ERISA Litigation and Opinions
You earned your retirement over years of hard work for your employer. Now, your employer may be trying to get out of paying you your due, thereby keeping you from enjoying the benefits you earned with your loyalty. Or maybe they mismanaged your funds and claim they no longer have the ability to pay you.
It may even be simpler than that. Your 401(k) plan might have just offered you poor fund choices which, over the course of years, could have cost you thousands of dollars in expensive fees and lost investment gains.
A frequent misconception about retirement funds is that your employer owns or has control over your funds until you retire. This isn’t actually true.
Retirement funds offered by private companies (with very few exceptions) are actually entirely separate entities from the company that sponsors them. Often times, the individuals who run an employer will also run the retirement fund, but that is not a requirement and it sometimes leads to conflicts of interest.
The individuals who run your plan, whether or not those individuals are also your employers, have duties under the law. They have a duty of loyalty, a duty of prudence, and a duty of care. They must manage your retirement funds responsibly, loyally, and with the sole benefit of you, the participant, in mind.
Funds held in trust for retirement cannot be used for the benefit of the employer. Doing so can amount to a breach of the duties listed above or what the law refers to as a “fiduciary breach.”Is My Plan in Danger?
Do any of the following apply to you?
- Your company is late depositing your retirement funds.
- You know that your company has been borrowing from the retirement plan for any reason.
- Your retirement benefits have changed erratically and with little notice.
- Your plan offers just a few investment options that each get poor results.
- You don’t know what your plan’s fees are and can’t find out.
- You don’t know the fees for the funds that you’ve picked, or the fees that are listed don’t seem to be the ones that are charged.
If so, consult with our attorneys today to find out of you should take legal action to protect the benefits you worked so hard to earn.What If I Have a Pension?
Pensions are rare these days. If you have one, it is critical that you protect it. If your employer mismanages your pension assets by imprudently selecting investment options or failing to make yearly contributions, you should act to protect the retirement you have earned.
Other issues can also arise with pensions. If your pension formula has changed recently, remember to consider whether the new formula is fair. Your company may have violated the law if you have lost benefits as a result of the changes to the pension plan.
Your employer cannot take away the retirement that you rightfully earned. Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”), employers must meet certain standards for retirement plans. Our attorney Joshua Erlich has experience litigating ERISA claims and will fight for your right to keep the pension benefits you rightly earned. Please contact him if you are concerned about your retirement plan or its management.