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Retirement Plans

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Henry finds himself between a rock and a hard place. On one side, he has substantial medical bills to cover while on the other hand, the company he used to work for wants to terminate his lifetime medical insurance cover. The company had offered to cover both his wife’s and his medical insurance for life. Though he is not certain how things will turn out, Henry is contemplating on suing the company. There are laws laid down that might help him win the case if he pursues his intention.

One of these laws is the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) that address pension issues established on a voluntary basis as well as health plans to protect individuals in the private industries. The fact that the company sent him a letter, made the life time medical insurance formal. First, the Act gives participants the right to sue a company for benefits and breach of fiduciary duty. Secondly, the Act also holds that if a benefit plan is terminated, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) guarantees payment of definite benefits (United States Department of Labor, n.d). It is an independent body enforced by the ERISA Act to oversee such cases. The body ensures that if a company commits to such voluntary plans, it must keep its end of the bargain.

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The company can only be allowed to terminate the plan under three situations: in the event of bankruptcy, if the business will fail if it continues with the plan or if the cost incurred the plan becomes a burden unreasonably. Despite these provisions, it is for the PBGC to decide. The company in this case does not give any of the above as a reason which would be its defense to win the case.  

This therefore, gives Henry an upper hand in the case. If he pursues the case, high chances are that he would win the case, and get his benefits or have the plan continued.

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