Many people rely on a company sponsored 401(K) or ESOP retirement plan to provide financial security after their working years. ERISA is a federal statute enacted to protect the interests of retirement plan participants and their beneficiaries.
ERISA is the acronym for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Under this federal statute, employers have a fiduciary responsibility to their retirement plan participants and beneficiaries. Companies are obligated to select the best retirement investments for their employees, and not act in their own self-interests.
ERISA claims can be brought against companies and ERISA fiduciaries for:
- Failure to operate a retirement plan for the exclusive purpose of providing benefits to participants or their beneficiaries.
- Engaging in ERISA prohibited transactions with plan assets.
- Failure to prudently manage plan assets.
- Continuing to offer or promote their own company stock as a plan investment option, and investing and holding employee and/or matching contributions in the stock at a time when the stock was not a prudent investment option due to the financial condition of the company.
- Failure to make disclosures regarding the company’s business, financial results and operations to employees, thereby encouraging participants and beneficiaries to continue to make substantial investments in company stock in their 401(K) or ESOP plans.
- Failure to take action to avoid losses to company 401(K) and ESOP plans.
- Failure to avoid conflicts of interest in managing plan assets.
- Any breach of their fiduciary duty.
Wolf Popper is highly experienced in the field of ERISA litigation. In 2015, Wolf Popper obtained a recovery of $40 million for retirement plan participants in In re American International Group, Inc. ERISA Litigation II, Master File No.: 08-cv-5722 (LTS)(DCF) (S.D.N.Y.), following comprehensive discovery. In approving this settlement, the Court noted that in this “extremely complex” litigation, Wolf Popper is “among the premier firms practicing in this area of the law,” and proceeded to “congratulate the parties on this result, which I think is an excellent one in view of the complexity of the litigation and is an excellent result for the plaintiff class members. I congratulate you and I thank you.” Wolf Popper also litigated In re AIG ERISA Litigation, No. 04 Civ. 9387 (JES), an ERISA class action arising out of the national accounting scandal at AIG. On October 7, 2008, the Court approved the settlement reached by Wolf Popper LLP and its co-counsel, on behalf of former and current employees of AIG, in the amount of $24.2 million in In re AIG ERISA Litigation, stating that “without the work of these [plaintiffs'] attorneys there would be nothing.”
Our attorneys will enforce your legal claim to the benefits you are entitled to receive. If you have an ERISA claim, please contact Wolf Popper LLP for assistance.