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Data Breach in ERISA Benefit Plans: Risks, Prevention, and Response for Plan Sponsors and Service Providers


Jan. 13, 2021
1:00 - 2:30 p.m. ET

This CLE webinar will provide ERISA counsel with the tools necessary to prevent instances of a catastrophic data breach and response techniques if a data breach should occur. Our experienced panelists will discuss recent cases and provide best practices regarding regulations applicable to self and fully insured plans, notice requirements, and response strategies.


Data breach prevention and response is an increasingly serious issue for many industries during the pandemic. Recent data breaches across a variety of companies have impacted employers and retirement and health plans, confirming that benefit plans, sponsors, and service providers are not immune. Plan sponsors and fiduciaries must take great care to comply with complex regulations that differ based on the type of plan involved.

Unlike liability for breaches of healthcare plans where the standards and liability are more certain (e.g., HIPAA, HITECH), the standards and liability under ERISA for retirement benefits plans are inconclusive. There is limited guidance regarding whether ERISA fiduciaries have a duty to take reasonable measures to prevent data breaches. Unlike HIPAA and HITECH, the liability for violations of ERISA fiduciary duties is personal to the individual fiduciary.

ERISA counsel, plan sponsors, and service providers must identify risks and understand the nuances of applicable rules and regulations. In addition, effective prevention and response procedures must be implemented to minimize potential liability.

Listen as our panel provides guidance to benefits counsel on trends in data breaches of ERISA healthcare and retirement plans. The panel will discuss the scope of fiduciary obligations to prevent breaches, ERISA preemption of state data breach laws, and contractual risk mitigation with third-party administrators (TPAs).


  1. Trends in ERISA data breaches: healthcare and retirement plans
  2. Lessons from recent data breaches and litigation
  3. ERISA fiduciary obligations concerning data breaches
  4. Incorporating cybersecurity protections into retirement plan contracts with TPAs

More Information, How to Register

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