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U.S. Bank’s Pension Stance ‘Defies Reality,’ Supreme Court Told

Dec. 13, 2019, 3:09 PM

U.S. Bank NA‘s attempt to avoid liability for $750 million in pension losses would render the fiduciary obligations of federal benefits law “effectively unenforceable” in the context of defined-benefit pension plans, a bank retiree told the U.S. Supreme Court.

Pension plan participants aren’t “mere bystanders” to fiduciary breaches that deplete plan assets, James Thole said in a Dec. 12 brief. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act allows pension plan participants to sue over mismanagement, just as trust beneficiaries can sue when trust assets are mishandled, he said.

It “defies reality” to suggest that ERISA, which is rooted in trust...

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