DRI: The Voice of the Defense Bar this week filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court, saying the terms of an Employee Retirement Income Security Act-covered plan must be upheld.
Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. et al. is expected to settle differences among the courts of appeals regarding the extent to which the terms of an ERISA-covered plan can establish the date on which the statute of limitations to file a claims for benefits complaint in federal court will begin to run.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act protects the assets of millions of Americans so that funds placed in retirement plans during their working lives will be there when they retire.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, ERISA is a federal law that sets minimum standards for pension plans in private industry.
For example, if an employer maintains a pension plan, ERISA specifies when an employee must be allowed to become a participant, how long they have to work before they have a non-forfeitable interest in their pension, how long a participant can be away from their job before it might affect their benefit, and whether their spouse has a right to part of their pension in the event of their death.
Most of the provisions of ERISA are effective for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 1975.
On Aug. 22, 2005, Julie Heimeshoff, a Walmart employee, submitted a claim for long-term disability benefits under the ERISA-covered...
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