Washington University School of Law | 3 credits

This course will provide a substantive overview of ERISA fiduciary law that governs qualified retirement and welfare benefit plans. The sources of fiduciary law such as the ERISA statute, regulations, and Department of Labor guidance will be explained. Emphasis will be placed on the proper identification of fiduciaries, the fiduciary duties of prudence and loyalty, prohibited transactions and major exemptions, personal liability under the law, and the recent regulations regarding disclosure of fees and expenses. Special focus will be given to recent Supreme Court and Circuit Court cases that have significantly changed the ERISA fiduciary landscape. Finally, a brief overview will be provided of typical ERISA litigation that a student is likely to see in their future practices. The course will be relevant for any student interested in employee benefits, employment law, labor law, business law, or securities law as they will leave the course with the proper understanding of how to advise clients in avoiding the major compliance pitfalls of being an ERISA fiduciary.