High Court Orders Review of CIGNA Cash Balance Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court vacated a lower court’s decision on grounds that that it lacked authority under ERISA to reinstate CIGNA's traditional defined benefit plan as a remedy for cash balance conversion notice violations.

The Bureau of National Affairs reports that the participants had also asked the high court to determine whether the district court erred when it found that it lacked authority to require CIGNA to provide “comparable” future benefits to plan participants as a remedy for inaccuracies contained in summaries of material modification (SMMs) issued by CIGNA. The Supreme Court said it granted review of the participants’ petition for the sole purpose of vacating the lower court’s judgment so that the lower court can reconsider the possible remedies it could issue, according to the report. 

Last week, the high court sent back for further proceedings the lower court decision that ordered CIGNA Corp. to reform its cash balance plan in awarding relief to participants on the notice violations (see “Supreme Court Sends Back Cash Balance Notice Decision“).