Stay Calm On Cash Balance Plans: Experts

Employee benefit and pension specialists are urging employers to remain calm following a July 31 decision by a federal district court judge who found that IBMs conversion from a "traditional" defined benefit pension plan to a cash balance plan was unlawful age discrimination under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

The case, Cooper v. The IBM Personal Pension Plan, has been certified as a class action covering about 130,000 employees and retirees. Next up is the issue of damages, and the thorny question of how to compensate the plaintiffs, given the substantial stock market losses recently suffered by many cash balance plans.

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