| ||Age Discrimination or Age Justification? The Case of the Shrinking Future Interest Credits under Cash Balance Plans|
Alvin D. Lurie*
* President, Alvin D. Lurie, P.C. Chairman, NYS Bar Association Special Committee on Pension Simplification. Formerly Assistant IRS Commissioner (Employee Plans & Exempt Organizations). Cornell U., B.A., LL.B. Co-editor in chief Cornell Law Quarterly.
Eaton v. Onan Corp., a pension case decided last Fall by the federal district court in Indiana, could not fail to please even the most ardent apologist for the cash balance plan design. It is not an exaggeration to state that it saved such plans from an assault under the 1986 federal age discrimination amendments that could have rendered them, in the judge’s own words, “essentially per se illegal.” Did the plans consequently dodge a real bullet, or at worst a spray from a water cannon? The reader can decide after reviewing the argument in this paper.