Tag Archives: Fourth Circuit

Keeping Your (Top) Hat On

“Top hat” plans are plans employers maintain for a “select group of management or highly compensated employees.” These plans are exempt from many of ERISA’s protections, including eligibility, vesting, fiduciary responsibility and funding. Thus, they are often used to provide […]

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Fourth Circuit: Plan Administrator Must Obtain “Readily Available Information” in Claims Determination

What is a plan administrator’s obligation under ERISA to seek and obtain information potentially relevant to a participant claim where the participant has not provided it? The Fourth Circuit recently provided guidance on that issue in the case of Harrison […]

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Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve

Tatum v. RJR Nabisco Investment Committee, decided by the Fourth Circuit on August 4, involved the divestiture of the Nabisco stock funds following spin off of Nabisco.  Some 14 years after Nabisco and RJ Reynolds merged to form RJR Nabisco, […]

Posted in ERISA Litigation, Fiduciary Issues, Qualified Plans, Tax-qualified Retirement Plans | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Kind of Halbig Deal

You may have heard about the potentially crippling blow to ACA (as some have described) dealt by a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today in Halbig v. Burwell.  Basically, a group of individuals and employers challenged […]

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Fourth Circuit Latest To Hold That Remand to Plan Administrator Is Not Immediately Appealable

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals recently joined five other judicial circuits in ruling that a district court’s remand of a benefits claim to the plan administrator is not immediately appealable. A copy of the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Dickens […]

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Preventing Assignment of Health Plan Benefits

A recent South Carolina federal district court case underscores the importance of a robust anti-assignment clause in health plan documents.  In the case, the court held that a hospital could not stand in the shoes of a plan participant and […]

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Are Unpaid Employer Contributions Considered Plan Assets?

Department of Labor regulations provide that deductions for an employee’s wages are assets of an ERISA fund as soon as these amounts can be segregated from the employer’s general assets. While no similar regulations exist regarding unpaid employer contributions, a […]

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