Article 43

 

AT&T Pension Class Action Lawsuit

Plaintiffs are management employees of AT&T who were participants in the AT&T Management Pension Plan as of December 31, 1996.

The proposed class is defined as any and all persons who:

1. Are former or current AT&T management employees,
2. Are currently over age 40,
3. Participated in the AT&T Management Pension Plan on December 31, 1996 and on or after the January 1, 1998 date on which the Pension Plan was converted to a cash balance design.

Checkout THIS WEBSITE and THIS WEBSITE for more info.

Links

AT&T Retiree website - Check out the Pending Legislation and NLRN Legislative News sections

Track YOUR Senators & Representative - Sign up for MEGAVOTE, a weekly summary of roll call votes.  It is easy and spam-free.

AT&T Cash Balance Lawsuit Homepage - (Engers v. AT&T)

Actuarial report on AT&T’s Cash Balance Conversion

AT&T Concerned Employees (ACER)

US Congress - Find & contact your rep & senators.

cashpensions.com - Go to the Legislation Section (Bill analysis, Track your reps, etc.).

retire.gif width=360 height=272 align=top

Credit: pension_watchdog

Posted by Elvis on 10/08/04 •
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  1. The announcement below can be found HERE.

    We are in the final stages of writing briefs for the U.S. District Court in New Jersey in this case. A final reply brief is due October 7th. We expect to post the briefs on behalf of the class on this website at that time. An oral argument may be scheduled in Newark at a later date. When it is scheduled, we will post notice so class members can attend.

    Many class members have asked about the impact of the partial settlement of the IBM class action which was announced on September 29, 2004. After a settlement, a “fairness” hearing occurs in which class members are presented with details of the settlement and given the opportunity to comment. It will be some months before this happens, but we anticipate that the partial settlement will not have any unfavorable impacts on the AT&T class action and that it may be beneficial.

    You should also know that the Engers v. AT&T class action does not just involve the age discrimination claim that is at the center of the IBM case. We are also presenting claims that AT&T:

    (1) Did not properly adopt the adverse features of the cash balance plan amendments,
    (2) Did not disclose the benefit reductions and disadvantages effected by cash balance as required, such as up to 13-year periods in which employees could experience no increases in their pension benefits,
    (3) Did not comply with benefit accrual rules established under federal pension laws,
    (4) Excessively reduced benefits for early retirements before age 55, and
    (5) Offered two new options for commencements of benefits after 1998 that were “clearly less valuable” than the traditional annuity options without ever disclosing the lower values of the new options.

    The AT&T class action lawsuit centers on the conversion of the AT&T pension plan, which significantly reduced the value of benefits for long term older workers. The lawsuit plaintiffs argue that the pension plan conversion is inconsistent with ERISA and age discrimination laws.

    The class definition as adopted by the U.S. District Court on June 6, 2001 and clarified on November 19, 2001, includes all:

    (a) former and current AT&T management employees;

    (b) who are currently over age forty; and

    (c) who were participants in the AT&T Management Pension Plan on December 31, 1996 and at any time after the July 1, 1997 date on which the Plan was converted to a cash balance design.

    If you meet all three (3) criteria above, you are a member of the class in the Engers v. AT&T class action lawsuit about pension plan conversion.

    Credit: pension_watchdog

    Posted by Burned Out Baby Boomer  on  10/08/04
  2. Click HERE to compare the AT&T class action suit with the IBM case.

    Credit: pension_watchdog

    Posted by Burned Out Baby Boomer  on  10/13/04
  3. Are you wondering how well your Senators & House Rep understand the pension issue?

    Check the links below to see how YOUR reps voted on the first two pension-related bills, below.  When you see how THEY voted, you can decide how YOU should vote.

    HR 3108 PENSION FUNDING EQUITY ACT OF 2004:  Allowed certain industries (airline, steel, etc.) to change (reduce!) their pension funding method. This was signed into law for a 2 year period.  This endangers pension plan solvency.  YOUR REP & SENATORS SHOULD HAVE VOTED NO!

    SENATE ROLL CALL ON HR 3108

    H. AMDT 765 SANDERS’ AMENDMENT TO HR 5025:  This prevents federal intervention in lawsuits, such as IBM’s and AT&T’s.  YOUR REP SHOULD HAVE VOTED YES. 

    HOUSE ROLL CALL ON 3108

    H. AMDT 765 SANDERS’ AMENDMENT TO HR 5025:  This prevents federal intervention in lawsuits, such as IBM’s and AT&T’s.  YOUR REP SHOULD HAVE VOTED YES! 

    Here’s the ROLL CALL VOTE

    The next two are still pending.  Call your House Reps to find out how they plan on voting.  Don’t settle for, “The Congressman is studying the issue”. Ask if s/he will be voting along party lines.  A Democrat sponsored HR1322. HR 1776 was sponsored by a Republican.

    HR 1322 EMERGENCY RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS PROTECTION ACT:  (Sponsored by F. Tierney, D - Mass).  Closes a loophole in ERISA and will protect retirees from reduction or cancellation of benefits once retired.  YOUR REP SHOULD VOTE YES!  AND BE A COSPONSOR!

    HR 1776 PENSION PROTECTION AND PRESERVATION SAVINGS ACT: (Sponsored by R. Portman, R - Ohio). This would allow all corporations to change (reduce) their method of funding pension plans and risk the solvency of that plan.
    YOUR REP SHOULD VOTE NO!

    Credit: pension_watchdog

    Posted by Burned Out Baby Boomer  on  10/28/04
  4. 10/30/04 - Posted from the Daily Record newsroom
    http://www.dailyrecord.com/business/business1-attpension.htm

    AT&T sued over pension plan

    Workers say changes rushed through
    By Brian Tumulty, Gannett News Service

    WASHINGTON - The legal assault against employers that have converted their traditional pension plans to cash balance plans is taking a new twist in a federal class-action lawsuit involving 45,600 midlevel managers at AT&T Corp.

    In court papers filed earlier this month, employees say AT&T executives rushed to make pension plan changes Jan. 1, 1998, without fully informing their board of directors.

    And they waited almost three years after the pension changes took effect to disclose them in a public documentdated October 2000 that should have been filed with federal agencies before the revisions took effect.

    “They didn’t actually have the amendments in place before they started implementing these rules,” said Stephen Bruce, who represents AT&T middle managers in the federal lawsuit. “The employees couldn’t check things before the fact and the board (of directors) wasn’t really told.”

    A federal judge handling the case has not ruled on the allegation, which is based on internal AT&T documents the company was forced to turn over to attorneys representing the employees.

    Jane Banfield, a former sales executive at AT&T’s Florham Park office who left the company in 2002 with 22 years of service, said the company has never admitted to employees that the changes resulted in a reduction in future retirement benefits.

    “The thing that struck me the most is that the board really didn’t know what was happening to their employees and they didn’t tell us,” Banfield said. “If you worked for the company, you thought Ma Bell would never do anything to intentionally hurt you.”

    One court exhibit shows that the AT&T board of directors’ decision to change the traditional pension plan in April 1997 was stamped as confidential instead of being filed with federal agencies.

    In addition, employees of the AT&T benefits consulting subsidiary, ASA, who oversaw the pension plan changes made separate arrangements that guaranteed their retirement benefits would be more generous than those offered to other AT&T employees.

    According to attorneys for the employees, that’s a violation of federal pension laws.

    AT&T, for its part, has requested a dismissal of the lawsuit. “Because the case is in litigation, it would be inappropriate for us to comment on it,” AT&T spokesman Robert Nersesian said.

    The American Benefits Council, a trade group representing large employers with pension plans that defended cash balance pension plans, also declined to comment on the case.

    IBM made headlines last month by agreeing to a $320 million partial settlement of a class-action lawsuit by employees regarding the first of two pension plan changes made in the 1990s.

    Having been found guilty of age discrimination by a federal district judge in Illinois, IBM also agreed it would pay $780 million in additional retirement benefits to employees should it lose its appeal of that ruling and another $620 million in connection with another issue.

    In other major cases involving cash balance pension plans, courts have ruled in favor of long-tenured employees at Xerox and Georgia Pacific whose pension benefits were frozen while newer employees’ benefits continued to increase.

    Most of the comments are taken from the undisputed FACTS BRIEF.

    Credit: pension_watchdog

    Posted by Burned Out Baby Boomer  on  11/06/04

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