Employees should work hard on behalf of their employers and employers should protect their employees. Part of this protection should address employees’ health care and retirement needs. ERISA aims to protect employees. There is a statute of limitations for ERISA cases.

What Is ERISA?

ERISA stands for Employee Retirement Income Security Act. It is a federal law, passed in 1974, that establishes minimum standards for health and retirement plans in private industry. ERISA plans might include the following:

  • 401(K) plans
  • Deferred compensation plans
  • Profit-sharing plans
  • HMOs
  • FMAs
  • Disability insurance
  • Life insurance

What Is the Statute of Limitations for ERISA Cases?

A claim for a breach of fiduciary duty can be brought within six years of the breach. This means that employees or agents working on their behalf can file a claim up to six years after the employer has committed the breach, giving them ample time to unravel any obfuscations and to organize their grievances. 

A key phrase in the statute of limitations decision-making process that the courts have got stuck on is the phrase ‘actual knowledge’. If a plaintiff is aware of actual knowledge of when the breach actually occurred, the statute of limitations drops to three years from that date. 

When it comes to money and resources being set aside for employees that have been hurt or whose pensions are in jeopardy, employers must be prepared to pay. Employers must protect their employees and ERISA is the government’s way of ensuring that this help is given.