Recovered for Investors
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) is a federal law that sets standards for retirement/health plans in private industry.
More importantly, ERISA protects individuals in these plans.
An ERISA lawyer may represent employees (plan participants), employers, third party administrators, and investment advisors in connection with potential claims arising out of ERISA.
ERISA requires plans to provide participants with important information about:
Most importantly, ERISA provides fiduciary responsibilities for those who manage and control plan assets and gives participants the right to sue for benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty.
ERISA covers most but not all employers that offer retirement and health plans. ERISA generally does not include programs provided by:
ERISA also does not cover plans maintained outside the United States primarily for the benefit of nonresident aliens or unfunded excess benefit plans.
Since 1974, ERISA has established pension and health plan benefit standards for private employers. As the number of retirees continues to grow, many individuals are finding obligations are not being met for their pension and health benefits.
The crux of the legal claims brought by plan participants is that the covered plan was not structured or implemented in the best interests of the plan participants. A fiduciary duty is a legal obligation to act in the best interests of another.
Plan fiduciaries must act in the best interest of the plan participants. When they fail in carrying out those duties, they can be held personally responsible for the investment losses.
The fiduciary duties commonly include:
The fiduciary typically is also responsible for monitoring investment performance and selecting investment options and providers.
Plan participants can bring legal claims on an individual basis. However, the incremental loss suffered by a plan participant may be too small to pursue as an individual case viably. As a result, many lawsuits brought plan participants are pursued as ERISA class actions.
A class-action lawsuit involves a group of similarly situated plaintiffs. To certify a class-action lawsuit, the class of people represented should be:
As explained above, most, if not all ERISA lawsuits stem from a breach of fiduciary duty committed by a plan sponsor or administrator. There is a myriad of ways in which lawsuits under ERISA arise.
If Company A offered a retirement plan for all of its employees with the only investment option is purchasing company stock. The employees could bring suit against Company A because the individuals responsible for implementing the plan only offered company stock and failed to diversify investment options.
Another example: Company A creates a retirement plan for the company, but only the company owners are allowed to contribute to the program, not employees.
A participant may be looking for certain damages or remedies through filing an ERISA lawsuit. This may include:
If you have suffered investment losses in your retirement plan, you are not out of options. You can hold those responsible for your loss responsible.
The ERISA attorneys at the Doss Firm, LLC can help you recover the losses you had from a lousy retirement plan. Call us today at (855) 534-4581 for a free, confidential consultation.