14.12.2022 09.06 CST
New DOL guidance seeks to clarify relationship between ESG factors and ERISA fiduciary requirements.
The U.S. Department of Labor has issued new final regulations that attempt (once again) to clarify how plan fiduciaries can consider the use of environmental, social and governance factors (“ESG”) in making plan investment decisions. The goal of these new final regulations was to walk back regulations, finalized during the waning days of the Trump administration in December 2020, that placed obstacles in the way of fiduciaries considering the use of ESG factors.
17.11.2022 11.59 CST
A round of court cases following Supreme Court’s Hughes decision places a greater burden on plaintiffs bringing fiduciary litigation.
Several recent decisions handed down by federal appellate courts offer some good news for plan fiduciaries. In each of these cases the courts affirmed dismissals of fiduciary litigation, concluding that the facts alleged were just not enough to support a claim. The dismissals were based on the courts’ assessment that even if the general facts alleged were true (e.g., that other plans paid less in recordkeeping or management fees or that other funds performed better) –those facts would not show that the actions taken by the fiduciaries for these specific plans were not prudent.
01.02.2022 03.04 CST
Fiduciaries are responsible to exercise prudence in all decisions—not just some.
The Supreme Court’s decision leaves unanswered many difficult questions facing fiduciaries.
02.03.2021 03.16 CST
Plaintiffs’ must use truly comparable benchmarks in claiming imprudent fiduciary decisions.
Fiduciary Litigation Update
New court rulings may benefit employers.
A recent court case provides some potentially valuable guidance into ways plan fiduciaries can approach fiduciary litigation. Most importantly, the case could force plaintiffs to focus on truly comparable situations in alleging that a plan’s actions were imprudent--this would limit plaintiffs’ ability to use, as benchmarks of prudent behavior, general industry data or different categories of investments (such as comparing index funds to actively managed funds).
15.07.2020 11.54 CDT
New DOL guidance would provide advisors with incentives to sell commissionable products.
DOL Completes Trifecta of Questionable Policies
The DOL’s new guidance reinstates prior definition of investment fiduciary and offers new exemption for (otherwise prohibited) forms of compensation for plan fiduciaries.
The Department of Labor has issued new guidance defining when an investment adviser is a plan fiduciary--and the standards that must be followed by investment fiduciaries. The guidance reinstates a 1975 test defining investment fiduciaries and proposes a new prohibited transaction exemption allowing fiduciaries to collect commissions and third-party payments.