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Text of Ninth Circuit Opinion Finding Explicit Trust Not Required for Assets of Welfare Benefit Plan (PDF)
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth CircuitLink to more items from this source
Apr. 7, 2015
"[We] conclude that under 29 U.S.C. Section 1103(a), a person (legal or natural) must hold legal title to the assets of an employee benefit plan with the intent to deal with these assets solely for the benefit of the members of that plan.... Neither [the employee] nor the Department of Labor (as amicus curiae) offers an alternative definition of these terms. Rather, they argue, in effect, that compliance with Section 1103(a) requires a party to record its responsibilities with respect to the assets of an employee benefit plan in a document that is entitled 'trust instrument,' uses the terms 'trust' and 'trustee,' and expressly states that the party is holding the assets 'in trust.' Further, the Department appears to interpret its regulation ... as requiring parties to use express words of trust to comply with Section 1103(a). We reject this argument." [Barboza v. Cal. Ass'n. of Prof. Firefighters, No. 11-15472 (9th Cir. Apr. 7, 2015)]

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