We have all seen the letters in the mail. Your employer is updating their benefits policies, and by law, you are required to receive notification summarizing the changes. These notices contain a lot of legal jargon and fine print, and you probably threw them away without much more than a cursory glance. Although these updates […]
Fiduciary DutiesBack to Insights
According to USA Today, the stock market gained 20 percent last year, making 2017 one of the best years for stocks since Y2K. A natural result of these gains was a rise in the value of 401(k) or 403(b) investments for consumers around the country. While the money in 401(k) and 403(b) accounts grew, so […]
The Supreme Court has once again waded into the Serbonian Bog of what is meant by the term “appropriate equitable relief” contained in 29 U.S.C. Section 1132(a)(3) (ERISA Section 502(a)(3)), which authorizes a civil action to be brought “by a participant, beneficiary or fiduciary (A) to enjoin any act or practice which violates any provision […]
The Supreme Court will hear a case questioning the timeline for ERISA cases involving a fiduciary’s duty to monitor investments. SCOTUS, or the Supreme Court of the United States, has agreed to hear a case that questions the extent of an employer’s fiduciary duty to monitor the ERISA plans they sponsor. ERISA, or the Employee […]
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act law creates a number of perverse incentives for insurers that administer benefit claims. Without the availability of remedies beyond the restoration of benefits due, insurers can earn significant profits on delayed payments. A recent 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, Rochow v. Life Ins. Co. of North America, […]
Can an employee’s obligation to provide evidence of insurability to secure life insurance be excused by the doctrine of incontestability or by an ERISA claim for breach of fiduciary duty?
A recent life insurance case involving the issue of incontestability caught our attention. Patterson v. Reliance Standard Life Ins.Co., 2013 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 171873 (C.D.Cal. December 4, 2013)(Issue: Incontestability). This case involved life insurance – the plaintiff’s sister was an employee of Redlands Community Hospital who was offered the opportunity to purchase $260,000 in voluntary group life […]