On May 5, 2020, the California Superior Court, Alameda County, granted certification of a class of former University of California employees who left UC employment before normal retirement age, but with vested pension rights. The plaintiffs allege that fiduciaries of the the University of California Retirement Plan, or “UCRP,” breached duties owed to the plaintiffs and the Class by failing to notify them that they would lose retirement benefits if they did not apply to commence their pensions by age 60. The case is Mass, et al. v. the Regents of the University of California, et al. Renaker Hasselman Scott LLP and co-counsel Nichols Kaster LLP represent the named plaintiffs and the Class.
Specifically, the Class is defined as all 1976 Tier or Multi-Tier members of the UCRP, who: (1) have reached the age of 60; (2) have separated from employment with a UCRP-participating employer; (3) at the time of separation, met the requirements of Plan Section 3.08 and became an Inactive Member; and (4) either (a) submitted a claim for Retirement Income or a Lump Sum Cash-Out after their 60th birthday and no earlier than October 18, 2013, or (b) have not yet submitted a claim to receive Retirement Income or a Lump Sum Cash-Out.
The UCRP benefit formula uses an age factor that is capped at age 60, meaning that for vested UCRP members who are no longer current employees, the monthly benefit amount does not increase after age 60 and the actuarial equivalent lump sum value decreases after age 60. The two named plaintiffs each lost over $100,000 of hard-earned pension benefits because they first applied to start their pensions after age 60 and the UCRP refused to pay retroactive benefits.
Read the Order Granting Class Certification here.
Read the Order Granting Approval of Class Notice here.
Read the Class Notice here.
For more information on this case, please contact Kirsten Scott, firstname.lastname@example.org.