On January 31, 2022, the Ninth Circuit affirmed the lower court’s finding that surcharges imposed by the Pension Protection Act (“PPA”) are excluded from the determination of an employer’s “highest contribution rate” for withdrawal liability payment calculations. While the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act (“MPRA”) explicitly excluded surcharges that accrued after 2014 from such calculations, this … Continue Reading
A New York district court held that surcharge could include not only make-whole relief, but also consequential, exemplary, or punitive damages in limited circumstances where malice or fraud is involved. Plaintiff Janet D’Iorio alleged that Winebow breached its fiduciary duty by failing to provide an SPD and by making material misrepresentations about whether her commissions … Continue Reading
We previously reported (here) that the Ninth Circuit stands alone in expressly limiting the availability of surcharge to cases involving loss to, or unjust enrichment at the expense of, the plan (as opposed to being available to a participant claiming personal loss flowing from a fiduciary breach). See Gabriel v. Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, … Continue Reading
Three years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court identified three forms of appropriate equitable relief — reformation, equitable estoppel and surcharge — that are available under Section 502(a)(3) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (‘‘ERISA’’). See Cigna Corp. v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866, 50 EBC 2569, 2011 BL 128629 (2011). This article focuses on the availability of surcharge and, in particular, … Continue Reading
A divided panel of the Ninth Circuit recently held that plaintiff Gregory Gabriel could not recover, as “appropriate equitable relief,” pension benefits he thought he was owed from the Alaska Electrical Pension Fund, after the Fund stopped paying him pension benefits that it had mistakenly advised him that he was entitled to. In so doing, … Continue Reading
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