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black and white photo of the U.S. Supreme Court building with a lone person in front (Photo: Shutterstock)

Well, that was a fun, rollercoaster of a year in ERISA litigation.  For the first time since its 1974 passing, the Supreme Court heard four ERISA cases, offering a little something for everyone – confirming ERISA’s six-year statute of limitations as the standard in fiduciary breach cases, making standing to sue fiduciaries of defined benefit plans much more difficult, refusing to allow ERISA to preempt statute statutes regulating prescription drug reimbursements, and teasing that clarity would come to the Dudenhoeffer pleading standard.

2020 also saw a rise in 401(k) fee and fund selection cases, a focus on actuarial assumptions found in company defined benefit plans and also used to determine withdrawal liability from multiemployer plans, and the viability of arbitration provisions added to plans that require potential ERISA claims to be resolved exclusively by binding arbitration.

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