June 29, 2022

Volume XII, Number 180

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June 29, 2022

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DOL, Recordkeeper Square Off in Confidentiality Disputes

The DOL’s cybersecurity investigation into Alight Solutions, LLC, a retirement plan recordkeeper, has queued up court rulings on the reach of the DOL’s subpoena power that may have important implications for ERISA plan sponsors and their respective recordkeepers and service providers moving forward. First, the Seventh Circuit will weigh in on whether the district court erred in compelling Alight to produce certain documents over Alight’s objections that: (1) the DOL lacks the authority to investigate a recordkeeper because its actions are not fiduciary in nature, (2) the requests are overbroad because they are not limited to cybersecurity incidents involving Alight’s clients, and (3) the requests for unredacted documents would violate Alight’s confidentiality agreements with its clients and plan participants.

In addition, while the appeal has been pending in the Seventh Circuit, the parties await another decision from the district court that will speak to the DOL’s power to share confidential documents received in an investigation across other government agencies. Alight seeks to require the DOL to attach the Confidentiality Order to any disclosure it makes to another governmental agency. However, the DOL has argued in response that the retention and sharing of documents by the United States is already highly regulated and to add additional burdens would circumvent Congress’s power.

Final resolution of these issues will be of interest to benefit plan sponsors and service providers, particularly those with ongoing DOL investigations.

Jackson Lewis P.C. © 2022National Law Review, Volume XII, Number 174
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About this Author

Associate

Adam R. Carlisle is an associate in the New Orleans, Louisiana, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and a member of the firm’s ERISA Complex Litigation group. Adam uses his experiences as a former high school teacher and NCAA Division I track and field coach to communicate effectively and passionately on behalf of his clients.

Adam’s practice focuses on defending employers, fiduciaries, plan sponsors, and other defendants in complex class action and individual plaintiff ERISA matters. Adam has experience representing clients in 401(k) and 403(b) fee claims, benefits...

504-208-1755
Associate

Lindsey H. Chopin is an Associate in the New Orleans, Louisiana, office of Jackson Lewis P.C. and a member of the firm’s ERISA Complex Class Action, Employee Benefits and Class Action groups.

Ms. Chopin focuses her practice on the defense of complex ERISA class-actions filed against public and private single employer ERISA plan sponsors and fiduciaries, as well as multi-employer plans and fiduciaries and ERISA plan services providers.  She has litigated a wide variety of class action claims, including 401(k) fee claims,...

504-208-1755
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