We represent plan participants and beneficiaries in a wide variety of pension health and welfare plan disputes.
We represent plan participants and beneficiaries in a wide variety of pension health and welfare plan disputes. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) was created in 1974 to establish minimum standards for pension plans in private industry and to provide for extensive rules to protect employee’s rights to recover employee benefits, such as health insurance payments, long-term disability, life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment benefits and other benefits provided by an employer.
ERISA provides many rights for employees and covered dependents such as requiring plan administrators to disclose financial and other information concerning the plan, by establishing standards of conduct for plan fiduciaries, and by providing for appropriate remedies and access to the federal courts for those with claims under ERISA. Some employers are not covered by ERISA. However, these claims are covered by state insurance and contract law. Generally these claims may be divided into three classes – wrongful denial of benefits, breach of fiduciary duty, and interference with protected rights.
Wrongful denial claims may include being denied eligibility for, or access to, healthcare plans and services, long-term severance plans, benefits continuation, disability and accidental death/injury plans, life insurance plans, and pension plans. Fiduciary violations are wide-ranging and may include misrepresentation or failure to inform, prohibited transactions and imprudent investments.
Lastly, ERISA specifically prohibits the adverse treatment for, or interference with, plan participants’ and beneficiaries’ rights under a pension or welfare plan. Thus, it is unlawful to take an action against a participant to restrict him or her from attaining a plan benefit or retaliate against the participant for exercising a right they are entitled to under ERISA.