Welcome to the CIGNA Pension Plan Class Action Lawsuit site providing information on the increased CIGNA retirement benefits ordered by the Supreme Court in Amara v. Cigna Pension Plan, C.A. 01-2361 (D.Conn.). To obtain your increased CIGNA retirement benefits, start by clicking Notice of Retirement Benefits and Address Verification Form.
If you have any information related to the Amara v. CIGNA Pension Plan class action lawsuit that you would like to share, please send an email to MyCignaPension@verizon.net.
Class counsel are pleased to inform the members of the class that, after a long road, the Court issued a decision on November 29, 2018, ordering Cigna to begin implementing the "A+B" retirement benefit increases as quickly as possible and setting a January 28, 2019 deadline for Cigna to mail notices of the increased benefit amounts to the class. The Court also ordered Cigna to pay any past-due lump sums and back benefits no later than February 28, 2019. The decision further awards attorneys’ fees and makes incentive awards to the Cigna employees who testified about how Cigna reduced their retirement benefits. Class counsel will post individual benefit statements with the increased amounts for class members to access on a secure website by late January. Cigna’s relief amounts are still lower than what Class counsel are calculating for many people, but the Court has ordered that in those cases class members will be notified of both amounts, and Class counsel are to file a motion to enforce the Court’s methodology rulings if Cigna does not pay the full remedy amounts. The Court has already ruled that if additional remedy amounts are found to be due, the Court will sanction Cigna.
On October 17, 2018, the Court issued a ruling, adopting the proposed interest and early retirement methodologies Plaintiffs proposed to calculate the value of the relief. The Court determined that Plaintiffs’ proposals were “more persuasive” than Cigna’s. The Court also warned Cigna that it will be held in “contempt” and sanctioned if it continues to calculate class members’ remedy payments according to its own "interpretation" of the Court's orders and “in violation of its fiduciary duties.” The Court ordered Cigna to provide an updated calculation of the total relief due the class by November 7, 2018.
Many class members have expressed concern about when the remedy payments will be made. Class counsel brought those concerns to the Court's attention. On July 25, 2018, the Court held a one and one-half hour status conference and made several productive rulings designed to start payments before the end of this year. Class counsel submitted a proposed order to memorialize the Court's determinations on August 3, 2018. Unfortunately, Cigna is still contesting the Court's determinations and not cooperating in implementing the relief. We anticipate that the Court will issue an order soon so the process of notifying and paying class members can begin.
A number of people have asked about the status of the Amara relief and are frustrated that it is taking so long. We have been working very diligently on this, but unfortunately Cigna has not been cooperating. On February 12, 2018, Class counsel filed two more notices with the Court to bring this case to a conclusion.
Class counsel have recently filed two detailed notices with the Court to bring this case to a conclusion and pay the increased retirement benefits that are due. The first notice, filed on December 1, 2017, provides the Court with updated information concerning the individual and total relief due the members of the class, with the computations updated to comply with all of the Court’s Orders. The second notice, filed on December 11, 2017, provides the Court with a comprehensive package of letters to be mailed with the individual relief amounts and the election forms required to receive the benefits. Class counsel have asked the Court to order Cigna to cooperate in getting the notices out so everyone can be paid soon.
On July 14, 2017, the Court issued a decision clarifying that the “A + B” relief for class members who have not yet received distributions will be calculated with an offset to account for the "initial retirement account" that Cigna established under the cash balance plan. Class counsel agreed to this offset at the June 2nd hearing, provided that it is based on conservative interest assumptions. The Court’s July 14th decision also modified its previous Orders from January 2016 and January 2017 by agreeing to a proposal from Cigna to use higher interest rates from years ago to offset against the A+B relief for class members who have received distributions. Because Class counsel believe Cigna misinformed the Court about the basis for the higher interest rates, we filed a motion to reconsider this part of the decision, which the Court is considering. Separately, the Court’s July 14th decision orders CIGNA to mail an ERISA-required notice to all former and current employees to belatedly explain how the 1998 changes to the CIGNA’s pension plan produced large reductions in retirement benefits.
The Court has scheduled a hearing on a motion to reconsider filed by Cigna for Friday, June 2, 2017, at 11:00 am in Courtroom Two, Richard C. Lee United States Courthouse, 141 Church Street, New Haven, CT 06510. Cigna filed a motion on January 24, 2017 asking the Court to change its January 14, 2016 and January 10, 2017 Orders in an effort to reduce the relief the Court has ordered Cigna to provide. Class counsel filed an opposition to Cigna’s motion on May 10, 2017, on the ground that Cigna is repeating the same arguments it made before and that those arguments do not warrant any change in the Court's Orders of relief.
At the Court's request, Cigna and Class counsel prepared a Joint Status Report which was filed on February 6, 2017. The Status Report told the Court that Cigna has still not begun revising the relief calculations in compliance with the Court’s January 10, 2017 Order. Counsel for the Class have already revised their relief calculations to comply with the Court’s order and have provided the individual results to Cigna. Counsel for the Class also filed a Notice with the Court on February 27, 2017 advising that Cigna's most recent SEC filing further shows that Cigna is continuing to delay its calculations of relief amounts in this case.
On January 10, 2017, the Court issued a revised ruling on the calculation of the “A+B” relief. The Court agreed with Plaintiffs’ counsel that Cigna shall not be permitted to use a "floor" interest rate to reduce the Court-ordered A+B relief. The Court also agreed with Plaintiffs' counsel that lump sums that Cigna previously paid shall be brought forward for purposes of any offset from the A+B relief with interest at no greater than the applicable interest rate in each successive year. The Court also reaffirmed the complete relief that it has ordered Cigna to provide to class members who have not received an annuity or lump sum distribution.
October 24, 2016: On August 3, 2016, Plaintiffs' counsel filed a brief in response to a request from the Court for further discussion of the appropriateness of Cigna's use of "floor" interest rates that will reduce the A+B relief. On August 23, 2016, Plaintiffs' counsel also filed a response to a proposed reply from Cigna on this. Our best estimate is that the Court will issue rulings on these issues by the end of the year. Because Cigna has clearly not been complying with the Court's Orders, Plaintiffs' counsel continue to work with independent actuaries and accountants to perfect a spreadsheet that computes each class member's relief in full compliance with the Court's Orders.
July 21, 2016: The Amara case has repeatedly been decided by the Courts in favor of the employees and retirees. But Cigna is still not complying with Court orders on calculating the individual amounts of relief and is actively trying to cut almost all of the amounts by more than one-half. In February and March, we went back to the Court with "objections" because of what CIGNA submitted as examples of the amounts. The Court has not ruled on our objections, but recently asked for further papers which we expect to lead to rulings by the end of September. Hopefully, the Court will agree with our objections. Our best guess continues to be that notices with the correct relief amounts can be mailed out before the end of this year.
On February 16, 2016, an article about this case entitled “Long Running Lawsuit by Cigna Employees Nears Finish” was featured on the front page of the Hartford Courant. To read the article, click here (free registration is required to read the entire article).
On November 24, 2015, and January 20, 2016, Plaintiffs’ counsel mailed reminder letters to class members who have not yet returned an Address Verification Form asking them to confirm or update their addresses. If you have not already returned the Address Verification Form, you may print a copy of the Address Verification Form and mail the completed form to KCC Class Action Services, P.O. Box 43395, Providence, RI 02940-9577. To ensure that you receive future notices about the payment of these benefits, please complete the Address Verification Form.
On October 23, 2015, a notice was filed by Plaintiffs' counsel with the Court summarizing five objections to the attorneys’ fee and incentive award request and informing the Court that to that date 16,020 Address Verification Forms have been received from class members.
On June 25, 2015, the U.S. District Court approved a Notice About Increased Retirement Benefits from the CIGNA Pension Plan and Proposed Attorneys' Fee Award and an Address Verification Form, which have been mailed to all class members.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NOTICE ABOUT INCREASED CIGNA RETIREMENT BENEFITS AND THE PROPOSED ATTORNEYS’ FEE AWARD:
1. When will I receive my CIGNA pension benefit increase?
2. How much will the new CIGNA retirement benefits be?
3. Why doesn’t CIGNA pay the 17.5% attorneys’ fees?
4. What if I don’t have an objection about the attorneys’ fees but want to say something about how CIGNA informed or misinformed me about the cash balance pension changes?
5. How do I contact CIGNA directly about my existing benefits?
6. How do I obtain a replacement Notice and Address Verification Form?
7. I did not receive a Notice in the mail but believe I should have received one. What can I do?