US Bank's High Court Pension Row May Have Broad Impact
By Emily Brill (August 16, 2019, 8:35 PM EDT) -- A U.S. Supreme Court case pitting pensioners against US Bank could have a wide-ranging impact on who can bring Employee Retirement Income Security Act suits, whether they pay into a defined-benefit pension plan or a 401(k) plan.
Thole v. US Bank's central question — Can retirees sue if their plan is fully funded? — concerns pension plans, which are a type of defined-benefit plan. Its answer, though, could impact litigation over defined-contribution plans like 401(k)s and employee stock ownership plans, a legal arena in which case law is still being developed about what gives a person grounds to sue.
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