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Retirement Security Law Commons

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Articles 1 - 16 of 16

Full-Text Articles in Retirement Security Law

A Public Pensions Bailout: Economics And Law, Terrance O'Reilly Sep 2014

A Public Pensions Bailout: Economics And Law, Terrance O'Reilly

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In several states, public pension plans are at risk of insolvency within a decade. These risks are significant, and the solutions currently contemplated are likely to fall short of what is necessary to contain the problem. If public pension plans do become insolvent, it seems likely the federal government will bail them out. This Article proposes that the federal government prepare for the prospect of federal financial support of public pension plans by instituting an optional regulatory regime for public pensions. If a state elects not to participate, its public pension plans would be ineligible for federal financial support. In ...


The Federal Common Law Of Vicarious Fiduciary Liability Under Erisa, Colleen E. Medill Feb 2011

The Federal Common Law Of Vicarious Fiduciary Liability Under Erisa, Colleen E. Medill

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), the federal law that regulates employer-sponsored benefit plans, has a rich history of judiciallycreated federal common law. This Article explores the theoretical, policy, statutory, and stare decisis grounds for the development of another area offederal common law under ERISA-the incorporation of respondeat superior liability principles to impose ERISA fiduciary liability ("vicarious fiduciary liability") upon a corporation for the fiduciary activities of its employees or agents. The Article proposes that the federal courts should adopt a federal common law rule of vicarious fiduciary liability under ERISA based on the traditional scope of ...


Divorcees Turn About In Their Graves As Ex-Spouses Cash In: Codified Constructive Trusts Ensure An Equitable Result Regarding Erisa-Governed Employee Benefit Plans, Sarabeth A. Rayho Jan 2007

Divorcees Turn About In Their Graves As Ex-Spouses Cash In: Codified Constructive Trusts Ensure An Equitable Result Regarding Erisa-Governed Employee Benefit Plans, Sarabeth A. Rayho

Michigan Law Review

A revocation-by-divorce statute essentially nullifies a devise in a divorced decedent's will when the devise bequeaths property to the decedent's ex-spouse and the will was executed during their marriage. Until recently, state revocation-by-divorce statutes unquestionably applied not only to wills but also to will substitutes, including ERISA-governed employee benefit plans. In 2001, the Supreme Court held in Egelhoff v. Egelhoff ex rel. Breiner that ERISA preempts traditional state revocation-by-divorce statutes as applied to ERISA-governed employee benefit plans. In the wake of the Egelhoff decision, plan administrators may automatically pay proceeds to the listed beneficiary, even an ex-spouse, regardless ...


Stock Market Volatility And 401 (K) Plans, Colleen E. Medill May 2001

Stock Market Volatility And 401 (K) Plans, Colleen E. Medill

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Many workers today depend on their 401(k) plan to provide them with an adequate income during retirement. For these workers to achieve retirement income security, their 401(k) plan investments must perform well over their working lifetime. Employers' selection of investment options for the 401(k) plan, a fiduciary duty under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), plays a critical role in determining investment performance. In this Article, Professor Medill uses a series of hypothetical litigation scenarios to illustrate how interpretation of the employer's duty of prudence and duty of loyalty under ERISA present different ...


Employer Recapture Of Erisa Contributions Made By Mistake: A Federal Common Law Remedy To Prevent Unjust Enrichment, J. Daniel Plants Jun 1991

Employer Recapture Of Erisa Contributions Made By Mistake: A Federal Common Law Remedy To Prevent Unjust Enrichment, J. Daniel Plants

Michigan Law Review

This Note investigates more fully the policies animating ERISA in order to ascribe an appropriate construction to the mistaken contribution section. Part I analyzes the Ninth Circuit's anomalous implied cause of action theory. Searching the legislative history as well as ERISA's language and structure, this Part finds lacking the requisite expression of congressional intent to support a statutorily implied remedy. As an alternative, Part II explores the appropriateness of common law relief. Part II defends the creation of common law relief by the federal courts as consistent with the direct and indirect evidence suggesting that Congress envisioned judicial ...


Augmenting Erisa With Market Discipline: Transforming Pension Plan Interests Into Securities, Keir N. Dougall May 1991

Augmenting Erisa With Market Discipline: Transforming Pension Plan Interests Into Securities, Keir N. Dougall

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Part I of this Note provides general background information about pension plans and details the problems that ERISA creates because of its dependence on trust law. Part II canvasses recent problems in pension plan governance that courts and pension plan members have faced in takeover defense and social investment contexts, demonstrating that ERISA's use of trust law cannot respond adequately to these problems. Parts I and II draw on an analysis of ERISA presented by Professors Fischel and Langbein but argue that their proposals for changing ERISA inadequately address the problems they identify. Part III argues that the economic ...


Erisa-The First Decade: Was The Legislation Consistent With Other National Goals?, Alicia H. Munnell Oct 1985

Erisa-The First Decade: Was The Legislation Consistent With Other National Goals?, Alicia H. Munnell

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Although ERISA explicitly sanctioned defined contribution plans as a legitimate form of retirement saving, this Article focuses almost exclusively on defined benefit plans. ERISA aimed at changing the basic provisions of defined benefit plans, not at modifying the nature of defined contribution plans. Therefore, although a study of the consistency of pension plan provisions with national economic goals would necessarily include an analysis of both defined benefit and defined contribution plans, a study of the impact of ERISA seems appropriately limited to defined benefit plans.


Erisa Enforcement: Mandate For A Single Agency, Beverly M. Klimkowsky, Ian D. Lanoff Oct 1985

Erisa Enforcement: Mandate For A Single Agency, Beverly M. Klimkowsky, Ian D. Lanoff

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

In Part I, this Article reviews the aspects of pensions that justify the attention of Congress during consideration of budgets and the federal deficit. Part II documents the initial administrative problems created by the congressional compromise that divided administrative responsibility between the Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service. Although Reorganization Plan No. 4 solved some of the initial problems, the remaining problems are not amenable to resolution within a system of responsibility divided between separate agencies. The specific problems associated with enforcement are discussed in Part III, which identifies the total failure of enforcement as a major threat ...


Erisa Preemption: Judicial Flexibility And Statutory Rigidity, Leon E. Irish, Harrison J. Cohen Oct 1985

Erisa Preemption: Judicial Flexibility And Statutory Rigidity, Leon E. Irish, Harrison J. Cohen

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article attempts to describe the ways in which, and the reasons why section 514(a) has caused the courts and Congress so much difficulty. Part I reviews the legislative history of section 514(a), with emphasis on the ambivalence Congress has shown toward its 1974 draftsmanship. Part II attempts to provide a coherent description of the case law that has developed under section 514(a). Part III completes the legislative history by examining the two instances in which experience compelled Congress to revise section 514. Finally, Part IV discusses examples of problems courts have faced when crafting a federal ...


Erisa Retirement Plans In Individual Bankruptcy, John Minton Newell Oct 1985

Erisa Retirement Plans In Individual Bankruptcy, John Minton Newell

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

When an employee covered by an ERISA retirement plan files a petition in bankruptcy, the court is presented with a number of complex issues regarding the relationship among ERISA, the Bankruptcy Code (Code), and the state law of creditors' rights. Three issues have emerged in these cases, and the courts have divided on the proper resolution of each of these issues. First, is the debtor's interest in an ERISA retirement plan "property of the estate," and thus available for distribution to creditors? Second, if the debtor's interest is property of the estate, and the debtor uses the state ...


Pension Plan Terminations And Asset Reversions: Accommodating The Interests Of Employers And Employees, Carl A. Butler Oct 1985

Pension Plan Terminations And Asset Reversions: Accommodating The Interests Of Employers And Employees, Carl A. Butler

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note focuses on the problems that often arise for plan participants when an overfunded defined benefit plan is terminated and the employer recaptures excess assets. Part I explains the relative ease with which employers can terminate plans and receive excess assets under current pension law. Part II argues that pension law must be reformed because its shortcomings threaten American workers' retirement income security, it allows for sham terminations that remove assets from plans that are, in fact, ongoing, and it usually allows excess assets to go to employers rather than employees. Part III discusses two reforms proposed for plan ...


Introduction, Theodore J. St. Antoine Oct 1985

Introduction, Theodore J. St. Antoine

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

Introduction to the 1985 Journal of Law Reform symposium, The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974: ERISA.


A National Retirement Income Policy: Problems And Policy Options, Phyllis C. Borzi Oct 1985

A National Retirement Income Policy: Problems And Policy Options, Phyllis C. Borzi

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Article examines the need for a national retirement income policy, identifies the major components of such a policy, and briefly discusses some of the policy options for private pension plans. This Article is an overview of several critical policy areas. It is not an exhaustive policy analysis, nor does it provide a definitive series of options for achievement of a particular policy. Its focus will be on the private pension system, rather than on federally provided benefits such as social security or Medicare, or employer-provided pensions for state, local, or federal employees. The issues discussed are a starting point ...


Erisa: To Sue Or Not To Sue-A Question Of Statutory Standing, Constance L. Bauer Oct 1985

Erisa: To Sue Or Not To Sue-A Question Of Statutory Standing, Constance L. Bauer

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

This Note examines the conflicting authority regarding the scope of section 502(a) of ERISA. There is a fundamental split among the United States Courts of Appeals concerning whether parties not specifically enumerated in section 502(a) have standing to bring civil actions to enforce ERISA's provisions. The Ninth Circuit has held consistently that non-enumerated parties are entitled to sue under ERISA. The Second Circuit, however, repeatedly has held that parties not explicitly specified in section 502(a). do not have standing to bring an action under the Act. This Note addresses the question of whether employers and pension ...


Exemption Of Erisa Benefits Under Section 522(B)(2)(A) Of The Bankruptcy Code, Michigan Law Review Oct 1984

Exemption Of Erisa Benefits Under Section 522(B)(2)(A) Of The Bankruptcy Code, Michigan Law Review

Michigan Law Review

This Note argues that the two federal statutes are exempting statutes under section 522(b)(2)(A), and thus BRISA funds should be exempt in a bankruptcy action when the debtor uses the state exemption scheme. Part I argues that standard principles of statutory interpretation, as applied to the language of the bankruptcy statute, refute the possibility that Congress intended the list of statutes in the legislative history to be exclusive. Having established that statutes other than those listed may be included under section 522(b )(2)(A), Part II first refutes the argument that the absence of BRISA from ...


Employee Stock Ownership Plans, Voting Rights, And Plant Closings, Jonathan Barry Forman Oct 1977

Employee Stock Ownership Plans, Voting Rights, And Plant Closings, Jonathan Barry Forman

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

After examining the structure and tax consequences of ESOPs, this note will argue that ESOPs should guarantee employees full voting rights over securities transferred to them under such plans. This note will also propose that ESOPs can be used in employee takeovers of corporations as part of a plan to help prevent plant closings.