ERISA Protects Retroactive Benefits, 1st Circ. Finds

Law360, Los Angeles (November 15, 2013, 6:16 PM EST) -- The First Circuit on Friday ruled that benefits conferred retroactively during the course of employment constitute "accrued benefits" under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and therefore cannot be eliminated by an amendment to a benefit plan. 

A three-judge appellate panel affirmed a district court's ruling that trustees of a pension plan for a Rhode Island-based plumbers and pipefitters' union cannot reduce employees' "banked hour" pension benefits, as those benefits were attributable to the employees' prior service and are therefore protected by ERISA's anti-cutback statute. ...
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