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Federal Lawsuit Filed by Cohen Milstein Alleges IBM Miscalculated Pension Plan Mortality Tables Resulting in Underpayment

September 26, 2022

Firm is still signing up retirees in IBM’s Personal Pension Plan

Washington, DC – Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC represents retirees of the IBM Personal Pension Plan (“IBM Plan”) in a class action lawsuit against IBM and the plan administrators. The plaintiffs seek to represent IBM’s married retirees. They allege that for married retirees who began employment before 1999, IBM is shortchanging the retirees (or their surviving spouse) in violation of the actuarial equivalence requirements in a federal law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Plaintiffs seek to recover amounts due to these married retirees and their surviving spouses and to reform the IBM Plan to ensure full compliance with the protections of ERISA.

On Friday, September 23, 2022, the plaintiffs filed a letter in federal court urging denial of IBM’s request to formally dismiss the putative class action, Knight v. International Business Machines Corporation, et al., which was originally filed before the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on June 2, 2022. An amended complaint was filed on August 19, 2022 to add additional named plaintiffs.

The letter to the court explained that IBM’s “same shop-worn and meritless arguments should be denied” because they have already been rejected by courts around the country adjudicating similar claims.

“This is a really troubling issue for the IBM retirees who are being shortchanged and forced to live on less retirement income every month,” said Michelle Yau, chair of Cohen Milstein’s Employee Benefits/ERISA practice, citing the amended complaint.

Claims: This pension plan ERISA class action asserts claims related to the miscalculation of the joint and survivor annuity paid some IBM retirees who are currently receiving joint and survivor annuity (pensions that provide payments for surviving spouses). To read more about joint and survivor annuities, see “Is Your Retirement Plan Imposing a Marriage Penalty? What You Need to Know.”

Impacted Individuals: Cohen Milstein is actively signing up individuals who began employment with IBM before July 1, 1999.

Next Steps: If IBM Plan participants believe they may have been impacted, they should contact their legal counsel or contact: Michelle C. Yau, Partner (email) or at 202.408.4600 or PLEASE CLICK HERE TO CONTACT THE FIRM.

About Cohen Milstein’s Employee Benefits/ ERISA Practice

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is a premier class action law firm, handling high-profile and often precedent-setting cases on behalf of plaintiffs. We have filed numerous ERISA class actions alleging illegal underpayment of pension benefits on behalf of married retirees against large corporations such as AT&T, CITGO Petroleum, and Luxottica.  Cohen Milstein was named Law360’s “Employee Benefits/ERISA Practice Group of the Year” in 2020 and 2021. For additional information, please visit or call (202) 408-4600.


Michelle C. Yau, Partner

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC

1100 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 500

Washington, D.C. 20005

Telephone: 888-240-0775 (Toll Free) or 202-408-4600