Lucent Technologies employee law homework help

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Following a merger in 1998, a Lucent Technologies employee received several written communications from the company stating that the date of the first service that would be used in computing his pension benefit was 1980. This was the year in which the employee had begun work for a company that was subsequently acquired by Lucent. Based on the information received, the employee determined that he would be able to retire with full pension in 2005 and that his wife could afford to go ahead and retire from her job at the end of 2003. Shortly after the wife’s retirement, and in the face of an impending layoff, the employee requested a pension benefit calculation from the company. They first sent an estimate of $1,469.35, based on the 1980 start date. Two weeks later, the company sent a revised pension worksheet that indicated less than 15 years of the total service and a monthly pension benefit of $880.54. In fact, plan documents provided that the merger date of 1998 would be used to determine the length of service for pension purpose. Did the employer violate ERISA through misrepresentations that were relied on in making the decision for the wife to reitre?….

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