ERISA University Webinar Series: Communicate or Litigate

10.26.11

Communications and disclosures to plan participants and beneficiaries are at the heart of many of ERISA's fiduciary obligations. The statute contains provisions that set forth in detail some of a fiduciary's obligations to disclose information about the plans to participants, but there are many other instances not expressly governed by the statute that require careful and accurate communications in order for a fiduciary to avoid potential liability for a failure properly to communicate to participants.

Miller & Chevalier's Anthony Shelley recently hosted a webinar and discussed the statutory obligations (including the new participant disclosure regulations) and the case law that has developed around this most critical issue, as well as when affirmative disclosures not expressly required by the statute nonetheless must be made to a participant or beneficiary to avoid a potential violation of ERISA. The webinar also included a discussion on the significance of Cigna Corp. v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011), the Supreme Court's recent decision holding that a summary plan description is not a "plan document" and that discusses the possibility of monetary recovery under ERISA section 502(a)(3) against a fiduciary found to have breached a fiduciary duty.

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