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Estate may sue to enforce waiver and recover 401(k) benefits
  • Hodgson Russ LLP
  • USA
  • May 31 2012

Although a deceased participant’s benefit in a 401(k) plan must be distributed to an ex-wife despite a prior waiver of her rights to the benefit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled that the participant’s estate may subsequently sue the ex-wife for recovery of the distributions.


Plan administrator not obligated to provide benefit accruals for unpaid hours
  • Hodgson Russ LLP
  • USA
  • July 29 2011

Nurse participants in a hospital retirement plan were upset that their unpaid meal breaks, during which they were required to work, and an unpaid 20-40 minute period of patient status review before the official start of their shifts were not counted for benefit purposes in the hospital's retirement plans.


Supreme Court will not hear case involving ERISA’s whistleblower provision
  • Hodgson Russ LLP
  • USA
  • May 20 2011

In August 2010, we reported on a Federal Court of Appeals decision involving complaints made by a director of human resources about her employer's administration of the company's medical plan and the employee's claim that she was improperly discharged as a result of these complaints.


Owner-employer cannot obtain refund of plan contributions
  • Hodgson Russ LLP
  • USA
  • February 11 2011

The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently ruled that an owner-employer could not recover contributions made to a multi-employer pension fund on his behalf.


Third Circuit rules no fiduciary breach related to non-employee spouse’s decision to retire
  • Hodgson Russ LLP
  • USA
  • January 4 2011

A former Avaya, Inc employee and his wife sued Avaya under ERISA, alleging that the company breached its fiduciary duty to the couple as participant and beneficiary under the company's pension plan.


Third Circuit rules on whistleblower protection and informal complaints
  • Hodgson Russ LLP
  • USA
  • August 31 2010

Employees are protected under Section 510 of ERISA from discharge, discipline, or other discrimination based on the employee's testimony or participation in any "inquiry or proceeding" related to compliance or enforcement of ERISA obligations.