Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

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

Tag Archives: Supreme Court

District Court Declares Entire Affordable Care Act Unconstitutional – What It Means for Employers and Plan Sponsors

In a surprising turn of events, on Friday, December 14th, a district court judge in the Northern District of Texas declared that the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) individual mandate is unconstitutional and that, a result, the entire ACA is invalid. Although the ACA remains in effect for the time being and an immediate appeal to … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds ERISA Plan Cannot Enforce Equitable Lien Against Participant’s General Assets

Earlier today, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed a decision by the Eleventh Circuit and held that when a ERISA plan participant obtains a third-party settlement subject to a plan’s subrogation provision, and then dissipates the settlement on “nontraceable” items, the plan cannot enforce a lien against the participant’s general assets under Section 502(a)(3) of ERISA.  … Continue Reading

IRS Notice 2015-86 — The Limited Effect of Obergefell

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2015-86, providing guidance on the application of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges to qualified retirement plans and health and welfare plans, including cafeteria plans.  Importantly, and as expected, the IRS comments in the Notice that it does not anticipate that Obergefell will … Continue Reading

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations to Accommodate Obergefell

On October 21, 2015, the IRS issued proposed regulations to clarify the treatment of same-sex spouses for federal tax purposes. By way of background, in 2013, the United States Supreme Court held in United States v. Windsor that the portion of the Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as being between opposite-sex partners was unconstitutional.  … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Denies Review of Fourth Circuit Loss Causation Case

The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to grant certiorari to review the Fourth Circuit’s decision in RJR Pension Investment, et al. v. Tatum, 761 F.3d 363 (4th Cir. 2014).  As we previously reported here, a divided panel of the Fourth Circuit held that, because the plaintiff proved that the plan fiduciaries acted imprudently by liquidating … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Says “Regular Review” of ERISA Investments Required

ERISA plan fiduciaries charged with responsibility for selecting, monitoring or removing plan investment options should pay close attention to the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Tibble v. Edison Intl., 135 S. Ct. 1823 (2015).  In that decision, the Court ruled that ERISA’s duty of prudence involves “a continuing duty to monitor investments and remove … Continue Reading

King v. Burwell – Supreme Court Upholds Premium Subsidies under Federally-Run Marketplaces; ACA Remains (Mostly) Unfazed

On June 25, 2015, the United States Supreme Court released its much anticipated King v. Burwell decision regarding the validity of premium assistance issued by Federally-run Marketplaces.  Chief Justice Roberts, writing for the 6-3 majority, agreed with the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) interpretation that premium assistance under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of … Continue Reading

SCOTUS Invites Solicitor General to Submit Its View on ERISA Venue Selection Provisions

We previously reported that a split Sixth Circuit panel enforced a venue selection clause in an ERISA plan.  In so ruling, the Court rejected the U.S. Department of Labor’s attempt to regulate by amicus brief and reasoned that the Department’s brief was “an expression of mood.”  The Department, according to the Sixth Circuit:  (i) had no … Continue Reading

High Court Employee Benefits Cases: A Review and Look Ahead

Having settled into the new year, we reflect on decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 that are likely to have a significant impact in the world of pension and welfare employee benefits and, in some cases, already have had such an impact. The issues addressed by the Supreme Court are wide ranging and … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Affirms Enforceability of Plan Limitations Provision

Resolving a split among the Courts of Appeal, the United States Supreme Court affirmed the Second Circuit in finding enforceable a limitations provision in a long term disability ERISA plan that set forth the length of the limitations period as well as when the period commenced. The plan at issue required participants to file suit for … Continue Reading

USSC to Consider Presumption of Prudence in Employer Stock Litigation

On Friday, the US Supreme Court agreed to consider Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer (U.S. No. 12-751, cert. granted 12/13/13).  The Supreme Court stated that it will consider the following issue:  “Whether, to state a claim that a fiduciary of an employee stock ownership plan violated the duty of prudence by continuing to invest plan … Continue Reading

Supreme Court to Resolve Circuit Split in Health Care Reform Cases

The Supreme Court will review two of the numerous lawsuits challenging the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) requirement that group health plans and insurers cover, without cost-sharing, contraceptives and/or abortifacients (the “Contraceptive Mandate”). The plaintiffs in these suits are secular, for-profit corporations and their owners, and they assert that being forced to comply with the Contraceptive … Continue Reading

Proskauer Webinar on Supreme Court DOMA Decision

Section 3 of The Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional. Please join Proskauer’s DOMA Task Force on Wednesday, July 17th at 1:00pm EST for a webinar discussing the impact of the Court’s decision on employer-provided benefits. Registration details are listed below. Please follow these steps to register for the webinar or webinars you would … Continue Reading

The Supreme Court’s Decision to Affirm An Arbitrator’s Decision Compelling Class Arbitration May Be Most Notable For What Was Not Said

ERISA plan sponsors, and employers more broadly, have been anxiously awaiting two rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court that they hope would clarify the ability to enforce class action waivers in arbitration agreements. Yesterday, the Court issued the first of these decisions in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter, a case in which Sutter alleged … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees To Hear Case On ERISA Statute of Limitations

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on April 15, 2013 that it will take up the question of when the statute of limitations period may begin to run for filing a legal action for long-term disability benefits under an ERISA plan. Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., U.S., No. 12-729, cert. granted 4/15/13.… Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Plan Terms Trump Equitable Defenses

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in U.S. Airways, Inc. v. McCutchen in which the Court unanimously ruled that a clearly drafted reimbursement clause will trump all equitable defenses. The Supreme Court’s ruling will likely be viewed favorably by plan sponsors, as it will allow them to anticipate with more certainty the impact … Continue Reading
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