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ERISA Remedies: Key Enforcement Provisions and Scope of Equitable Relief for Benefit Claims


Nov. 19, 2019
Recorded Online

Statutory and Plan Provision Violations, Section 502(a)(1)(B), Relief Under 502(a)(3), Limiting Equitable Remedies

This CLE webinar will provide employee benefits counsel with a detailed analysis of the types of remedies available under ERISA for benefit claims. The panel will discuss equitable relief under Section 502(a)(3), other key enforcement provisions under ERISA, the scope of relief, procedural strategies in litigation, and plan terms limiting the availability of equitable remedies.

ERISA litigation remains steady with benefit claims by plan participants, beneficiaries, and providers. Pursuing or defending benefit claims involves several procedural and substantive tactics along with understanding ERISA provisions governing benefit and equitable claims.

Claims for equitable remedies under ERISA 502(a)(1) and (3) arising from the denial of benefits or breach of fiduciary duty have evolved since CIGNA Corp. v. Amara. Amara expanded the scope of appropriate equitable relief under ERISA.

Counsel must understand the remedies and challenges under ERISA's enforcement provisions to develop a plan of action for benefit claims on behalf of a plan participant and beneficiary and to recognize tactics available to defend against such claims.

Counsel must also identify opportunities and potential drawbacks that impact litigation such as standing, preemption, exhaustion of administrative remedies, the statute of limitations, and claims-based limitations defenses. Effective plan design and careful structuring of provisions and processes by administrators can maximize the likelihood of success in litigation.

Listen as our panel provides counsel with best practices for navigating issues in the litigation of benefit claims, available remedies under ERISA, defenses for plan administrators, and recent case law developments in benefits suits relating to remedies under ERISA.


  • Benefit versus equitable claims under ERISA
  • Key defenses on which ERISA based liability may turn
  • Scope of equitable relief and recent case developments
  • Key plan provisions focused on limiting the availability of equitable relief
  • Best practices and procedural strategies for counsel in managing benefit and equitable claims

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the proven defenses for benefit claims under ERISA?
  • What administrative processes are required under ERISA before litigation may proceed?
  • How are courts addressing procedural and substantive issues?
  • How can plans preserve and maximize their procedural and substantive defenses through plan design?
  • What are best practices and procedural strategies for managing benefit and equitable claims?


  • Patrick W. Begos, Partner, Robinson & Cole
  • Clarissa A. Kang, Director, Trucker Huss

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