“AT&T Workers Say They Were Penalized for Retiring Early,” Law360
October 02, 2019
AT&T and its benefit plan have been hit with a proposed class action in California federal court alleging they violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by shorting early retirees on pension benefits.
Amy Eliason said in her complaint filed Tuesday that while the phone company promised employees retiring before 65 years old an early retirement benefit, it changed the plan in May to add an “early retirement factor” that was portrayed as a limited-time, lump sum benefit but only reduced their payout.
“The earlier the participant retires, the greater the reduction to her benefits,” Eliason said. "These impermissible reductions penalize participants for retiring early."