Analysis

1st Circ. May Shed Light On Viability Of Mortality Table Suits

By Kellie Mejdrich (April 8, 2022, 12:58 PM EDT) -- Ambiguity about how annuity payouts, intended to guarantee income during retirement, should be handled under federal benefits law has spawned a wave of lawsuits from retirees who say they were shortchanged due to outdated actuarial data.

A pending First Circuit appeal, experts say, could yield valuable guidance on whether this type of suit has legs. The legal battle follows a Massachusetts federal judge's March dismissal of a proposed class action brought by retirees who claim Partners Healthcare System violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act by underpaying them using outdated actuarial assumptions containing decades-old mortality tables to calculate retirement payouts.

The retirees'...

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