Verizon Involuntary Plan Transfer Suit Declared Class Action

March 11, 2011 ( – A federal judge has granted class certification in a lawsuit filed by Verizon retirees claiming they were involuntarily switched post-retirement to pension plans sponsored by a newly spun off company, Idearc Inc.

An Association of BellTel Retirees news release said the order by Senior Judge A. Joe Fish of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas defines the class to include all former participants in Verizon’s pension plans who were transferred into Idearc’s pension plans in connection with a spinoff transaction that occurred in November 2006 and who were retired or terminated from Verizon at the time of the spinoff. Also included in the class are the beneficiaries of such participants.   

The news release noted that the plaintiffs in the original lawsuit had all been retired for at least 10 years and none had ever actually worked for Idearc/SuperMedia.  Each was fully vested in a Verizon sponsored pension plan.    

The retirees’ complaint says that less than two years after Verizon transferred the retirees, Idearc encountered financial problems and began cutting back various earned retiree benefits (see Verizon Charged with Involuntary Transfer of Retiree Pension Accounts).