ERISA, unions, pension funds, investment


Unions will eventually attempt to gain a voice in the direction of the investment of pension funds to which their members contribute. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) contains provisions relating to fiduciary duty which may bar union influence over the investment decision-making process. This Note addresses the issue of whether a union-appointed fiduciary may influence investment decisions to incidentally benefit the union without violating the fiduciary duty provisions of ERISA. Ultimately, Courts should apply a materiality standard when interpreting the fiduciary duty provision of ERISA. The issue should be whether the investment decision was materially affected by the "pro-union" factors. Some flexibility in the decision-making process should be allowed as long as the paramount interest of all fiduciaries remains the retirement income security of employees, past and present.



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