Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

The View from Proskauer on Developments in the World of Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation & ERISA Litigation

Category Archives: Top Hat Plans

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Third Circuit Deepens Circuit Split Over Test for “Top Hat” Status Under ERISA

A Third Circuit decision, Sikora v. UPMC, 876 F.3d 110 (3d Cir. 2017), deepens a circuit split over whether a participant’s bargaining power is relevant to determining whether a plan qualifies for “top hat” status under ERISA. Plans that qualify for “top hat” status are exempt from ERISA’s eligibility, vesting, funding, and fiduciary requirements. To … Continue Reading

First Circuit Reviews Top Hat Plan Benefits Denial for Abuse of Discretion

The First Circuit recently applied an abuse of discretion standard of review to a claim for top hat plan benefits. Plaintiff Robert Niebauer, a former executive of Crane, brought a claim for executive severance plan benefits and a claim under ERISA section 510 for interference with his rights to benefits.  The district court granted summary … Continue Reading
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