Defined Benefit Pension Plan Litigation: Latest Developments

Avoiding and Defending Challenges to Plan Investments and Other DB Plan Decisions

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Recorded event now available

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Program Materials

This CLE webinar will provide benefits counsel with a review of emerging theories of fiduciary duty and investment management liability, as well as other key developments in defined benefit plan litigation. The panel will discuss best practices for defending and minimizing exposure to defined benefit plan litigation.


In the ongoing class action against Weyerhaeuser’s pension plans challenging alleged risky investments in alternative investments (derivatives, PE and hedge funds), the claims represent a departure from previous case law that limited liability for investment decisions under defined benefit plans.

In Jan. 2013, the 4th Circuit dismissed a suit challenging the investment of plan assets in a defendant’s affiliated mutual funds. The court held that the plaintiffs lacked constitutional standing since they had no injury-in-fact because benefit levels were not affected by performance of the plan’s investments.

Other defined benefit claims such as cash-balance litigation continue to burden companies with high defense costs and settlement expense.

Listen as our authoritative panel of ERISA attorneys discusses recent developments in defined benefit pension plan litigation and provides best practices for defending and avoiding exposure to these claims.



  1. Challenges to plan investment decisions—causes of action and key defenses
  2. Developments in cash balance plan litigation
  3. Case law and other legal developments


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the key recent developments in defined benefit plan litigation?
  • What are the most recent theories in support of challenges to alternative pension plan investment decisions such as derivatives and hedge funds?
  • What steps should plan fiduciaries take to minimize exposure to defined benefit plan litigation?

Following the speaker presentations, you'll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A.


Fleckner, James
James O. Fleckner

Goodwin Procter

Mr. Fleckner is a nationally recognized leader in the field of ERISA litigation and heads the firm’s ERISA...  |  Read More

Sarah Zumwalt
Sarah Zumwalt

Groom Law Group

Ms. Zumwalt  represents ERISA plan sponsors, fiduciaries, alleged fiduciaries and service providers in all manner...  |  Read More

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