Advocates for Labor and Progressive Institutions

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Second Circuit confirms former employees’ right to a remedy under ERISA, opening the door to substantial financial relief

December 23, 2019

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that plan participants in an unlawful retirement plan were permitted to seek a court order reforming the plan to comply with the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (“ERISA”) and granting them the pension benefits they would have received under that reformed plan.

The trial court had held that plan participants who previously received lump sums representing all benefits due under the unlawful plan terms had no cause of action for the additional benefits that ERISA required.  The Second Circuit vacated that decision and confirmed that relief is available to former participants for plan terms that violate ERISA. That ruling opens the door to millions of dollars in payments to plan participants on remand.  Bredhoff & Kaiser represented the plan participants on appeal.  Laurent v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 945 F.3d 739 (2d Cir. 2019).