U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

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Fourth Circuit concludes standing to bring ERISA class action

June 16, 2008

Disagreeing with NCLC, the Fourth Circuit concluded that former “cashed-out” employees had standing under ERISA to sue their defined contribution plans and their fiduciaries for money damages.

U.S. Chamber files amicus brief

February 15, 2007

NCLC urged the Fourth Circuit to affirm a lower court ruling that a former employee who has taken a full distribution of his retirement benefits has no standing to bring a claim for losses to a defined contribution plan due to an alleged breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA. The plaintiffs of four consolidated district court cases were all participants in their respective employers’ 401(k) retirement plans, left their employment, and voluntarily withdrew their entire benefit from the plans. They thereafter filed putative class actions, alleging that the plans’ fiduciaries had committed fiduciary breaches under ERISA by allowing participants to invest in mutual funds that had engaged in “market timing.” In its brief, NCLC argued that former benefit plan participants have no interest in the long-term survival of the plan or how costly it may become for the employer to maintain it, and therefore have no standing to bring actions on the plan’s behalf.

Case Documents