Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

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

Tag Archives: Top-Hat Plans

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

Plan Administrator’s ERISA Declaratory Judgment Action Dismissed for Lack of Jurisdiction

After a top-hat plan and pension plan denied a participant’s claims and appeals for additional benefits, the plan administrators preemptively filed a declaratory judgment action, seeking a declaration that:  (i) termination of defendant’s employment was not for the purpose of interfering with his ability to attain rights under the plans or ERISA; (ii) the top-hat plan … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit: Spousal Consent Not Required Under Top-Hat Plans

The Ninth Circuit held that a participant’s brother, rather than his spouse, was the proper beneficiary of benefits under a profit sharing plan.  In so holding, the Court found that:  (a) the participant’s first wife, who was designated as the primary beneficiary, had waived her rights to benefits as part of the couple’s divorce; and … Continue Reading