United States District Court, D. Connecticut
JANICE C. AMARA et al, individually, and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
CIGNA CORP. AND CIGNA PENSION PLAN, Defendants.
RULING ON PLAINTIFFS' MOTION TO ENFORCE COURT
RULINGS AND FOR SANCTIONS
Bond Arterton, U.S.D.J.
move "that this Court grant their motion to enforce the
Court's reformation and methodology rulings and sanction
Cigna for calculating and paying individual remedy amounts
under ... interpretations ... of this Court's orders that
fail to comply with the Court's rulings." (Pis.'
Mot. to Enforce Court Rulings and for Sanctions [Doc. # 571]
at 1.) For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiffs'
Motion is granted in part and denied in part.
Court assumes the parties' familiarity with this
case's background and history. A summary of the
case's history through January 10, 2017 can be found in
the Court's Revised Ruling on Proposed Methodology and
Request for Order of Compliance Plan, issued on that date.
([Doc. # 486] at 2-5.) On July 14, 2017, the Court granted
Cigna's motion for clarification of the January 2017
order. ([Doc. # 507].) On November 7, 2017, the Court denied
Plaintiffs' subsequent motion for reconsideration. ([Doc.
October 17, 2018, after briefing by the parties, the Court
adopted Plaintiffs' proposed interest rate and age
assumption methodologies for the purpose of calculating the
net present value of the remedy award and calculating the
attorneys' fees to which Plaintiffs might be entitled.
The Court also directed Defendants to provide the Court with
an updated net present value calculation. ([Doc. # 550].)
After further briefing by the parties, the Court on November
29, 2018 granted Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys'
Fees in substantial part and directed Defendants to begin
implementing the A remedy as quickly as possible, setting a
schedule for the payment of past-due lump sums and back
benefits. ([Doc. # 555] at 11.) After Defendants'
subsequent motion for clarification, the Court ordered
Defendants to pay small benefit cashouts on the same
schedule. ([Doc. #560] at 1-2.)
April 5, 2019, Plaintiffs filed the instant Motion, asserting
that "Cigna has violated the Court's rulings by:
(1) Using "lookback" interest rates from the date
of the Part B lump sum distributions rather than from the
Part A "Benefit Commencement Dates" to annuitize
the offsets that this Court has allowed Cigna to take;
(2) Using "outdated" mortality tables from the date
of the Part B lump sum distributions rather than the
"successor" mortality tables applicable under the
plan provisions on the "Applicable Mortality Table"
to annuitize the offsets that this Court has allowed Cigna to
(3) Eliminating early retirement benefits until the
"later of the Part A early retirement age or the date
the Part B cash balance account is distributed; and
(4) Refusing to pay "small benefit cashouts" to
class members who have not received their Part B cash balance
(Pis.' Mot. to Enforce Court Rulings and for Sanctions at
1-2.) The Court addresses each of these issues in turn...
Interest Rates and Mortality Tables
Court previously addressed Plaintiffs' objection to
"Defendants' [proposed] methodology for converting
the already-paid lump sums into annuities for purposes of
offsetting A B." (Revised Ruling on Proposed
Methodology and Request for Order of Compliance Plan at 16.)
Cigna had stated that when "'annuitizing the Part B
benefits, ... [it] will use the mortality tables and interest
rates actually in effect under the terms of Part B as of the
later of the date the participant reaches earliest retirement
age under the terms of Part A or the participant's actual
benefit commencement date.'" (Id.
(alterations in original).) The Court ruled "that the
plan provisions in place at the time the lump sum was
received should control... and not, as Cigna argues, the
plan in place at the later of the date the participant
reaches earliest retirement age under Part A or the actual
benefit commencement date." (Id. at 17
(emphasis in original).)
parties now dispute, in essence, the year(s) to be used to
determine the interest rate and mortality table for
calculating the annuity value of the lump sum distribution
for purposes of determining the offset. (See Ruling
on Methodology for Calculating ...