26 06, 2020

DOL proposal could hurt prospects for ESG in ERISA plans

2020-06-26T14:53:25-07:00June 26th, 2020|Categories: ERISA, ESG|Tags: , , |

A proposal from the Department of Labor stipulates that ERISA plan fiduciaries cannot invest in ESG vehicles that sacrifice investment returns or take on additional risk, which sources say could curb environmental, social and governance investments. "Private employer-sponsored retirement plans are not vehicles for furthering social goals or policy objectives that are not in the financial interest of the plan," Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia said in a news release. "Rather, ERISA plans should be managed with unwavering focus on [...]

20 01, 2017

New Guidance Restores 1994 ERISA Proxy Voting Interpretation

2017-01-20T18:54:39-08:00January 20th, 2017|Categories: ERISA, ESG|Tags: , |

The DOL bulletin also clarifies the ability to consider ESG factors in proxy voting and shareholder engagement. On December 29, 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued Interpretive Bulletin 2016-1 (IB 2016-1), addressing how the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (ERISA’s) fiduciary responsibility rules apply to proxy voting, maintenance and compliance with investment policy statements, and active engagement with corporate management by plan fiduciaries, as well as other legal rights of shareholders. […]

11 02, 2016

Verizon participants petition SCOTUS on right to sue over de-risking deal

2016-02-11T01:42:52-08:00February 11th, 2016|Categories: ERISA|Tags: , , |

The Supreme Court is being petitioned to review a claim that could clarify when participants in defined benefit pension plans have a right to sue sponsors under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The case, Pundt v. Verizon, derives from the landmark case, Lee v. Verizon, which challenged the $8.4 billion pension buyout contract the telecommunications giant purchased from Prudential in 2012. Last August the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling in favor of Verizon. Participants had alleged the buyout annuity violated ERISA [...]

21 01, 2016

SCOTUS won’t hear ERISA venue provision case

2016-01-21T23:19:41-08:00January 21st, 2016|Categories: ERISA|Tags: |

The United States Supreme Court will not consider Smith vs. AEGON Companies Pension Plan, a case that called into question the viability of a venue selection provision in a retirement plan document. In that case, a retiree in a defined benefit pension plan in a company that ultimately merged with AEGON had a substantial amount of benefits clawed back after AEGON informed him that he had been receiving more than $1,000 a month in extra retirement benefits for more than 10 years. [...]

8 06, 2015

Department Of Labor Issues Final Regulations On Annual Funding Notices

2015-06-08T20:37:16-07:00June 8th, 2015|Categories: ERISA|Tags: , , |

The Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor (hereinafter, the “DOL”) recently released final regulations related to the provision of annual funding notices under Section 101(f) of ERISA. The regulations finalize the proposed regulations on annual funding notices but do not address some of the additional intervening guidance on annual funding notices released after the proposed regulations and before these final regulations. Background Prior to the passage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (“PPA”) multiemployer defined [...]

3 09, 2014

ERISA at 40

2014-09-03T20:16:28-07:00September 3rd, 2014|Categories: ERISA|

The celebration of ERISA’s 40th anniversary on Sept. 2 will be a muted affair. That’s because while the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 benefited millions of people, it did not live up to the “retirement income security” part of its name. Along with praise for what ERISA did accomplish, there are now calls for fixing what it did not. In 1974, U.S. private pension assets totaled $150 billion, according to Pensions & Investments data. In 2014, according to the [...]

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