ERISA’s Six Year Statute of Limitations Applies to Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims

We have previously written about the preclusive effect on an individual’s claim under ERISA if not brought within the applicable statute of limitations.  For this reason, it is important to check the language of any policy that may have been provided to you.  Not surprisingly, the statute of limitation will also apply in a class action for breach of fiduciary duties.  In Fuller v. SunTrust Banks, Inc., No. No. 12-16217 (11th Cir. Feb. 26, 2014), an action was brought against ERISA fiduciaries for malfeasance in connection with the selection of certain plan investments.  The Eleventh Circuit found that the suit was barred by the applicable six year statute of limitations, because “the date of the last action which constituted a part of the breach” alleged in Count 2, occurred when the Committee Defendants selected the investments at issue. See ERISA § 413(1), 29 U.S.C. § 1113(1).  Even though the fiduciaries took other actions while the securities were held, it was the act of picking the securities in the first instance that started the statute of limitations.

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