Pension Calculation Dispute Thrown Out on Appeal

October 9, 2009 ( - Three pension participants who sued their employer over a pension calculation dispute can't pursue their claims because they have no written proof the employer misrepresented plan rules, a court has ruled.

The 2 nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in issuing that decision, upheld a ruling by U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald   of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Buchwald had thrown out the suit by participantsAlex H. Ladouceur, Ronald J. Ivans, and David Silvers after they were unable to produce any documents proving Credit Lyonnais executives promised that their pension accruals would begin when they began working for aCredit Lyonnais subsidiary and not at a later date when the subsidiary was merged with the parent organization.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers appealed part of Buchwald’s ruling involving a fiduciary breach claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), butChief Judge Dennis Jacobs, writing for the 2 nd Circuit, said case law on the issue of relying on ERISA in such circumstances still requires written proof of the misstatement.   

The 2nd Circuit ruling is available here .