Pensions & Retirement Benefits -- Early Retirement

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    On October 22, a federal judge in Baltimore granted summary judgment (dismissal of a case before trial) in favor of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against Baltimore County, finding that the county's pension plan, known as the Employee Retirement System, violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) because the plan...
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    Age discrimination, although a growing threat, may still be off your radar. For years, the focus was on race and gender issues, but in 2009, almost one quarter of the charges filed with the EEOC were age discrimination claims. And that number is growing. With a slowly recovering economy, many employers are looking for ways to downsize, and...
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    With the nation's economy stuck in "slow" and the looming threat of a double-dip recession, many employers are continuing to reduce their workforce to remain competitive and profitable. Historically, employers have relied on involuntary layoffs or reductions in force (RIFs) to reduce their payrolls. However, involuntary layoffs...
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    HHS accepting Early Retiree Program applications On June 29, 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight began accepting applications for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program created by the new health care reform legislation. The program will provide $5 billion for employer...
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    A part of the massive health care reform law aimed at encouraging employers to offer health insurance to early retirees is set to launch June 1. Regulations for the Early Retirement Reinsurance Program were issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on May 4. The program will provide $5 billion for employer health plans...
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    The First Circuit Court of Appeals (New Hampshire's federal appeals court) recently upheld the dismissal of a Dartmouth professor's discrimination and retaliation claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal law prohibiting workplace discrimination based on certain protected characteristics. The court tossed...
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    On October 1, a federal jury in Baltimore awarded Jean Scott $1.85 million. Scott was fired from Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., a major pesticide company, for allegedly complaining about sex discrimination in the workplace.   The verdict was reached after two hours of deliberations, following a one-week trial. The award consisted of $500,000...
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    Although your benefit plans will be scrutinized and judged by their specific wording regarding eligibility and so forth, be careful what you tell employees. Even if you win the ensuing case, the litigation may be costly. Facts Twenty-six employees at Chevron's Pascagoula refinery sued the company for allegedly...
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    Ex-president of museum charged. The former president of the Independence Seaport Museum was criminally charged for conduct that occurred during his tenure at the museum, including using museum funds to buy personal items, boats, clothing, home furnishings, electronics equipment, and a home. The internal investigation that led to...
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    The First Circuit Court of Appeals (which covers New Hampshire) recently agreed that claims filed by retirees for lifetime dental benefits had to be dismissed. It ruled that a document informing retirees that "your dental coverage will be for your life" didn't mean the employer couldn't terminate the benefits because the...
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