Compliance with ERISA and the other associated employee benefit laws has never been more difficult. Almost every year the laws change in material respects. Just the past few years have seen the passage of Medicare Part D and significant changes to the pension laws that affect the construction and administration of both traditional defined benefit pension plans as well as 401(k) plans. The new pension plan changes are described in this linked bulletin. The changes in the way claims for both pension and welfare benefits must be administered are sometimes confusing, but the Taft firm has substantial experience in claims compliance. Avoidance of litigation on ERISA and benefits issues is usually the best course; but, when litigation is filed, experience can make a difference.
Taft attorneys have represented benefit plans, employers and fidicuaries in some of the largest ERISA cases across the country, in matters involving more than one billion dollars in exposure in both pension and retiree insurance types of cases. Our attorneys have substantial experience in cases asserting pension plan design allegations, cash balance pension plan design claims, including claims of whipsaw, wearaway and anti-cutback, retiree insurance claims, fiduciary duty claims, issues peculiar to pension plan mergers, other claims relating to employee welfare benefit plans, issues concerning summary plan descriptions and also claims concerning the efficacy of ERISA 204(h) notices. This experience includes both major class action cases as well as defense of lawsuits brought by individuals, including claims of wrongfully denied insurance and disability benefits. ESOPs can present their own peculiar issues, and Taft attorneys have substantial experience with these as well.
Taft's long history representing employers with unionized work forces includes substantial representation with benefits issues unique to an employer's union relationship including potential withdrawal liability, MEPPA liability issues, and other matters relating to rules required of Taft-Hartley plans. Our attorneys have experience both in lawsuits and in arbitration where these issues are litigated.
Several of the partners in Taft’s Employee Benefits Plan and ERISA Compliance practice have been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America.