U.S. District Court, WDNY
Returning Employees — Lump-sum Distribution of Accrued Benefits
Anderson v. Xerox Corporation
Background: Current and former employees of the defendant commenced actions under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. At issue for this plaintiff is the manner in which benefits have been calculated for employees who left Xerox’s employ at some point, at which time they each received a lump-sum distribution of accrued pension benefits, and who later returned to work for Xerox. The defendants’ used a “phantom account,” which involved reducing the participants’ benefits according to a formula that utilizes the fiction that the prior distribution had remained in the participant’s account and appreciated accordingly. The defendants argued on motion that claims are barred by a release the plaintiff had executed.
Ruling: The District Court granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment. The court noted that the release stated that the defendant was to be released from any and all claims in consideration to provide the plaintiff with 26 weeks of salary. The District Court held that the defendants were entitled to summary judgment on statute of limitations grounds.
Nira T. Kermisch for the plaintiff; Margaret A. Clemens and Catherine C. Nearpass of Littler Mendelson for the defendant