D.C. residents who have corporate pensions should take note of a recent spate of lawsuits against companies who have allegedly breached their fiduciary duties by underpaying joint and survivor annuity benefits (JSA). Recently, there was a lawsuit filed against UPS which was the latest suit to claim that a company effectively shortchanged those who elected to take their pensions as a joint and survivor annuity as opposed to a single life annuity (SLA).
Retirees have the option to take their pension as a JSA so that their beneficiaries can continue to receive their pension after they die. A JSA is a lower amount than an SLA. Companies cannot simply choose any percentage that they want for a JSA. Instead, it must be the actuarial equivalent of an SLA.