If you work in Washington, D.C., you may be concerned about how to handle improper actions taken by your employer when they affect your benefits. There is a law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, or ERISA, that is designed to protect the interests of workers in their retirement accounts as well as other key benefits provided on the job.
Workers in Washington, D.C., and throughout the country filed 107 401k lawsuits in 2016 and 2017. That was the highest since 2008 and 2009 when 169 such suits were filed. Excessive fees, self-dealing, and poor investment choices are the three main reasons why a 401k lawsuit could be filed. In some cases, a lawsuit is the result of relatively vague guidance given to fiduciaries.
New rules are scheduled to take effect for short- and long-term disability claims and how they are investigated by plan fiduciaries. These changes will affect workers who have short- or long-term disability benefits through their jobs in Washington, D.C. and in the rest of the U.S.
News from Washington, D.C. indicates that although the Department of Labor is conducting fewer audits of employee retirement plans, it is recovering greater sums of money from missing employee contributions. The Labor Department’s Employee Benefit Security Administration is responsible for enforcing policies to protect employee retirement funds.
Workers in Washington, D.C., whose retirement plans are managed by TIAA might have a stake in the lawsuit filed against the company by one investor. The attorneys for the plaintiff are pursuing a class-action suit on the grounds that TIAA allegedly made over $50 million a year by keeping interest from payments made by retirement plan participants who took loans. According to the lawsuit, the company should have credited interest paid by borrowers to their retirement accounts instead of keeping some of the money.
Washington, D.C., members of the Employers Midwest Pension Fund and the United Food & Commercial Workers Union might be interested in learning that the trustees have filed a lawsuit against Ocwen. Ocwen, which is a mortgage lender, allegedly forced people into foreclosure in an effort to drive up profits.
Some employees in the District of Columbia may have had their retirement funds mismanaged. A lawsuit filed against Georgetown University and several officials alleges that the university’s defined contribution retirement plans were not adequately overseen and that this resulted in fees that were excessive and unreasonable. According to the lawsuit, the university in fact had a significant amount of bargaining power and could have used that for the benefit of plan participants and their beneficiaries.
Located in Washington, D.C., the Employee Benefits Security Administration of the Department of Labor returned over $1.1 billion to employee benefits plans in 2017. The funds were restored to health plans, retirement plans, and life and disability insurance benefit plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.
Your employer offered health, disability, retirement, life or COBRA insurance or other benefits and now the insurance company is trying to deny them. These benefits are supposed to be provided based on the plan’s terms — not the plan’s financial situation or other factors. If the benefits were offered and you qualify for them, they should be paid out, right?