Rights Under ERISA in Louisiana
If you are a participant in an employee benefit or pension plan, you likely have certain rights under the Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in Louisiana. The primary purpose of ERISA is to set standards that ensure employee benefits plans are protected and administered properly. Not only does ERISA set forth the obligations private employers must satisfy to be in compliance with the law, but it also establishes the rights of employees who are covered.
Prior to the enactment of ERISA, employees had few rights with respect to their health, retirement, and pensions plans. Because of the lack of regulating authority, many employees would not receive the benefits they were promised. However, with the new laws, the rights of plan participants under ERISA in Louisiana expanded as well.
Being Able to Examine Louisiana Plan Documents
Plan participants are entitled to certain information and reports regarding important aspects of their plans. Pursuant to ERISA, plan participants can review documents relating to their plans at the plan administrator’s office during normal business hours.
Employers should not restrict a participant’s access to this information or charge a fee for simply reviewing the documents. Plan participants may submit a written request to obtain hard copies of such documents for a reasonable fee to cover copying costs. Plan administrators are also required to provide participants with an annual report which is also filed with the government.
Suing for Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Individuals who are involved in the management or investment of a plan’s assets are generally considered plan fiduciaries. Plan fiduciaries are obligated to control plans prudently for the exclusive benefits of the participants.
If a plan fiduciary mismanaged a plan in a way that caused the plan to lose value or suffer a loss, plan beneficiaries are entitled to sue for breach of fiduciary duty. Plan administrators who breached their fiduciary duty may be liable for financial losses.
Right to an Explanation for Denial of Benefits Under ERISA
If an individual makes a claim that is denied, they have the right to know why. Explanations for denials of claims must be furnished free of charge in writing and individuals whose claims were denied have the right to appeal that decision.
Continuing Health Care Coverage
In some circumstances, employees may have the right to continue their health care coverage for a limited time period following job loss. In addition to job loss, other major life events such as death or divorce may also allow an employee to continue health care coverage.
Learn About Different Rights Under ERISA in Louisiana from an Attorney
Discriminating against an individual for exercising any of their rights under ERISA is unlawful. An employee who was fired or discriminated against for pursuing a claim under ERISA or attempting the collect a benefit.
If your rights under ERISA in Louisiana were violated, know that there are many potential remedies and resources available to help you. If you are interested in learning more about your rights under ERISA, a talented Louisiana lawyer can tell you what you need to know.