SCOTUS Once Again Decides Not to Provide Guidance Regarding “More Harm Than Good” Standard Presented in Retirement Plans Committee of IBM v. Jander
On November 9, 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition for certiorari (which, in layman’s terms, is simply a formal request to review a lower court’s ruling) in the case of Retirement Plans Committee of IBM v. Jander. At issue were the following: 1. Whether Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer’s “more harm than good” standard can be satisfied by general allegations that the harm of inevitable disclosure of an alleged fraud generally increases over time and, accordingly, plan fiduciaries should have made earlier disclosures through regular securities-law filings; and 2. whether ERISA imposes a duty on a plan fiduciary (who is also a corporate officer) to use inside information for the benefit of plan participants.
So, given SCOTUS’ denial, what does it mean for those seeking clarity on the obligational line between ERISA plan fiduciaries and corporate officials? For now, the “more harm than good” standard holds; however, it would seem that the Court may be open to reconsidering certain aspects of Dudenhoeffer.
Check out our prior Jander v. IBM coverage below: