Many years ago, back when we were closer to the tipping point where 401(k) plans replaced pensions for the majority of employees, there was a great deal of discussion about whether employees could possibly be financially ready to retire at age 65 absent pensions. I argued at the time that the discussion was wrong and

The Supreme Court today hears argument in a case concerning many politicians’ and lawyers’ favorite pinata, the Chevron doctrine. It would likely be naïve to believe that the case won’t at least further restrain agency authority and discretion, although whether the case will be the vehicle for complete abrogation of the doctrine is

It’s interesting. I spoke in my last post about the possibility of using ERISA and employee benefits to alter the course of economic inequality, referencing that pensions might be a better choice to accomplish that but they aren’t coming back. If they are, even in just isolated circumstances, it will be as a result of

How are these two stories related? The first concerns a Nobel Prize winning economist’s proposition that the taxation and political structure of the United States plays a central role in the downward mobility of the American middle class, while the second concerns an investment fund that intends to purchase companies from their founders and eventually

This is an interesting story on Mintz Levin trying to bring more lawyers back into the office by figuring out the best way to get people, starting with the partners, to find it valuable to be there, rather than by threatening associates’ compensation or mandating certain work hours, as other firms have done. My

There is an interesting article in the Guardian on the subject of structural and policy barriers in the United States to the elimination of poverty, which is addressed in a new book by a MacArthur award winning sociologist. I think the New Yorker has a new article out on the same topic, probably based on

Albert Feuer, who writes frequently on the technical aspects of ERISA compliance, has published an interesting new article in Bloomberg Tax’s Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal on the latest proposed legislation to alter retirement savings. Albert points out that the changes would help in allowing employees to increase their retirement savings, but would fail

I was being interviewed by a reporter the other day and casually noted that I keep my twitter open on my computer all day for no other reason than to follow Bloomberg BNA’s nearly instantaneous reporting of important new court decisions in the ERISA field. True to form, this morning I came into work to an article on, and a copy of the decision by, the Second Circuit yesterday in the long running pension class action case, Osberg v. Foot Locker, which concerns a claim for reformation of a pension plan to provide employees with the benefits they believed were promised in plan communications, rather than those actually provided under the plan’s express terms themselves. You can find the Bloomberg BNA article on it here, and the decision itself here.
Continue Reading Reflections on the Second Circuit’s Decision in Osberg v. Foot Locker

Is there a more hyped sporting event with less substance than the NFL Draft? Does everyone on the internet drive traffic to their sites by linking to the draft if at all possible? Well, of course the answer to both questions is yes, and so I too will link a post to the NFL Draft.
Continue Reading At the Intersection of the NFL Draft, ERISA, Divorce, Venue and Spousal Benefits

Several years ago, when the first of the class actions were filed alleging that medical institutions were improperly claiming church plan status under ERISA, I was speaking on a panel at one of the American Conference Institute’s ERISA Litigation conferences, where I found myself eating lunch with two of the lead lawyers on those class action cases. I raised for them – and someone else would eventually ask the same question during their presentation on the church plan class actions – the question of damages. In particular, I wondered what they would ask for, and whether the defendants could afford it. I assumed that part of the relief would be to have the plans made compliant with the full panoply of ERISA’s procedural, notice, plan communication, claims processing, funding and other requirements. But that, I noted, was the easy part; it would only require the defendants to essentially hire really good ERISA lawyers and administrators and fix the plans. But what about the money? Could the defendants fund the massive shortfalls that the plaintiffs were claiming existed in the plans?
Continue Reading The Church Plan Cases at the Supreme Court: A Billion Here, A Billion There and Soon You Are Talking Real Money