On July 20, 2020 the SVIA filed a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the Principal Life Insurance Company’s appeal of the Eighth Circuit decision that ruled a service provider is an ERISA fiduciary based on two characteristics common to many stable value products—a rate of return that varies by period, and divestment restrictions applicable to plan sponsors (exit provisions for plan sponsors, which are not applicable to individual plan participants at any time).
The purpose of the SVIA petition is to convince the Court that the issues raised in the petition are important enough for its consideration. To accomplish this, the SVIA brief seeks to describe stable value and the potentially negative consequences of the Eighth Circuit Court’s decision in general terms that are applicable to a broad range of stable value products. If the case is heard by the Court, the SVIA will have the opportunity to further address the nuances of stable value in all its product forms as well as the potential impacts of this case in a merit brief, which can be filed once the Court elects to take up the appeal.
The Principal Life Insurance Company’s petition before the Supreme Court was filed on June 19. Filing an amicus brief demonstrates the importance of the Principal petition to not only the stable value industry but the millions of older and risk-averse Americans who rely upon stable value funds for retirement financial security.