An employer recently sued a pension fund challenging a unilateral change to the fund’s rehabilitation plan that would require a withdrawing employer to pay a pro rata portion of the fund’s accumulated funding deficiency. The fund asked the court to dismiss the action, arguing that ERISA did not give the employer standing to bring suit challenging a fund’s rehabilitation plan. The Middle District of Tennessee agreed, finding that ERISA does not permit such a suit. The employer may have had standing under the Labor Management Relations Act (LMRA) to bring the action, but it did not allege a LMRA claim. Consequently, the fund’s rehabilitation plan requirement that a withdrawing employer pay both its own withdrawal liability and a pro rata portion of the fund’s accumulated funding deficiency stood.
Keyes Fibre Corp. v. Pace Indus. Union-Management Pension Fund, No. 17-613 (M.D. Tenn. Oct. 17, 2017)