(1)(B) allows a plan participant or beneficiary to bring anaction “to recover benefits due to him under the terms ofthis plan, to enforce his rights under the terms of theplan, or to clarify his rights to future benefits under theterms of the plan.”
This section limits the beneficiary torecovering benefits he is entitled to under the terms ofthe plan. The plan documents will determine the outcome ofthe lawsuit. What happens if a plan administrator misleadsthe beneficiary as to the terms of the plan? Section502(a)(1) provides no remedy because any recovery islimited to the terms of the plan documents. Similarly,section 502(a)(2) does not allow individual beneficiariesto sue for a remedy.
Section 502(a)(3) allows a participant, beneficiary,or fiduciary “(A) to enjoin any act or practice whichviolates any provision of this title or the terms of theplan, or (B) to obtain other appropriate equitable relief(i) to redress such violations or (ii) to enforce anyprovision of this title or the terms of the plan.”
Thekey question raised by § 502(a)(3) is what type of relief
§ 502(a)(1)(B), 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B).
See Strom v. Goldman Sachs, 202 F.3d 138 (2d Cir. 1999)(“Plaintiffcannot sue under section 502(a)(1)(B) because there are no benefits dueher under the plan. She cannot proceed under section 502(a)(2) becauseit affords no remedies to individual beneficiaries.”).
ERISA § 502(a)(3).