A few notable Supreme Court cases entered into the conversation at GFOA’s Annual Conference in Philadelphia this year, particularly in discussions about retirement and benefits. One example is Tibble v Edison, which GFOA’s Committee on Retirement and Benefit Administration discussed in regard to the fiduciary responsibilities of public pension plan administrators. In this case, the full court recently found that in plans administered under the ERISA statute, trustees have the continuing fiduciary duty to monitor plan investments with prudence. The court’s opinion emphasized the term “continuing duty,” pointing out that investments should be prudently monitored throughout the ownership of the assets. This ruling is of interest to state and local governments because even though public pensions are not covered by ERISA, some states and localities have ERISA-like statues, and others look to ERISA for guidance.
As an associate member of the State and Local Legal Center, GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center closely watches Supreme Court cases that are important to government finance officers. GFOA members who are interested in Supreme Court activity are welcome to participate in State and Local Legal Center webinars that focus on Supreme Court cases like Tibble v Edison and many others that directly or indirectly affect state and local government finance officers. To learn more, visit the State and Local Legal Center’s website or contact Emily S. Brock, senior policy advisor in the GFOA’s Federal Liaison Center in Washington, D.C.