erisa Archives

Nation's top colleges face claims of ERISA violations

Investors in retirement plans place a great deal of trust in those responsible for managing the plans. After all, reaching retirement age only to find the funds have been mismanaged allows few options for recovery. Recently, numerous prestigious colleges across the country, including in Tennessee, have come under fire for the way their retirement plans are being handled, and class action lawsuits are growing, claiming violations of ERISA laws.

Sears faces new ERISA lawsuit

It is no secret that retail stores in Tennessee and elsewhere are struggling to keep up with changes in consumer shopping habits. Brick-and-mortar stores that do not also have a strong e-commerce presence continue to fight through bankruptcies and lawsuits. Sears Holdings Corporation, for example, seems to be trying to hold on to solvency even as the value of company stocks declines. Because of these failing stocks, participants in the company's retirement plan recently filed a lawsuit claiming Sears fiduciaries violated their duties according the ERISA rules.

ERISA violations may lead to civil or criminal consequences

Often a benefits package is one of the deciding factors taken into consideration when someone in Tennessee applies for a job. This may include such things as a pension, retirement fund, health insurance or profit-sharing. However, it is not unheard of for such private employers to lure workers in with big promises only to disappoint by denying those benefits or changing the scope of the plans without warning. This is where ERISA comes into play.

Court rules on church exemption from ERISA

When Congress passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, guidelines were set to protect citizens in Tennessee and across the country from unscrupulous fiduciaries concerning benefits offered by private industries. In 1980, Congress decided that ERISA laws do not include those benefits offered by churches. Recently, participants in several church-affiliated health plans challenged this exception as it related to their employers. Their argument went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the employers prevailed.

ERISA agency surprises former employee with overdue pension

Investing years of time and effort working for a Tennessee company has its rewards. Often, long-term employees feel a certain pride in their work, a loyalty to the employer and a development of important, marketable skills. Additionally, they often expect a pension when they retire. When that pension does not come through, an employee may be concerned about how to manage in the future, especially if the company ceases operations. In some cases, however, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA)  may cover them.

Retirees claim ERISA violations after benefits end

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act was passed in 1974 to protect workers who are covered by benefit plans through their employers. The law requires private sector employers in Tennessee and across the country to inform their employees how to obtain their benefits and any limits that exist on those benefits. Fiduciaries are also held accountable for managing the benefits in an ethical way. Recently, a group of retirees in another state claimed their ERISA rights were violated when their former employer changed its benefits policy.

Supreme Court considers churches -- ERISA exemptions

Since 1974, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act has protected the retirement funds of people in Tennessee and across the country. By setting minimum standards for the administration of retirement plans in the private sector, ERISA has held fiduciaries accountable for the way they manage the benefits of employees. Church-affiliated pension plans have been exempt from ERISA, but that may soon change.

What is ERISA and how does it work for me?

ERISA is a group of laws made to protect people who have insurance through their employers. If an employee works for a Tennessee company that is not a government entity, and that business sponsors health insurance or other benefits, those benefits are likely governed by ERISA. ERISA does not tell an employer that he or she is required to provide benefits, but if the benefits are provided, they must meet the minimum standards set by ERISA.

I'm filing for bankruptcy; is my pension at risk?

Millions of Americans are struggling financially. Between costs like outrageous medical expenses and student loans that plague people decades after graduation, it can be all but impossible for people to get out from under debt. This can be especially true after an event like job loss or divorce.

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