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ERISA Attorney in Decatur

ERISA Attorney in Decatur

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 governs managers who are in charge of employee benefits, as well as the benefit plans themselves. In Alabama, significant issues are addressed by ERISA. Pension plans, health plans, disability insurance, and employee benefit plans are all under the umbrella of ERISA, as are employer obligations to retirees. The standards are intended to hold private employers accountable for scrupulous and fair deployment of these benefits. In the event an employer is not meeting the legal obligations associated with ERISA, an experienced ERISA attorney in Decatur can help.

Pension Plans

When employers provide a benefit plan that includes retirement income of some sort, it must follow the rules set out by ERISA. This includes:

  • Defined contribution plans like ESOP, profit sharing, and 401(k) plans;
  • Defined benefit plans like cash balance and traditional pensions.

Welfare Plans

Companies often offer welfare benefit plans that are intended to address medical benefits, including dental and vision care, hospital visits, or accidents that result in disability, illness, unemployment, or death.  

Structure of Plans

The fiduciary, or entity in charge of controlling the plan, is responsible to ensure that promised benefits are, indeed, available when needed. In many cases, the fiduciary is the employer. A fiduciary may or may not also be the plan administrator, but a plan administrator will always be a fiduciary. Any assets of company retirement plans must be held in a trust by at least one trustee, except in rare circumstances. In any case, fiduciaries are held to high standards and must perform their duties prudently and with the best interests of participants in mind.

Coverage Denied?

What happens when you have paid your insurance premiums, but when it comes time to make a claim, you have problems collecting the help to which you are entitled? At the Law Office of J. Price McNamara, we are experienced in dealing with employers who are reluctant to address the legal obligations they have to their employees. We can assist in key ways:

  • You are entitled to file an administrative appeal, but there is a time clock on this: It must be done within 180 days;
  • If this appeal is unsuccessful, we may then file a claim in federal court on your behalf.

Legal Support

ERISA plans are complex and confusing. Nonetheless, employers are obligated to ensure that their employees are dealt with fairly and within the parameters of the law.  If you question the performance or ethics of the fiduciary running your plan, the experienced legal team at the Law Offices of  J. Price McNamara can help. Contact us today in Decatur for a free, confidential consultation.

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