Timothy O'Toole commented on suggestions for improving ERISA administrative processes while involved in litigation. When an employer is involved in ERISA litigation, having an organized administrative process can protect its interests. The law provides plan administrators with lots of discretion, O'Toole said, and if the plan administrator has a fair process, and makes a reasoned decision, courts will almost always uphold those decisions even if they might have decided the ultimate question differently. "Once you've gotten to litigation, the die is pretty much cast. Whatever you've done is done and what you're stuck with, for better or for worse," he added, offering five suggestions to make processes better, fairer and more reasoned from the outset to possibly avoid litigation.
This article was reprinted in Employee Benefit Adviser on December 28, 2015.