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San Jose Social Service Agency Faces Lawsuit Over Retirement Benefits

Posted on in Employment

San Jose ERISA lawyers, retirement benefits, social service agency lawsuit, San Jose employment law lawyers, pension planIf you are fortunate enough to work for a company that offers pension benefits or another type of retirement fund, you are likely counting on these funds to provide for you in later years. Unfortunately, companies can and do mismanage these funds, thus leaving their employees to suffer the consequences. In these situations, there are federal laws which may be able to help.

As experienced San Jose ERISA lawyers, we can assist you in holding employers and plan administrators responsible in these types of cases. A recent situation involving a local social services agency highlights the potential problems some employees face.

How ERISA Protects You

ERISA stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which was established in 1974 to protect employees and their voluntarily established employer pension and health benefits. ERISA requires employers offering these plans to do the following:

  • Provide participants with clear information about the plan and its funding;
  • Set minimum standards for participation, vesting, benefit accrual, and how assets are funded;
  • Provide fiduciary responsibilities of plan managers and administrators;
  • Require a grievance procedure and appeals process for employees to follow in the event there is any dispute over benefits.

All of the above help to protect employers by providing proper disclosures, accountability among plan administrators, and a legal course of action when problems arise. In the event that a pension plan is terminated before you have the opportunity to collect on it, ERISA also guarantees payments through the federally chartered Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC).

When Problems Arise

A recent case involving employees of a local San Jose non-profit highlights some of the potential pitfalls that can arise when claiming pension benefits. The Nonprofit Quarterly reports that a lawsuit was filed in late January against the Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County (4C) by several employees who claim the leadership of the council made poor choices in investments, thereby cheating employees of their retirement benefits. The organization has been rocked by the scandal, and the executive director resigned amidst the flood of audits resulting from the lawsuit and requests for unionization to ensure worker protections.

4C had been promising employees, many of whom had worked for them for several years and invested in a pension plan, that a profit sharing plan would be established. Without clearly disclosing terms or providing additional information, they had employees signs contracts rolling their pensions into what turned out to be a very restricted life annuity. The employees found out when they went to switch jobs and discovered they could not rollover benefits incurring benefits. By making what many would argue was a bad investment and not providing employees adequate information, the Council’s actions may have violated the ERISA.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have concerns about your pension or retirement benefits, or are involved in a dispute with your employer, call or contact Jachimowicz Law Group online today and request a consultation. Our talented San Jose employment law lawyers can advise you on your rights and how to protect the benefits to which you are entitled.

Sources:

https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/retirement/erisa

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/2018/01/29/cautionary-tale-nonprofit-employees-watch-benefits-package/

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