15 Feb Do I need to hire an attorney for employee benefits?
Did your employer promise you an employee benefit but never lived up to their words? Have you got a reason to believe that the company you work for is mismanaging your pension funds in some way? Are they improperly investing the company stock jeopardizing your returns? Or are you worried about incurring large fees on your retirement fund or losses in your 401K?
If any of the above descriptions fit you, then the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) will provide you protection. If you have great plans for your retirement, like going out on that perfect road trip or discovering one of Germany’s most beautiful cities, then you need to make sure nothing goes wrong with your retirement funds.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act has established a broad array of protections for workers, including the possibility of imposing a fiduciary duty on employee pension plans. The protections from ERISA are extensive and any employee who believes their employer or manager is at fault, can hire an ERISA attorney and defend themselves.
But before you hire a qualified ERISA attorney, you need to make sure you are eligible. Here are some points to keep in mind.
You must be working for a private employer
ERISA usually do not protect you against government employers or churches. You have to be working for a private company, or organization.
How was your pension plan established?
ERISA attorney can protect you against all types of pension plan problems including the 401K. Any other defined benefit or contribution plans are exempted from the act. The ERISA does not cover any plans that were established to comply with workers compensation, disability or unemployment laws.
Are your managers to blame?
According to the law, managers and advisors have a fiduciary duty which means that under the law, they are responsible for acting on behalf of plan participants. If you feel your manager or advisor isn’t acting in your best interest, an ERISA attorney may be able to help you out.
Did you suffer a loss due to the investment of company stock?
If you have suffered a significant loss to your pension plan due to a bad investment of a company stock, you can claim that you weren’t warned by the company of the risks involved with investments. It only gets better if company officers were directly responsible for failing in properly investing the company stock.
Did your employer fire you for raising ERISA concerns?
Many times employers fire employees when they try to speak against the company. If you feel that you raised your concerns about ERISA and it triggered the company to fire you, then get in touch with an ERISA attorney. The act has whistleblower protection as well as a law that prevents companies from terminating contracted workers in order to avoid paying benefits.
If any of these descriptions fit you, then you can get in touch with an ERISA lawyer. There are many other situations that are not mentioned here. You’ll only find out if you’re eligible by getting a consultation from an attorney.