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Protecting Retirement Plan Fiduciaries (Including Your Boss) from Liability

Topic:
Protecting Retirement Plan Fiduciaries (Including Your Boss) from Liability
Date:
August 7, 2012 at 11:00 - 12:00 PM ET
Presenters:
Mike Melbinger, Attorney(Winston & Strawn Llp)
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Description
Protecting Retirement Plan Fiduciaries (Including Your Boss) from Liability

A variety of factors have contributed to the stunning rise in litigation against retirement plan fiduciaries. This problem for employer/plan sponsors is compounded by two other facts. First, ERISA imposes personal liability on plan fiduciaries. Second, many corporate officers, employees and even board members serve as ERISA fiduciaries. Some knowingly. Some not.

As in many other areas of the law (and American society) the courts have rapidly expanded the remedies available to sympathetic plaintiffs and the possible claims against “deep pocket” defendants. For a fiduciary accused of breaching his or her duties under ERISA, the stakes are high. The federal courts have uniformly held that ERISA's fiduciary duty is "the highest duty known to the law." ERISA authorizes lawsuits against a plan fiduciary by plan participants, beneficiaries, the plan administrator, other plan fiduciaries, and the U.S. Department of Labor. Both civil and criminal penalties can apply.

And it gets worse. ERISA Section 206(d) provides for the forfeiture of a participant's account balance or benefit by the amount the participant is required or ordered to pay to the plan in connection with a lawsuit relating to a breach of fiduciary duty, including pursuant to a settlement agreement. Did I mention that ERISA imposes personal liability on a fiduciary who breaches his/her duty?

However, there are strategies to protect plan fiduciaries from potential liability. The surprising thing is how many employers/plan sponsors fail to take full advantage of these strategies. Human resources professionals should act to protect their officers, employees, board members and others who serve as ERISA fiduciaries.
Who Should Participate
All HR Professional, particularly those who have responsibility for or come into contact with employee benefit plans
What You Will Learn
• How to draft board committee and board resolutions to protect fiduciaries • How to structure fiduciary committees to comply with ERISA and protect the fiduciaries • How to conduct fiduciary committee meetings to comply with ERISA and protect the fiduciaries • How to design plans and communications to comply with ERISA and protect the fiduciaries • How to select committee members to comply with ERISA and protect the fiduciaries • How to ensure compliance with ERISA • How to protect fiduciaries and others with insurance and indemnification
Recommended Resources
"Are You a Fiduciary?" Michael S. Melbinger
Communities
Benefits
Human Resources Management
Training and Development
Design and Technology
Retirement Benefits
Healthcare Legislation and Compliance
ERISA
Benefits - Cost Containment, Audits and Legal Risks
Presented by
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Mike Melbinger
Winston & Strawn Llp

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Event Sponsors
Winston & Strawn Llp
Winston & Strawn LLP, founded in 1853, is one of the nation's oldest and largest law firms.
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Name Comment Rating
Image of Patricia Roméus Patricia Roméus
ACCEO Solutions Inc
3 / 5
Good Presentation
5 / 5
Excellent Presentation
Image of Donald Sabathier Donald Sabathier
Sabathier & Associates
5 / 5
Excellent Presentation
Image of Vicki Costello Vicki Costello
University Of South Florida Physician Group
3 / 5
Good Presentation
Image of Beverly Parker Beverly Parker
Accounting Principals Inc
4 / 5
Very Good Presentation
Image of Karen Higgins Karen Higgins
MOSAIC Technologies Group
4 / 5
Very Good Presentation
Image of Dalene Crowder Dalene Crowder
Verizon Telecom
4 / 5
Very Good Presentation
Image of Diana Hartley Diana Hartley
Hot Shot Services
3 / 5
Good Presentation
Image of Sandra Feehan Sandra Feehan
Southern MN Municipal Power Agency
4 / 5
Very Good Presentation
Image of Nancy Mansfield Nancy Mansfield
United Federal Credit Union
Great presentation with a lot of good information. I appreciate the detailed slides that can be used for future reference. Thank you! 4 / 5
Very Good Presentation
Image of Lawrence Buford, Jr. Lawrence Buford, Jr.
Buford International Human Resource Strategy Consultant
No 4 / 5
Very Good Presentation
Image of Rebecca Bentz Rebecca Bentz
J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.
Very good presentation. Thank you! 5 / 5
Excellent Presentation

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