NELA Amicus Briefs

Brotherston, et al. v. Putnam Investments, et al. (1st Cir. ERISA) 

11-13-2017 03:42 PM

On November 8, 2017, NELA joined our colleagues at AARP in filing an amicus brief on behalf of the Plaintiff-Appellants in Brotherston, et al. v. Putnam Investments, et al., pending currently in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The district court’s decision in this case incorrectly found that the defendant had prudently selected and monitored the investment options—which included its own proprietary funds—in its 401(k) plan. In providing important historical context regarding the development and enactment of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), the amicus brief demonstrates the need for ERISA’s rules governing the responsibilities of retirement plan trustees to be carefully and rigorously enforced. The need for retirement plan administrators to demonstrate the highest levels of prudence, loyalty, and care is of particular importance in the case of defined contribution retirement plans, such as 401(k) plans, as even relatively small additional fees or losses due to risky investments can have a large impact on the amount of savings available to plan beneficiaries upon retirement. The amicus brief was drafted by NELA member Mary Ellen Signorille (AARP Foundation Litigation, Washington, DC) with input from NELA ERISA expert Jeffrey Lewis (Keller Rohrback, LLP, Oakland, CA).

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