Citgo Petroleum Corp. must face a proposed class action claiming it shortchanges the pensions of certain married retirees by calculating their benefits using outdated lifespan data, according to a Chicago federal court ruling issued Tuesday.
Citgo retirees Leslie Urlaub and Mark Pellegrini are moving forward with claims that the pensions they received from Citgo, which include post-death benefits for their surviving spouses, aren’t the “actuarial equivalent” of a traditional, single-life pension as required by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. Citgo argued that the statute doesn’t expressly prohibit employers from using unreasonable lifespan data when making these calculations, but the court disagreed, saying it “cannot possibly be the case that ERISA’s actuarial equivalence requirements allow the use of unreasonable mortality assumptions.”
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Urlaub and Pellegrini are represented by Feinberg Jackson Worthman & Wasow LLP, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC, Stris & Maher LLP, and the University of San Diego Law School.
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