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What Does the Trust Requirement of ERISA Mean for Welfare Benefit Plans?
StinsonLink to more items from this source
Oct. 29, 2015

"A Ninth Circuit court of appeals case recently dealt with ... a multiple employer plan ... [that was] a long term disability plan funded by participant contributions deposited into a ... checking account to which the officers of the third party administrator were the signatories. The checking account was not a formal trust account and there was no formal trust agreement.... The court held that under federal common law, the third party administrator ... held the assets in trust for the plan beneficiaries. No formal trust document was necessary and there was no violation of the trust requirement.... The court also found that the third party administrator engaged in a prohibited transaction by paying itself fees from the plan assets even though the agreement with the sponsoring association authorized the third party administrator to pay its fees and expenses from the plan account." [Barboza v. Cal. Ass'n. of Prof. Firefighters, No. 11-15472 (9th Cir. Apr. 7, 2015)]

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