Supreme Court Upholds ERISA Limitation Periods

The U.S. Supreme Court in a unanimous decision has ruled that contractual limitations periods in ERISA plans are enforceable.  The only two qualifications that such limitation periods must satisfy is that they must be reasonable in length and not prohibited by another applicable statute.

 In the instant case, the Supreme Court dealt with a disability plan that contained a 3-year limitations period.  The 3-year limitations period began on the day the person became disabled, not on the day that the final appeal was denied.  The court said that beginning the limitations period on the date of disability was appropriate.  ERISA’s claim and appeal procedures are established to last about 1 year, giving a person in a typical case 2 years to file suit in court.  In the instant case, the person’s claim and appeal process lasted longer than normal and she only had 1 year to file a claim after her final appeal.  Again the Supreme Court indicated that this was sufficient time to file suit. 

 Even though this case dealt with a disability plan, the case applies to any employee benefit plan governed by ERISA.

Latest Thinking

View more Insights
Insights Center
Knowledge assets are defined in the study as confidential information critical to the development, performance and marketing of a company’s core business, other than personal information that would trigger notice requirements under law. For example,
The new study shows dramatic increases in threats and awareness of threats to these “crown jewels,” as well as dramatic improvements in addressing those threats by the highest performing organizations. Awareness of the risk to knowledge assets increased as more respondents acknowledged that their