When a private employer offers certain benefits, including retirement, health insurance, or long term disability insurance, the plans offered must comply with the requirements set out by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, also known as ERISA. One requirement is that ERISA imposes a strict fiduciary duty on certain individuals who are involved in the management of a benefit plan. This is important because when a plan is mismanaged, it can harm employees and can deny them benefits to which they would have otherwise been entitled.
Fiduciaries include plan trustees, administrators, and anyone else who performs functions that give them control or authority regarding the management of a benefit plan. While some fiduciaries may be specifically named and identified as such, others may also be held to a fiduciary duty based on their actions with regard to the plan. A Chicago ERISA lawyer can help clients get a better understanding of their situation.
A fiduciary duty refers to four different responsibilities under ERISA, which are as follows:
In addition to these duties, ERISA prohibits certain types of transactions that may create a high risk for insider abuse. Any person in a position of a fiduciary should be familiar with these prohibited transactions and avoid them.
When someone breaches his or her fiduciary duty, plan participants and beneficiaries can suffer harm, either by losing money in a retirement fund or having their access to important benefits interrupted or delayed. In such situations, harmed individuals have the legal right to file a claim for breach of fiduciary duty to recover for their losses. It can be challenging to recognize when a breach of fiduciary duty was the reason for your lost benefits, however, so if you suspect you have been wronged, you should not hesitate to discuss your situation with an attorney today.
If you believe that your ERISA benefits or funds have been mismanaged and this has caused you harm, you should discuss a potential claim for breach of fiduciary duty with an experienced Chicago ERISA attorney as soon as possible. Fiduciary duty claims under ERISA can be very complex, and it is critical to consult with a lawyer who has specific understanding of ERISA and its many requirements. At Bartolic Law we stand up for the rights of individuals harmed by ERISA violations, so please call us today at 312-646-4366 for help.