Retiree Health Benefit Plans: Modifying and Terminating Legacy Benefits
Evaluating the Alternatives to Contain Costs and Minimize Litigation
In re Unisys: Third Circuit rules for retirees, despite clear reservation of rights in SPD
Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A
This CLE webinar will discuss legal standards that apply to modifying and terminating retiree health benefits and the VEBA alternative to funding retiree medical obligations. The panel will also review the Unisys decision, trends in litigation, and best practices to reserve rights to modify or terminate plans.
- Overview of standards for modifying or terminating benefits
- Litigation trends
- Divergent circuit court standards
- Class action threat
- Jurisdiction of lawsuit
- EEOC regulation regarding coordination with Medicare
- Preserving the right to alter, modify or terminate benefits
- Plan documents
- Summary plan descriptions
- Enrollment forms
- Collective bargaining agreements
- Oral communications by plan fiduciaries
- Voluntary employee benefit association (VEBA) trusts
- Advantages and disadvantages
- VEBA creation in court-approved settlements
- Creation of VEBAs
- Funding mechanisms
- ERISA requirements
The panel will review these and other key questions:
- What are the key legal hurdles for employers seeking to reduce or eliminate retiree medical benefits?
- What are the steps for an employer to properly document its right to amend or terminate the plan?
- How do standards differ among the circuit courts regarding retiree medical benefits that arise from collective bargaining agreements?
- How can employers take advantage of VEBAs to fund retiree medical obligations?
- What rules and standards apply when the employer seeks to modify or terminate benefits in bankruptcy?
James P. McElligott
Mr. McElligott handles employment, executive compensation and benefit related matters for corporations and public... | Read More
Mr. McElligott handles employment, executive compensation and benefit related matters for corporations and public agencies. He regularly advises employers on ERISA and denial of benefit issues.Close
Fellheimer & Eichen
He is an expert in all aspects of tax, ERISA, employee benefits, executive compensation and employment law and provides... | Read More
He is an expert in all aspects of tax, ERISA, employee benefits, executive compensation and employment law and provides advice to large, publicly held financial institutions and other corporations. He handles compliance requirements for retirement plans as well as drafting, amending and operating nonqualified plans of deferred compensation in accordance with Section 409A, COBRA, and HIPPA.Close