Maryland ERISA Lawyer

Claims brought under the employee retirement income security act (ERISA) often require the assistance of an experienced lawyer. ERISA rules were developed by government regulatory agencies (including the IRS and Department of Labor (DOL)), meaning that they are intricate and often difficult to understand. 

If you are a participant in an ERISA-governed employee benefit plan and believe a violation has occurred, a Maryland ERISA lawyer can help you understand how these rules may apply to your specific situation and plan. Contacting a distinguished accident attorney right away could help provide you the peace of mind necessary to seek ERISA assistance.

Fiduciaries Responsibilities of ERISA

ERISA imposes a fiduciary responsibility upon certain parties, including plan sponsors, administrators and even the employer itself. This means that these parties have a duty to act in the best interests of the plan participants and must refrain from taking certain actions that have been deemed improper.

A Maryland ERISA lawyer can help you understand these rules, which are known as the prohibited transaction rules, in order to help determine whether one’s rights have been violated in the context of an ERISA-governed plan. 

The prohibited transaction rules prohibit transactions between the plan and a disqualified person, which the IRS rules state can include:

  • Plan fiduciaries
  • Persons providing plan services
  • The employer sponsoring the plan
  • Members of the family of any of the above
  • Corporations, partnerships and other entities in which these individuals hold certain specified interests

The prohibited transactions themselves encompass, for example:

  • Transfer of plan assets to (or for the benefit of) the disqualified person
  • A fiduciary’s use of plan assets for his or her own personal gain
  • A fiduciary’s receipt of personal compensation from another party in a transaction involving the plan or its assets
  • Sale, exchange or lease of plan assets to a disqualified person
  • The plan’s lending money to a disqualified person

All of these activities can generate liability under ERISA unless the individual can show that an exemption applies.  A Maryland ERISA lawyer can help you make sense of these rules if you believe a responsible plan party has failed to comply.

ERISA Application Requirements

The DOL rules require that ERISA-governed plans provide plan participants with certain disclosure information designed to inform the participants of their rights under the plan.  Failure to provide these disclosures can also result in an ERISA violation.

A Maryland ERISA lawyer can help evaluate the required summary plan description (SPD), which generally must provide the following information:

  • General requirements governing eligibility to participate in the plan
  • The source of contributions to the plan (and contribution amounts)
  • Plan vesting requirements (i.e., the time period before which participants are entitled to receive plan benefits)
  • Procedures for obtaining plan benefits
  • Information regarding the participant’s rights and responsibilities under ERISA

Contact a Maryland ERISA Attorney

ERISA rules are highly specific to the field, making it important that you contact a Maryland ERISA lawyer as soon as possible after identifying a potential violation in order to protect your rights. 

Claims of ERISA violations must proceed through specific channels, and severe violations can even result in class action lawsuits brought in federal court. Lawyers are experienced in handling these types of lawsuit and can help you evaluate your case today.