Tuesday, September 25, 2007

U.S. Supreme Court to Hear Public Pension Plan/Age Discrimination Case

4united_states_supreme_court_1129_3 The Supreme Court today granted certiorari in an interesting public pension plan case involving claims of age discrimination.  In Kentucky Retirement v. EEOC, 06-1307:

[the] Petition involves a public employee retirement plan that includes normal and disability retirement benefits. A member who is eligible for normal retirement benefits based on attained age plus a minimum service requirement, or based on service alone, is not eligible for disability retirement benefits. Because age may be a factor in determining eligibility for normal retirement, it is an indirect factor in determining eligibility for disability retirement. Moreover, the calculation of disability retirement benefits is based upon actual years of service plus the number of years remaining before the member reaches retirement age or eligibility based on years of service alone; age may thereby be an indirect factor in determining the amount of disability retirement

The question presented is:

Whether any use of age as a factor in a retirement plan is "arbitrary" and thus renders the plan facially discriminatory in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act?

More to follow on this important case at the intersection of employment discrimination and employee benefits law.

Hat Tip:  SCOTUSblog



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Would this age discrimination issue apply to those who qualified under a 20 and out rule but did not meet the minimum age to recieve full benefits under ERISA? I ask this b/c my father is a retired teamster and after 20 years he was eligible for retirement, but he was only 46 at the time. He now gets 60k a year instead of 102k because of his age. It seems like age discrimination to me and we aren't quite sure how to address the situation or if the matter has already been litigated?

Posted by: Amber | Apr 6, 2008 8:12:54 PM

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