ERISA Ruling Shows Lax Enrollment Practices Can Be Costly

By Mark DeBofsky (May 19, 2022, 4:01 PM EDT) -- A life insurance decision issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit may be summed up by quoting a single sentence from the opinion: "Misleading an [Employee Retirement Income Security Act]-plan participant has consequences." Skelton v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co.[1] teaches how lax benefit enrollment practices can be costly.

Beth Skelton, who was employed by Davidson Hotels LLC, an organization that owns several hotels, including the Radisson in Bloomington, Minnesota, chose not to enroll in her employer's supplemental life insurance program when she first began her employment. However, she later changed her mind, and sought additional life insurance after...

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