Supreme Court Turns Down Xerox Benefits Case

March 19, 2007 ( - The U.S. Supreme Court has declined a request by Xerox Corp. to review a case for which the company was found to have violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in its calculations of pension benefits for rehired employees.

The Associated Press reports Xerox asked the high court to review the case pointing out the 9 th Circuit decision conflicted with a 2 nd Circuit decision in a similar case. The company said the conflicting decisions means “the lawfulness of numerous other pension plans is called into question.”

In May 2006, the 9 th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Xerox’s method of accounting for prior distributions in its calculation of retirement benefits violated ERISA by overestimating the value of prior distributions and the corresponding reduction in benefits (See Xerox Loses Another Retiree Benefit Challenge ). The case was brought by three employees who left the company in 1983 and were subsequently reemployed.

According to the 9 th Circuit opinion, distributions the three took from the pension plan when they originally left the company were projected to a present value prior to offsetting the retirement benefit due. The court disagreed with this calculation method.

The Supreme Court’s refusal to review the case lets the 9 th Circuit decision against Xerox stand.