IBM Employees Want Full 7th Circuit Review of Cash Balance Case

August 22, 2006 ( - Following a 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that IBM Corp.'s cash balance pension plan does not discriminate against older employees, plaintiffs in the case are asking that the full 11-member appellate panel review the ruling.

Business Insurance notes that legal experts say “en banc” petitions are rarely approved, especially when an appeals court’s panel decision is unanimous, such as in the IBM case. If the request is denied, plaintiffs could ask the US Supreme Court to review the ruling.

On August 7, (See IBM Cash Balance Discrimination Ruling Reversed ) a three-judge appellate panel overturned a district ruling that the cash balance plan did discriminate against older employees, saying “All terms of the IBM plan are age-neutral.” The appellate court added, “”Replacing a plan that discriminates against the young with one that is age-neutral does not discriminate against the old.”

Industry observers applauded the ruling (See Appellate Cash Balance Ruling Applauded for being Succinct, Clear ).