Will the outcome of Pundt v. Verizon affect your pension?
The U.S. Supreme Court handed retirees a victory in late May when it vacated a lower court decision involving the case of 41,000 Verizon retirees whose pensions had been “de-risked” and sold off as insurance annuities. In the case, Pundt v. Verizon, the nation’s highest court ordered the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to re-evaluate its decision in light of its recent ruling in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins.
This monumental case has the potential to impact millions of older Americans, and creates more momentum for federal and state-level legislation to protect pensioners whose assets have been or will be de-risked. ProtectSeniors.Org has been hard at work in the halls of Congress and in multiple state capitals advocating for legislation to protect retiree assets and benefits.
ProtectSeniors president Jim Casey said, “The Supreme Court ruling clarifies and emphasizes the enormous national importance of this issue. This case also highlights the need for legislative and regulatory protections for retirees from pension de-risking throughout the nation.”
Pension de-risking is a fast-growing trend in this country. Along with our sister organization, the Association of BellTel Retirees, we have been fighting against pension de-risking in the courts, in the federal executive branch and in various state capitals.
Connecticut has already passed legislation proposed by ProtectSeniors.Org giving retirees creditor protections when their pensions are de-risked and we are now lobbying for even more protections. We have also initiated similar legislation in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey.
The Washington, D.C. based national Pension Rights Center has come down on our side, filing an amicus brief in support of the Verizon pensioners in the Pundt case. What’s more, last summer and again in April 2016, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed serious concern about threats to the U.S. and global economy from pension de-risking activities.
The U.S. Treasury also recently expressed its concerns about the too-big–to-fail insurers after a federal judge ruled that MetLife, with more than $877 billion in total assets, is not too big to fail. The U.S. Treasury disagrees and is appealing that decision.
Every retiree needs to heed these warnings! The next de-risked pension could be yours. Don’t let your hard earned pension and benefits be sold out. Join in the fight by joining ProtectSeniors.Org today.