Lebahn v. National Farmers Union, No. 15-3201 (10th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
The issue this case presented for the Tenth Circuit's review involved claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Trent Lebahn and his wife claimed that a pension-plan consultant breached a fiduciary duty by misstating the amount of the monthly pension payments that Mr. Lebahn would receive if he were to retire. The Tenth Circuit found that under ERISA, the plan consultant could be considered a fiduciary only if she exercised discretionary authority over the plan’s administration. The Tenth Circuit addressed whether a consultant exercises discretionary authority in administering the plan simply by making a calculation of benefits at the request of a plan participant Finding that a consultant does not exercise discretionary authority under these circumstances, the Tenth Circuit affirmed judgment in favor of the pension plan and its consultant.