The following appears on democratandchronicle.com
For years, Paul Frommert expected a pension payment of more than $2,000 a month when he retired from Xerox Corp.
Instead, he learned in the mid-1990s, he’d be getting less than $10 a month.
In 2000, Frommert sued the company, claiming it had used an illegal accounting method to determine the pensions. Despite a 2010 trip to the U.S. Supreme Court, the lawsuit is still alive — and will continue to be so because of a ruling Dec. 23 from a New York-based federal appellate court.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that a plan administrator’s plan for pension payments to Frommert and others who sued is “absurd and contradictory” and “therefore unreasonable” when compared with the company’s typical pension payouts. The Xerox plan administrator is tasked with crafting a resolution for the pension dispute.
Xerox is reviewing the appellate ruling, said company spokesman Bill McKee.
The lawsuit involves a small subset of Xerox employees — those who once worked for the company then left, because of layoffs or their own choices, and later returned. Nonetheless, the lawsuit has been closely followed in the circles of pension analysts, largely because of the continued move from traditionally secure pensions to riskier market-determined plans.
“That’s where a lot of the battles in these (pension) cases are now going to be fought,” said Frommert’s attorney, Peter Stris, who is based in Los Angeles.