sponsors and administrators. This article explores some proactive steps that employers can consider to help mitigate ERISA litigation risk.
Reproduced with permission from Pension & Benefits Daily, 202 PBD, 10/20/2015. Copyright 2015 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033) http://www.bna.com