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Citgo Petroleum Latest Employer Sued over Pension Lifespan Data

Bloomberg Law

August 4, 2021

Citgo Petroleum Corp. shortchanges the pensions of certain retirees by calculating their benefits using “punitive” and “severely outdated” lifespan data, according to a proposed class action filed in the Northern District of Illinois.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday by Citgo retiree Leslie Urlaub, challenges how Citgo calculates the benefits of married workers who choose pension formats that allow their surviving spouses to continue receiving benefits after their death. Urlaub says that before 2018, Citgo calculated these pensions using 50-year-old actuarial data that didn’t account for recent increases in lifespan, causing these workers to see their benefits unfairly reduced compared to employees receiving traditional, single-life pensions.

According to Urlaub, this practice violates the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s requirement that all pension formats be the “actuarial equivalent” of a single-life pension.

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Causes of Action: Fiduciary breach and violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

Relief: Declaration of ERISA violations and fiduciary breach, plan reformation, injunctive relief, disgorgement, restitution, surcharge, order prohibiting the use of challenged actuarial assumptions, interest, attorneys’ fees, and costs.

Potential Class Size: Thousands of participants and beneficiaries in the Citgo pension plan who had their joint and survivor annuity calculated pursuant to the challenged actuarial assumptions.

Attorneys: The proposed class is represented by Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Feinberg Jackson Worthman & Wasow LLP, Stris & Maher LLP, and the University of San Diego Law School.

Read Citgo Petroleum Latest Employer Sued over Pension Lifespan Data.