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Supreme Court: SPDs are not legally binding contracts. In what has been characterized as a “partial victory” for CIGNA, the U.S. Supreme Court remanded CIGNA Corp. v. Amara back to the lower court this week. The case focused upon CIGNA’s 1998 retirement plan conversion from a traditional defined benefit pension plan into a cash balance plan. Employees sued, claiming the summary plan description (SPD) was misleading and that the misleading communication caused them financial harm. According to the decision issued this week, the 27,000 CIGNA employees affected by the plan conversion may be entitled to relief under ERISA rules, but not under the provision applied by the federal court. Myron Rumeld, an employee benefits attorney, explained that the ruling will set a precedent limiting employees’ abilities to seek “equitable relief” based upon their understanding of SPDs, rather than the actual terms of the plan itself.

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BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2020Event

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BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2020Event

The premier educational and networking event for employee benefits brokers and agents.

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