Tenth Circuit is First Circuit to Determine Remedies for Violation of ERISA Section 204(h) Notice Requirements

The transition of many companies from using traditional “final average pay” plans to “cash balance” pension plans in the last two decades has created significant employee discontent, and therefore substantial litigation. Unfortunately, the courts have been anything but uniform in determining what plaintiffs must prove in order to obtain the remedies they seek under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Adding some clarity to this murky area of law is the Tenth Circuit’s July 2, 2013 decision Jensen v. Solvay Chemicals, Inc., No. 11-8092. In Solvay the Tenth Circuit clarifies what it means for a deficient 204(h) notice to be “egregiously” deficient, and explains that an equitable estoppel remedy is not available to plaintiffs unless they can demonstrate actual harm and reliance. Continue reading this article here.

Photo credit: Kirby Hamilton

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