First Circuit finds private equity fund to be a ‘trade or business’ for purposes of ERISA controlled group liability for unfunded pension obligations

HRS Insight

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit handed down an opinion on July 24 with potential adverse consequences for private equity funds that have significant holdings in portfolio companies participating in underfunded pension plans. This ruling reverses a district court decision that was favorable to the funds. Private equity funds should examine the decision and consider the risks associated with ERISA controlled group liability for pension contributions.

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