Pensions and Employee Benefits
Experienced Employee Benefits Law Attorneys
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act, commonly referred to as ERISA, and the Florida Protection of Public Employee Benefits Act are complicated laws that provide standards and requirements governing employee benefit plans, such as pension and health insurance plans that are offered as benefits to workers. Both laws establish minimum standards for plan design and administration and require people who control a plan or its assets do so in compliance with strict fiduciary obligations, acting in the interests of plan participants and beneficiaries.
At Sugarman & Susskind, we have experience with many different types of pension and employee benefits plans and with different aspects of pension and employee benefits law. Our team includes a former U.S. Department of Labor ERISA attorney and attorneys who have been practicing ERISA law since it began. If you sponsor an employee benefit plan or are responsible for managing one, our lawyers can help you understand and comply with your fiduciary and other legal obligations. If you participate in a retirement plan and are concerned either about the safety of your benefits or think you have not received the benefits to which you are entitled, our lawyers can help you determine your rights. Contact us today to discuss your concerns.
Fiduciary Compliance Consulting
Most pension, health, and other benefits offered by private sector employers to their employees are provided through plans governed by ERISA and the Florida Protection of Public Employee Benefits Act. Under both laws, people who have or exercise discretionary authority or control over the management of a plan, or exercise any control over plan assets, act as fiduciaries to the plan. Therefore, anyone who is involved with a plan – including plan sponsors, corporate officers, and service providers — could be acting as a fiduciary to the plan, whether or not they know it. Fiduciaries must act in the interest of plan beneficiaries. They may not engage in what are called “prohibited transactions,” such as using the plan’s assets for their own personal profit. There is a growing body of litigation alleging breaches of fiduciary duties that apply in complex situations, such as evaluating plan investments in alternative investment vehicles or evaluating fees and compensation to service providers, as well as in simpler ones, such as handling the transfer of plan contributions.
Individuals involved with employee benefits plans should be aware of these fiduciary duties and should know how to comply with them. We can help. If you sponsor or are involved in managing an employee benefit plan, we can help you understand your fiduciary obligations and make sure you are complying with them, whether by consulting or by providing an internal self-audit. Call us to discuss your legal concerns and learn how we can help. For more information about this practice area please contact attorney Ivelisse Berio LeBeau.
ERISA Fiduciary Litigation on Behalf of Plan Participants
Our firm was built on a commitment to making sure that when a benefit is promised to workers, that promise is kept. One way we do this is by helping plan trustees and sponsors comply with the law. We also assist individual employees who think that their pension plan may be mismanaged or that they have not received benefits to which they are entitled. Contact us if you have concerns about the management of your plan, the security of your pension plan assets, or the calculation of your benefits. For more information about this practice area please contact attorney Ivelisse Berio LeBeau.
Multi-Employer/Taft-Hartley Employee Benefit Plans
Federal law also entitles employers and unions to jointly create employee benefit plans to provide secure pensions and health benefits to union workers. These multi-employer benefit plans are commonly referred to as Taft-Hartley plans. Multi-employer benefit plans are managed by boards of trustees composed of an equal number of union- and employer-selected representatives. We represent multi-employer plans, assisting their trustees in complying with their fiduciary and other obligations under the law, including under ERISA, the Labor-Management Relations Act, and the Internal Revenue Code. For more information about this practice area please contact attorney Howard S. Susskind.
Government-Sponsored Employee Benefit Plans
Employee benefit plans for Florida’s public employees sponsored by Florida’s counties, districts and municipalities are governed by ERISA’s counterpart under Florida law. Our firm has more than three decades of experience in representing public sector benefit funds throughout Florida. Whether representing plans in litigation, in addressing benefit claims, or in advising trustees on the day-to-day operations of plans, we provide the skilled representation, resources, and expertise that Florida’s public sector trustees need. For more information about this practice area please contact attorneys Robert A. Sugarman or Pedro Herrera.
Contact Our Employee Benefits Lawyers
If you have legal concerns related to an employee benefit plan, please contact us.