The U.S. Supreme Court ruled benefit plan administrators who are responsible for deciding an employee's eligibility and whether or not to pay claims have a potential conflict of interest, according to the Financial Times. The paper reports, "The justices decided that courts reviewing cases where a claimant was denied disability benefits are entitled to take into account the potential conflict engendered by this kind of dual rule."


Justice Stephen Breyer said ERISA demanded insurers act in plan participants' and beneficiaries' best interests when processing claims, although he warned against adopting "a rule that could bring about near universal de novo review of most Erisa plan claims denials."


In a separate ruling, the court found a 1967 Act which made employers responsible for proving employment decisions are not based on age.

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