The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, known as ERISA, was enacted 42 years ago in response to protect the beneficiaries of employee provided benefit plans. Amid concerns that private pension plan funds were being not only mismanaged but intentionally abused as well.
Prior to the promulgation of ERISA, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) was primarily tasked with regulating pension plans because certain qualified benefits plans received favorable tax treatments. Later, the U.S. Department of Labor also participated in the regulation of such plans because laws passed required employers or labor unions sponsoring pension plans to file financial reports with the government that were also required to be available to employees.
Presently, ERISA is administered by U.S. Department of Labor, the IRS and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).
ERISA was developed to protect employee benefits and a huge component of ERISA essentially allows employees recourse where an employee was wrongfully denied his or her benefits. So what if your employer promised you benefits and then failed to make good on their promise. Do you qualify for an ERISA claim?
ERISA does not require employers to offer benefit plans to employees, but if they do offer a plan then the employer must comply with ERISA.
If your employer or your benefit plan administrator failed to provide you with benefits you are owed, then you can sue them to make good on those promises. Additionally, if you are successful in your legal action, you can ask the court to pay your attorney’s fees.
One very common type of ERISA claim falls under Section 502(a)(1)(B). If your plan administrators either denied benefits that were owed to you or provided fewer benefits than you were promised, then you should consult an attorney right away.
Commonly, claims for benefits fall into two categories, pension benefits and welfare benefits. Under welfare plans, sometimes the plan administrator will fail to provide the promised disability, health or death benefits and under a pension plan, the beneficiary may notice that the plan administrator has failed or is failing to fulfill promises of retirement income or deferred income.
A successful claim under Section 502(a)(1)(B) will at the very least demonstrate that you made a claim for benefits, that you exhausted administrative appeal options, that you were entitled to the benefits and that you were denied the benefit.
ERISA claims for denied benefits can be extremely complicated and not all legal assistance is created equal. To truly make the strongest claim possible only an experienced Inverness ERISA attorney will be able to navigate the complex legal processes required. Michael Bartolic, LLC understands the importance of employer provided benefits and what they mean to you. Your employer or labor union may feel that the issue is just a drop in the bucket, but for you the benefits can be a lifesaver, literally. Our lawyers have significant experience in ERISA proceedings and we can help you today. Please call us and we will evaluate your case at no cost to you.