(2) by failing to include in the retirees’ lump sum benefits a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) that was provided to other retirees who chose to receive monthly payments.
The Court agreed with the retirees and ordered that the terms of the pension plan did not allow a retiree’s monthly benefit or lump sum payment to be reduced for early retirement.
The Court also ruled that the pension plan and federal law required that a retiree’s lump sum payment must be the “actuarial equivalent” of his or her monthly payment, and therefore the COLA (cost-of-living adjustment) paid to those that receive monthly payments must be included in the lump sum payments paid to class members.
The Court ordered Norton to recalculate the retirees’ benefits within 45 days. The relief may be delayed if Norton appeals the Court’s decision.
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