ERISA Attorney By Me

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), is a federal law that requires private employers who offer pension and retirement plans to comply with certain standards. ERISA also allows employees and beneficiaries to sue if they were denied benefits or provided with false or misleading information about their plan. Unfortunately, the process of filing a claim under ERISA can be time-consuming and complicated, so if you were unfairly denied benefits or an administrator managed your plan negligently, it is important to contact an experienced ERISA attorney who can defend your interests.

ERISA Coverage

ERISA only covers employee benefits, such as pension plans and welfare plans offered by private employers. Generally, pension plans are those established by an employer to provide retirement income to employees or which result in a deferral of income by employees extending to and beyond termination. Welfare plans, on the other hand, are established to provide beneficiaries with medical, accident, and disability benefits.

Although ERISA does not require employers to offer these types of benefits, it does require administrators to comply with certain rules regarding:

  • Disclosure of information to plan members;
  • How claims and appeals can be filed; and
  • When administrators must report a plan’s information to the Department of Labor (DOL) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

When administrators or employers fail to comply with these rules, ERISA gives beneficiaries the right to sue for denied benefits and breaches of fiduciary duty.

ERISA Claims

Although plaintiffs can bring a number of ERISA-based claims, the most common include:

  • Claims that statutorily mandated information has not been disclosed;
  • Claims for benefits owed under a plan or claims to enforce rights under a plan; and
  • Claims for a breach of fiduciary duties.

However, only certain individuals can bring these claims, including:

  • Plan participants, which include employees, former employees, and members of an employee organization who are eligible to receive benefits;
  • Plan beneficiaries, which include those designated by participants to collect benefits, such as the family members of employees;
  • The Secretary of Labor; and
  • Plan fiduciaries.

Furthermore, if a plaintiff has a breach of fiduciary claim, he or she must bring it within six years. However, ERISA does not contain a statute of limitations provision for other types of claims, so courts usually apply the most closely analogous state law statute of limitations. Finally, ERISA claims must be brought in federal court, which has exclusive jurisdiction of ERISA claims (with the exception of a claim involving denied benefits or a claim to enforce or clarify rights, which can be litigated in state court).

Call us Today to Speak With an Experienced ERISA Attorney

Those whose rights under ERISA have been violated can file claims in federal court to recover benefits and in some cases, attorney’s fees, so if you have been denied benefits, please contact Roberts Bartolic, LLP by calling (312) 635-1600 or by completing one of our short contact forms, including your name, email address, phone number, and a brief description of your case and a member of our dedicated legal team will help you schedule a free consultation with an experienced ERISA attorney who can evaluate your case.