Third Circuit Declines to Embrace Liability of De Facto Administrators
A participant in a plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) sued the plan administrator and executive director concerning claims for retirement benefits and the executive director's failure to respond to the plan participant's requests for information. The plaintiff alleged the executive director was a de facto plan administrator. In a matter of first impression for the Third Circuit, it joined the Second, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits in declining to impose liability on alleged de facto plan administrators under ERISA. Nevertheless, this de facto administrator theory is still alive, as the First and Eleventh Circuits have accepted it in some capacity.