Kevin R.Noble

Partner

Washington + 1.202.879.3882

Kevin Noble advises employers, fiduciaries, and service providers on issues important to employee benefit plans and the employers who sponsor them. This includes resolving issues connected to legacy liabilities that present complex benefit plan and corporate finance issues, such as pension de-risking and retiree health settlements. Kevin represented General Motors, Verizon, Motorola, Timken, and other corporate plan sponsors in settlements of more than $48 billion in pension plan liabilities. These transactions have included the largest plan termination, annuity contract purchase, and pension de-risking actions in history.

Kevin also regularly counsels clients on matters involving fiduciary responsibility, plan governance, and plan investments. This has included issues involving plan fees, stable value funds, employer stock contributions, prohibited transactions, new and developing regulations (including the Department of Labor "fiduciary rule"), and he has negotiated collectively bargained benefits at the bargaining table. He has litigated claims involving ERISA's fiduciary duty and prohibited transaction provisions, benefit cutback disputes, top hat and other executive retirement benefits, claim denials, plan interpretation issues, ESOP valuations, and 401(k) plan employer stock. He is experienced in settling retiree health benefit liabilities, both in and out of litigation, including the landmark decision by General Motors to transfer retiree health obligations to an independent VEBA. He also has represented clients before the Labor Department and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation in plan audits, investigations, and regulatory guidance projects.

Kevin is a board member of the American Benefits Council and drafted a chapter for Bloomberg BNA's ERISA Fiduciary Law treatise.

Experience

  • Halliburton successfully defends against claims in ERISA class actionJones Day obtained a dismissal with prejudice on behalf of its client, Halliburton Company, of a complaint filed by a putative class that alleged that pension benefits were incorrectly calculated in a frozen pension plan, maintained by Halliburton, relating to a divested joint venture.
  • Chemtura purchases $350 to $375 million group annuity contract from VoyaJones Day advised Chemtura Corporation in its transfer of approximately $350 to $375 million of pension plan liabilities to Voya Retirement Insurance and Annuity Company ("Voya"), covering approximately 5,000 U.S. retirees (who are receiving monthly payments from the Chemtura Corporation Retirement Plan as of September 1, 2015 and whose pension benefits were less than $2,000 per month) or their designated beneficiaries.
  • Timken Company transfers $475 million of hourly pension plan liabilitiesJones Day advised The Timken Company in connection with the purchase of an irrevocable group annuity contract from The Prudential Insurance Company of America, covering approximately 3,400 U.S. hourly retirees receiving pension benefits from The Timken Company Pension Plan.
  • Lincoln Electric Company purchases $425 million group annuity contract from Principal Financial GroupJones Day advised The Lincoln Electric Company in its transfer of about $425 million of pension plan liabilities to The Principal Financial Group, covering nearly 1,900 retirees previously receiving pension benefits from Lincoln Electric's U.S. retirement plan.
  • The Washington Post successfully negotiates collective bargaining agreementJones Day represented The Washington Post in successful collective bargaining negotiations with the Washington Baltimore Newspaper Guild, securing the union's agreement to freeze the defined benefit pension plan, ending all future accruals for Guild-covered employees, and to freeze of all retiree medical plans.
  • Timken Company purchases $600 million group annuity contract from PrudentialJones Day advised The Timken Company in its transfer of about $600 million of pension plan liabilities to The Prudential Insurance Company of America, covering approximately 5,000 U.S. retirees who were already receiving pension benefits from Timken's U.S. retirement plan.
  • Motorola Solutions de-risks pension plan by $4.3 billionJones Day advised Motorola Solutions, Inc. in major pension de-risking actions that reduced Motorola's pension plan liabilities by $4.3 billion, halving its liabilities.
  • GM wins Sixth Circuit appeal affirming dismissal of ERISA "top hat" litigationOn August 6, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled in favor of Jones Day's client, General Motors LLC ("GM"), and affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by 113 former executives over changes made to an executive retirement plan during the bankruptcy of General Motors Corporation.
  • Verizon transfers $7.5 billion of management pension plan liabilities to Prudential in major pension de-risking transactionJones Day advised Verizon Communications Inc. in its transfer of approximately $7.5 billion in Verizon balance sheet liabilities attributable to outstanding pension obligations to Prudential Life Insurance Company of America.
  • GM Pension Plan transfers $29 billion in pension plan assets to Prudential in largest single-employer transfer in U.S. historyJones Day has advised General Motors LLC in connection with a transaction announced on June 1, 2012 that will eliminate approximately $29 billion in GM balance sheet liability, and result at closing in the largest single-employer plan termination and pension risk transfer in U.S. history.
  • GM contributes 60.6 million shares of common stock (approximately $2 billion) to pension plansJones Day advised General Motors Company in connection with a contribution of 60.6 million newly-issued shares of common stock valued at approximately $2 billion to its defined benefit pension plans.
  • Macy's obtains dismissal of ERISA actionJones Day represented Macy's, Inc. its directors, and the Macy's Pension and Profit-Sharing Administrative Committee in a lawsuit (dismissed) alleging ERISA violations based on Macy's alleged failure to locate former employees and notify them at the time they became eligible to receive normal retirement pensions.
  • GM obtains ERISA prohibited transaction exemption relating to funding of new health care VEBAJones Day represented General Motors Company in obtaining a prohibited transaction exemption from the U.S. Department of Labor to allow GM to transfer company securities (including common stock, warrants to acquire common stock, preferred stock, and a note) and certain other assets to the UAW GM Retirees Medical Benefits Plan and its associated UAW Retiree Medical Benefits Trust, a voluntary employee beneficiary association (VEBA) that assumed responsibility for the provision of post-retirement health benefits for certain UAW-represented GM retirees.
  • Xerox defends retiree health care ERISA class actionJones Day represents Xerox Corporation and other defendants in a putative class action brought under ERISA alleging that Xerox violated ERISA in changing its retiree health care plans.
  • Caterpillar contributes common stock valued at $650 million to its defined benefit pension plansJones Day advised Caterpillar Inc., one of the world's largest manufacturers of construction and mining equipment, in connection with a contribution of common stock valued at $650 million to its defined benefit pension plans.
  • Xerox Corporation defends ERISA class actionJones Day represented Xerox and certain of its current and former officers, directors, and employees in an ERISA class action alleging that 401(k) plan fiduciaries breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the Xerox Stock Fund, one of the plan's investment alternatives.
  • Speaking Engagements

    • February 23, 2017
      Implications of the Department of Labor's New Fiduciary Rule for the Financial Services Advisory Business and What's Next
    • October 6, 2016
      ACA Compliance Group's Regulatory Horizon Forum, DOL Fiduciary Rule
    • March 22, 2016
      Pension Annuity Settlements: Why Are There So Many People Involved?, Aon Hewitt Webinar
    • January 10, 2014
      American Benefits Council: Pension Plan De-Risking, Benefits Briefing Webinar
    • October 23, 2012
      Pension De-Risking, District of Columbia Bar program
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