ERISA: To Sue or Not to Sue-A Question of Statutory Standing

This Note examines the conflicting authority regarding the scope of section 502(a) of ERISA. There is a fundamental split among the United States Courts of Appeals concerning whether parties not specifically enumerated in section 502(a) have standing to bring civil actions to enforce ERISA’s provisions. The Ninth Circuit has held consistently that non-enumerated parties are entitled to sue under ERISA. The Second Circuit, however, repeatedly has held that parties not explicitly specified in section 502(a). do not have standing to bring an action under the Act. This Note addresses the question of whether employers and pension funds, as non-enumerated parties, have standing under ERISA.