Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog

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Category Archives: Retiree Health Care Benefits

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Third Circuit Rules That Johnson Controls Did Not Promise Lifetime Health Benefits

The Third Circuit rejected a claim for lifetime health insurance benefits filed by retired employees of Johnson Controls, finding that the clear and unambiguous language of the CBAs and group insurance booklets did not guarantee lifetime health insurance benefits. The suit was filed after the group insurance booklets, which were incorporated into and subject to the … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Issues Trilogy on Retiree Health Benefits

In three decisions issued on the same day, the Sixth Circuit held that Meritor retirees were not entitled to lifetime health benefits, while retirees at Kelsey-Hayes and CNH Industries were entitled to contractually vested health benefits. In the first case, a group of former Meritor employees filed suit after the company reduced their healthcare benefits. The CBAs … Continue Reading

Fourth Circuit Rejects Retirees’ Claim for Vested Health Benefits

The Fourth Circuit upheld an employer’s unilateral decision to amend a collective bargaining agreement to cap employer contributions to retiree health benefits and freeze Medicare reimbursements for hourly retirees. In so ruling, the Court applied general contract principles, as required by the Supreme Court’s decision in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926 … Continue Reading

Honeywell Defeats Retirees’ Class Action Suit for Lifetime Health Benefits

A federal district court in Ohio dismissed retirees’ claims for lifetime healthcare benefits from Honeywell.  Honeywell provided healthcare benefits to plaintiffs through a series of collective bargaining agreements and, although it continued to do so for several years after the final CBA expired, Honeywell eventually notified plaintiffs that it would terminate contributions toward their healthcare benefits.  … Continue Reading

District Court Rejects Retirees’ Claim for Lifetime Healthcare Benefits

A federal district court in Michigan dismissed retirees’ claims for lifetime, unalterable healthcare benefits from BorgWarner.  BorgWarner provided healthcare benefits to Plaintiffs through a series of collective bargaining agreements  and health insurance agreements.  After BorgWarner unilaterally modified the available retiree healthcare benefits, Plaintiffs filed suit.  Applying the principles set forth in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. … Continue Reading

District Court Rules Johnson Controls Retirees Not Entitled to Lifetime Health Benefits

A district court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decision in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926 (2015), the Third Circuit’s rule that clear and express language was required for health benefits to vest was still good law. On that basis, it ruled that … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Rules that Employer Can Terminate Retiree Health Benefits

The Sixth Circuit ruled that retirees of Moen Inc. were not entitled to lifetime health benefits upon finding that an underlying collective bargaining agreement (CBA) did not create vested rights to these benefits.  Moen and its predecessor were parties to several CBAs with a local affiliate of the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural … Continue Reading

Retiree Health Benefits Case Remanded to District Court for Additional Fact Finding

On remand from the Supreme Court, the Sixth Circuit sent the parties in Tackett v. M&G Polymers USA, LLC back to the district court for additional factual determinations on whether the retirees who commenced the lawsuit had vested in their health benefits. Nearly a decade ago, a class of retirees sued their former employer’s successor, … Continue Reading

Another Post-Tackett Ruling Denying Retiree Health Benefits

A district court in West Virginia recently held that retirees were not entitled to lifetime health benefits under the clear and unambiguous language of the relevant collective bargaining agreements.  Shortly after Constellium modified retiree health benefits to provide less favorable coverage, the retirees sued, alleging that they had a vested right to the prior level … Continue Reading

GM Not Obligated to Make $450 Million Contribution to Fund Union Retiree Health Benefits

The Sixth Circuit held that GM was not obligated to contribute $450 million to fund retiree health benefits for UAW members because the most recent contract between the UAW and GM extinguished GM’s former obligation to contribute.  In response to earlier litigation between the UAW against GM to recover retiree health benefits and a bankruptcy reorganization, GM … Continue Reading

Federal District Court Tosses $450 Million Retiree Health Care Suit Against GM

A federal district court in Michigan dismissed a breach-of-contract suit against General Motors over a $450 million payment for retiree medical benefits.  Int’l Union, UAW v. Gen. Motors, LLC, No. 10-11366, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173793 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 10, 2013).  As part of a settlement agreement with the UAW in 2007, General Motors promised … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Concludes That CBAs Vested Retirees Contribution-Free Health Benefits, Despite Side Letters To The Contrary

The Sixth Circuit affirmed a district court’s decision granting a permanent injunction in favor of M&G Polymers, USA LLC retirees who sought vested lifetime health care benefits. Tackett v. M&G Polymers USA, LLC, 6th Cir., No. 12-3329, Aug. 12, 2013. In December 2006, M&G announced that it would begin requiring retirees to contribute to the … Continue Reading
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