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Employee Benefits Law Report Reporting on recent trends and developments affecting employee benefits

Tag Archives: Employee Benefits

How Do You Jack a 401(k) Plan? Santomenno v. John Hancock Life Insurance Company

Posted in ERISA Litigation, Retirement Plans

If you are the fiduciary of an ERISA plan that invested in John Hancock group variable annuity contracts, we hope you have heard that three individuals have filed a lawsuit, claiming to be representing your plan and its participants and beneficiaries. You will not be receiving service of process.

Santomenno v. John Hancock Life Insurance Company is an “excessive fee” case. The Third Circuit held that a participant may bring ERISA Sections 502(a)(2) and (3) claims without first making demand upon the plan trustee who entered into the contract with the defendant, and without joining the plan trustee. The U.S. …


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Workforce Due Diligence Considerations When Purchasing a Company

Posted in Benefits Issues Related to Mergers and Acquisitions, Health and Welfare Plans

While in the heat of negotiating, dealmakers can overlook potentially costly exposure in a variety of areas, such as employee benefits. As explained by Becca Kopp in our sister blog, Employer Law Report, in Ohio, buyers may incur unanticipated liability for workers’ compensation obligations, regardless of what is set forth in the documentation. This may be the case where the deal is negotiated between two parties, and even where the buyer is acquiring through an intermediary bank or receivership. Accordingly, buyers are cautioned to make sure their due diligence related to employees is thorough.…


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Join Us in Cleveland or Columbus for One of Our Upcoming Seminars

Posted in ERISA Litigation, Health and Welfare Plans

Would you like to spend a morning outside of the office, enjoying free breakfast and continuing education credit? Here’s your chance! This month, Porter Wright is sponsoring Employment Relations Seminars in both Cleveland and Columbus. I will be speaking about employee benefits developments and best practices at both session, and would love to see you there. Details follow, and we hope you can join us in one of these locations.

“Emerging Issues for Employers” Seminar to Be Held In Cleveland on October 20, 2011

Porter Wright is presenting a seminar on Thursday, October 20, 2011 from 8:30 – 11:45 a.m. …


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Supreme Court Time Travels with an ERISA Case

Posted in ERISA Litigation

Supreme Court decisions about ERISA cases, while infrequent, typically contain some surprises, as demonstrated most recently in CIGNA Corp. v. Amara.

In 1997, CIGNA notified employees that it was freezing accruals under its traditional defined benefit plan, and converting the plan into a cash balance plan. A cash balance plan is a “hybrid” defined benefit plan with features similar to a defined contribution plan. The method for determining accruals under the cash balance plan is different from the method under the traditional defined benefit plan, and in many cases takes into consideration the benefits already accrued under the traditional …


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