Strict Construction: Seventh Circuit Affirms Written Pension Obligations

On March 22, 2024, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a ruling in Bulk Transp. Corp. v. Teamsters Union No. 142 Pension Fund, ordering the Teamsters Union No. 142 Pension Fund (the “Fund”) to repay Bulk Transp. Corp. (“Bulk Transport”) $2.3 million in withdrawal liability it had erroneously assessed upon Bulk Transport.

Bulk Transport and the Fund had a collective bargaining agreement (“CBA”) from 2003 to 2006. The CBA included a Construction Agreement and a Steel Mill Addendum. In 2004, Bulk Transport signed a contract for LISCO work – a term used by the parties to describe work hauling commodities. The LISCO work was not explicitly covered by the CBA, but Bulk Transport made contributions for the work using the wage rated and pension terms of the Addendum because the Union threatened to strike otherwise. In 2005, Bulk Transport stopped performing the LISCO work and subsequently stopped making contributions to the Fund for the employees who were performing that type of work. The Fund assessed withdrawal liability on Bulk Transport. Bulk Transport paid the withdrawal liability but requested arbitration.

Continue reading “Strict Construction: Seventh Circuit Affirms Written Pension Obligations”

ERISA Moments Ep. 22: An Update on the DOL Fiduciary Proposals: A Race to the Finish

Take a quick dive into the exciting world of ERISA with Faegre Drinker benefits and executive compensation attorneys Fred Reish and Brad Campbell. In this quick-hit series of updates, Fred and Brad offer a high-level view of current trends and recent ERISA developments. See the newest episode, An Update on the DOL Fiduciary Proposals: A Race to the Finish, below.

Continue reading “ERISA Moments Ep. 22: An Update on the DOL Fiduciary Proposals: A Race to the Finish”

Can ChatGPT be Your ERISA Counsel?

Is ChatGPT sufficiently reliable to provide advice on employee benefits matters? Not yet, but ChatGPT and generative Artificial Intelligence may likely be useful tools for employee benefits attorneys in the future.[1]

As it is late March, we asked ChatGPT 3.5 to solve a common issue: an individual made deferrals above the Internal Revenue Code § 402(g) limit (although typically these are referred to as “excess deferrals,” in the ChatGPT 3.5 reply it uses both “excess contribution” or “excess deferral” interchangeably. In the Faegre comments, we use the term “excess deferral.”). As background, the Internal Revenue Code limits the amount of employee deferrals that can be made within a participant’s taxable year (almost always the calendar year). In 2023, that limit was $22,500. An individual who participates in more than one 401(k)/403(b) plan is responsible for monitoring whether they exceed the limit with respect to all plans in which the individual participates.

Continue reading “Can ChatGPT be Your ERISA Counsel?”

©2024 Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. All Rights Reserved. Attorney Advertising.
Privacy Policy