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Showing 6 posts in Benefits.

Supreme Court Confirms Standards for ERISA’s Church Plan Exception

In a clear win for religiously-affiliated employers, including hospital systems and educational institutions, a unanimous Supreme Court found that a statutory exception to ERISA’s requirements for “church plans” applies to plans that are maintained by tax-exempt entities affiliated with churches in Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton. More ›

House Passes American Health Care Act: Potential Impact on Employer Plans

Earlier this afternoon the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  While the AHCA must still get through the Senate and eventually be signed by the President before becoming law, with the passage of the AHCA employers now have a first look at how the health care landscape may change under the Trump Administration. More ›

Join Us October 20, 2016 for Hinshaw's 21st Annual Labor & Employment Seminar

It's that time of year again! School's back in session, the leaves are starting to change, and Hinshaw is putting on its annual Labor & Employment Seminar! Thursday, October 20th is the big day in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Have you been wondering... More ›

DOL Updates Federal Contractor Regulations Prohibiting Sex Discrimination for First Time Since 1970

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule to expand sex discrimination guidelines for federal contractors and subcontractors. The final rule updates—for the first time in over 40 years—the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs' sex discrimination regulations to align them with current interpretations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the realities of today's diverse workforce. More ›

Changes to Employment laws in California

California employers, take note! The laws are changing! Just this week, new laws have been enacted which affect employees and/or employers, including: More ›

Plan Fiduciaries Entitled to a Presumption of Reasonableness in Employer Stock Drop Cases

Continuing a long string of rulings in employer “stock drop” litigation, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that a fiduciary in an Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) retirement plan was entitled to a “presumption of reasonableness” in continuing to offer plan participants the option to invest in employer stock. Plaintiffs were a putative class of participants in a 401(k) plan sponsored by a large bank. The employer (which was also the plan sponsor for the 401(k) plan) maintained an administrative committee to operate the plan and an investment committee to choose which investments would be available to plan participants.One of the investment options offered to participants was a fund designed to invest in the common stock of the employer/plan sponsor. During the financial crisis of 2007-2009, the stock price of the employer dropped significantly. Plaintiffs sued, alleging that the plan sponsor and the committees administering the plan had breached their respective fiduciary duties by continuing to allow the stock fund to be an investment option. The Second Circuit, adopting the standard used in Moench v. Robertson, 62 F.3d 553 (3d Cir. 1995), held that the plan’s fiduciaries were entitled to a presumption that offering the employer’s stock fund as an investment option under the plan was reasonable. The Moench standard presumes that a plan fiduciary’s investment decisions are prudent, a presumption that may be rebutted by showing that the fiduciary had abused its discretion. Absent evidence of such an abuse of discretion, a plaintiff’s claim of a fiduciary breach cannot survive a motion to dismiss. A companion case issued the same date reached a similar conclusion. Plan fiduciaries should regularly document their actions to protect against claims that they have acted imprudently.

In re Citigroup ERISA Litigation (Gray v. Citigroup Inc.), No. 09-3804 (2nd Cir. Oct. 19, 2011);

Gearren v. McGraw-Hill Cos., No. 10-792 (2nd Cir. Oct. 19, 2011)

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