Tag Archives: ERISA

Average Joe SCOTUS: Hughes v. Northwestern University

Do you have a corporate retirement plan, like a 401k or company stock purchase plan? Well then, this case is for you!

Northwestern University has two plans, an employee match plan, where they throw in cash to match the employee’s contribution, and a Voluntary Savings plan the University doesn’t throw any scratch in.

At issue is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Employees of Northwestern, led by busybody extraordinaire April Hughes argue that the people managing those funds for Northwestern suck like the vacuum of space at what they do. Performance is weak as balls, and the fees they charge are high.

Hughes and company are like, “Someone needs to make a fucking law to hold these incompetent fucks to a certain standard. We’re losing our asses here.”

But traditionally, the courts have found that as long as people have other options, this is a free-market issue, and y’all need to invest elsewhere if you’re unhappy.

ERISA dictates the people managing this shit operate with “care, skill, prudence, and diligence [of] a prudent man [sic].” One of the complaints against them, is that they offered retail plans with high fees, when the same fucking plan in wholesale version with lower fees was available to them. Plus, they also complain that because they wanted to offer a gazillion fucking options, managing all that shit increased the fees to do so.

Isn’t it ironic that all these fuckwads at a prestigious university are the ones pushing radical left-wing ideology, complaining about greedy corporations, and yet they can’t even manage their own fucking retirement plan without bitching and moaning that their own experts don’t know what they’re fucking doing?

Northwestern is basically like, “This is ridiculous. We’re educated people. How dare you question us, punks!” They argue that in order to lose, Hughes and company have to prove intent to do a shit job. Did they know they were making poor investments, or paying exorbitant fees, and were like, “Fuck ’em, we don’t care. We’re doing this bad shit over here instead.”

A district court, and then the seventh circuit on appeal sided with Northwestern, stating it’s basically a free market issue, and they could have invested elsewhere.

However, in a unanimous decision where Justice Barrett couldn’t be bothered, SCOTUS sided with Hughes, telling the seventh circuit that they’re fucking idiots. Yes of course, they could have gone elsewhere, but ERISA is a law, and these idiots at Northwestern are in violation of it. Their investment skills suck ass, and their fees are ridiculous for such shitty ass work, which therefore means, they aren’t operating with “care, skill, prudence, and diligence” as the law demands.

Hear oral arguments and/or read about the case here.

Average Joe SCOTUS: Intel Corp. Investment Policy Committee v. Sulyma

This dude Sulyma worked for Intel from 2010-2012, and as such was involved in their retirement plan.

Because government hasn’t found an industry it can resist regulating, taxing, or both, it passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which sets standards as to how investments are supposed to be diversified and other shit like that.

Intel had run afoul of these guidelines, and as such, Sulyma potentially lost potential income/gains in his retirement plan. It should be known, that had they diversified better, it’s not a guarantee that the other funds they might’ve invested in, would have done any better whatsoever. So Sulyma’s argument is purely hypothetical, versus having an objective understanding of the different in performance he might’ve expected.

So Sulyma decided to sue Intel in 2015, because fuck it, suing people is the American way, right? I have a shiny dollar that says he got his dumb ass fired, and was merely seeking revenge, but ahh well, that’s not important.

ERISA has a 3 year time bar, which says, ““from the earliest date on which the plaintiff had actual knowledge of the breach or violation.” 2012-2015 is the time we’re discussing, so  guess what? This dude is just over his three years. But Sulyma and his ambulance chaser are nothing if not creative.

So these assholes are saying, “Sure, you sent us like all kinds of paperwork that told us precisely what you invested my retirement money in. Sure, I should have read through it. But I’m lazy AF, and I didn’t. Fuck you. So that means, I didn’t know shit. And therefore, I had no knowledge that Intel was fucking up until I did read that shit. Therefore, it hasn’t been three years since I knew you were in breech, you motherfuckers. The law says “actual knowledge” not a possibility of knowledge.”

So here we are at SCOTUS deciding if Sulyma’s neglect, is a good enough excuse to allow him to sue past the time bar.

SCOTUS decided that the wording of the law is pretty clear. Even if Sulyma’s a dumb fuck who screwed up, the law is written with the phrase of “actual knowledge” and there’s no fucking way you can define that as anything other than this dumb fuck actually knew it. Not, that he had the opportunity to know it.

Unanimous decision for Sulyma.