Photo of Paul A. Friedman

Paul A. Friedman is a principal in the White Plains, New York, office of Jackson Lewis, P.C. His legal practice is focused on ERISA litigation, labor and Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act (MPPAA) arbitrations and is well grounded in his earlier experience as outside counsel to numerous union pension funds. During years of litigating cutting-edge ERISA issues before the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. district courts, bankruptcy courts and courts of appeal on behalf of employers, plan sponsors and ERISA plan fiduciaries, Paul sometimes finds his own prior landmark decisions cited to him.

For Paul, MPPAA has all the excitement of a trial – it is an intricate and counter-intuitive statute. He has first chair experience in more than 40 jury trials and has handled hundreds of arbitrations and bench trials on all aspects of ERISA. ERISA knows no organizational bounds and so Paul has defended cases for clients representing many industry sectors, including life sciences, financial services, energy, hospitality, and construction.

Paul has served as litigation counsel for numerous multi-employer and single-employer employee benefit plans in ERISA matters, where he:

  • Devotes his practice mainly to the defense of employers, plan sponsors, fiduciaries, and financial institutions against claims brought under ERISA by benefit funds, plan beneficiaries, and the U.S. Department of Labor. He handles issues related to breach of fiduciary duties, excessive plan expenses, benefit entitlement issues retiree health benefits, and functional fiduciary liability
  • Successfully represents companies as plan sponsors against claims of participants and qualified beneficiaries for violations of COBRA
  • Defends employers that have been assessed withdrawal liability under MPPAA or have experienced increased liability due to the passage of the Pension Protection Act of 2006
  • Performs employee benefits due diligence for buyers or sellers in mergers and acquisitions transactions, filling a knowledge gap between labor and financial counsel, ensuring that buyers and sellers price-in or mitigate against ERISA violations and potentially millions of dollars in liabilities
  • Conducts comprehensive strategic reviews of clients’ current operations to avoid or mitigate against exposure to ERISA enforcement and risk of civil and criminal charges brought against company executives, principals, and trustees

In the last decade, he has developed a business model for use by businesses across a broad spectrum of ERISA issues from the beginning of the ownership of these companies to their sale. He also provides benefits guidance to Mergers and Acquisitions counsel in complex transactions.

Outside of work, Paul is an ardent Civil War and World War I buff. He expressly enjoys traveling to Europe and touring World War I battlefields.

            This is another blog on our monitoring the status of defined benefit multi-employer pension funds.  Since this author last wrote to you, it has been revealed that the Central States Pension Fund is scheduled to become insolvent sometime in 2025.  Worse yet, it has been announced that the multi-employer fund of the Pension Benefit Guaranty

This is another article in our series which has focused on the deterioration and downward spiral of the multi-employer defined benefit pension fund.

Death Notice

Decedent:  The New York Teamsters Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund

Date of Death:  March 2017

Cause of Death:  The failure of successive administrations and Congresses to

This is another article in our series addressing the continued deterioration and downward spiral of multi-employer defined benefit pension funds and the resulting impact upon participants, unions and most importantly on employers.

As the American public focuses on January 20, 2017 as the beginning of the Trump administration, the day may also have historical significance

This is another in our series addressing the continuing deterioration of multi-employer defined benefit pension plans.

Regardless of the identity of the next tenant of the White House, a major item on the new administration’s domestic agenda must be curbing the continuing deterioration of multi-employer defined benefit pension plans. Hopefully any new legislation will approach

In the aftermath of the rejection of the Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Plan (“Central States”) application to reduce core benefits by Treasury Special Master Kenneth Feinberg, it is critical that contributing employers to multi-employer pension funds recognize the harsh reality that help to those funds will not be forthcoming from the

For the past several months, we have been reporting on the application filed by the Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund  (“Central States”) to the Department of Treasury to reduce “core” benefits to participants.    This extraordinary remedy is permitted by the  Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (“Kline-Miller Act”).

Public hearings conducted

We have been monitoring and reporting on several disquieting events which have occurred in the multi-employer pension plan world within the past few months.

In September 2015, the Central States Southeast and Southwest Area Pension Fund availed itself of the relief permitted under the Kline-Miller Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (“Kline-Miller Act”) by applying

The third multi-employer pension plan since September 2015 has filed an application with the Department of the Treasury in which it is seeking to reduce core benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (“MPRA”). The Teamsters Local 469 Pension Plan (“469 Fund”) which is administered in Hazlet, New Jersey has now joined the

On October 28, 2015, we reported that the Central States Southeast and Southwest Area Pension Fund (“Central States”) — one of the largest multiemployer pension plans in the country — had filed an application with the Department of the Treasury (“Treasury”) seeking to reduce core benefits under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014 (“MPRA”)