Can Employees Who Didn’t Read Benefit Disclosure Still Sue?


A U.S. Supreme Court decision from a few months ago has resulted in a ruling that is potentially helpful for plaintiffs/lawyers to bring ERISA actions. The United States Supreme Court decided in Intel Corp v. Sulyma an unanswered question about the three-year statute of limitations in ERISA.

In Intel, the plaintiff alleged that plan fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duties by offering improper investment. The Supreme Court ultimately concluded that the claims were not barred by ERISA’s three-year statute of limitations and held that “actual knowledge” cannot be established simply by making disclosures available or through other types of constructive knowledge.

The decision makes plan sponsors wonder why they send participants all types of disclosures if the participants can then potentially ignore them.

If you are involved in the management of an employee retirement plan, you can face personal exposure to claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty. Colonial Surety Company provides fiduciary liability insurance for plan sponsors in our ERISA fidelity bond packages, which come with an ERISA bondfiduciary liability insurance, and cyber liability insuranceCyber liability insurance protects the retirement plan and the business from cyber breaches. Fully protect your plan, yourself, and your company all in one place, instantly online. Contact us today to get your coverage.