McAfee & Taft employee benefits/ERISA litigatorJohn Burkhardt was featured in The Oklahoman discussing a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, LaRue v. DeWolff, Broberg & Associates Inc., that will now make it easier for individual participants in defined contribution plans, such as 401(k), to recover for losses to their individual accounts.
"It is quite significant," Burkhardt said. "LaRue makes it clear that participants can bring legal proceedings under ERISA to remedy certain harm incurred in their individual retirement accounts, without having to rely upon the plan or other plan fiduciaries to do so for them, and regardless of whether such harm also adversely affected the entire plan."
Burkhardt also said this decision could impact employers who sponsor such employee retirement plans.
"Since it is common for employers who sponsor such plans to be found to have fiduciary duties, if they have failed to fulfill their duties, and a participant's individual account has been adversely affected as a result, employers may now face a greater risk of legal liability."