- A series of class-action lawsuits against Honeywell International Inc. reveal the troubled waters of retiree health benefits offerings and what constitutes an agreement to provide that coverage, SHRM reports.
- Honeywell attempted to terminate their "medical and presciption drug coverage for certain retirees and their covered dependents" thanks to developments in the insurance markets, but the employees sued, claiming Honeywell violated ERISA and the Labor-Management Relations Act.
- Honeywell gave employees notice a year in advance that their coverage would have been terminated.
The case is an important example of carefully combing through employer documents and the legal language within. But it also reflects the changing nature and expectations of employees and their retirement. The old pension-style retiree care format is long dead. To save costs, some employers have turned to shifting retiree benefits to a private exchange -- or cutting them entirely, in some cases.
Much of that change has been driven by the excise ("Cadillac") tax within the ACA. As the Honeywell case hints, options for retirees outside the employer-provider paradigm are growing.