US - Telecoms giant AT&T agreed to a US$16m settlement in a class action case brought against the company by retirees.
Eli Gottesdiener, an attorney for the plaintiffs, described the outcome as an excellent result, given the risk the class could have ended up with no additional benefits it been litigated to judgement. He added: "Frankly, these are difficult cases to win."
The initial complaint, brought in 2004, was dismissed as the pension scheme successfully claimed the actions it took were consistent with the terms of the plan. But following an appeal in 2005, the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision, paving the way for a class action case.
The 3,800 member of the class action will each receive settlements of approximately $2,900 as a lump sum, with the majority also eligible for an additional tax-qualified lump sum.
Retirees who opted for annuity-based pensions will be given the option to take an increased annuity or a lump sum.
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