On May 21, the solicitor general argued to the Supreme Court that two U.S. Bank pension plan participants have standing to sue under Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) over breaches of fiduciary duty, even if they have not been financially injured. In contest of the Eighth Circuit’s finding, the solicitor general noted that the financial status of pension funds are subject to actuarial tables, inflation, interest rates, and other economic factors, resulting in a frequent switch between underfunded and overfunded pensions that should not stop a participant from being able to sue over fiduciary breaches.
The participants’ suit alleged that U.S. Bank and U.S. Bancorp breached their fiduciary duties and violated ERISA in prohibited transactions, resulting in significant losses, despite the pension plan being overfunded. U.S. Bank is represented by Morrison & Foerster’s Joseph Palmore and James Sigel. More details of the case can be read in Law360’s article, “Solicitor General Asks Justices To Hear US Bank ERISA Suit.”