WaMu Cash Balance Plan Draws Scrutiny

April 5, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A well-known ERISA litigator has launched an investigation into a cash balance conversion.

Seattle-based Keller Rohrback L.L.P. has announced its investigation against Washington Mutual, Inc. (“WaMu”) for what the firm termed “potential violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA’).” According to a press release, the investigation is targeting the WaMu Pension Plan, a cash balance pension plan. Keller Rohrback says it is probing whether the plan discriminates based on age because it fails to comply with ERISA’s accrual rules for defined benefit plans.

Keller Rohrback is also investigating whether the WaMu Pension Plan and its merged predecessor plans failed to provide adequate notice of participants’ benefit reductions resulting from the cash balance conversions in 1987 and later years, including participation in any of the following plans:

  • Great Western Retirement Plan;
  • H.F. Ahmanson & Company Retirement Plan;
  • Retirement Plan of Dime Bancorp, Inc.; or
  • Pension Plan for Employees of Pacific First Federal Savings Bank.