October 9, 2013

Employee Benefits-IRS Provides Some Thoughts On Considering The Consequences Of 401(k) Plan Hardship Distributions

In Retirement News For Employers, August 20, 2013, the IRS provides some thoughts on the consequences of 401(k) plan hardship distributions. Here is what the IRS said:

Many 401(k) plans allow you to withdraw money before you actually retire for certain events that cause you a financial hardship. For example, some 401(k) plans may allow a hardship distribution to pay for your, your spouse's, your dependents' or your primary plan beneficiary's:

• medical expenses,
• funeral expenses, or
• tuition and related educational expenses.

However, you should know these consequences before taking a hardship distribution:

• The amount of the hardship distribution will permanently reduce the amount you'll have in the plan at retirement.
• You must pay income tax on any previously untaxed money you receive as a hardship distribution.
• You may also have to pay an additional 10% tax, unless you are age 59½ or older, or qualify for another exception.
• You may not be able to contribute to the plan for six months after you receive the hardship distribution.

Remember, a 401(k) plan is designed to help you save money for your retirement while you're working. You should consider the consequences before dipping into your retirement savings.

October 8, 2013

Employment-Fifth Circuit Reverse's District Court's Summary Judgment Against Former Employee Claiming FMLA Retaliation

In Todd v. Ion, No. 12-60682 (5th Cir. 2012), plaintiff Todd W. Ion ("Ion"), a former employee of defendant Chevron USA, Inc. ("Chevron"), was appealing the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Chevron. Ion alleges that Chevron terminated him in retaliation for exercising his rights under the Family Medical Leave Act ("FMLA"). The district court held that, while Ion had established the existence of a genuine dispute as to a material fact regarding Chevron's motivation for the termination, Chevron had established as a matter of law that it would have terminated Ion despite any retaliatory motive.

Upon reviewing the case, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (the "Court") ruled that-contrary to the district court's finding -Chevron failed to establish, as a matter of law, that it would have fired Ion despite any retaliatory motive. In so ruling, it found that Chevron's evidence of Ion's work history deficiencies, in terms of poor attendance and performance, faking the need to take FMLA leave and abusive behavior, was not sufficient to prove that it would have fired him absent the motive to retaliate. As such, the Court reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment, and remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings.

October 7, 2013

Employment-HHS Provides Model HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices

For anyone still struggling to revise its HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has made a model notice available. The model may be found here.

Government regulations issued on January 25, 2013 contained provisions which must be reflected in a revised Notice of Privacy Practices. Under those regulations, a health plan that posts its Notice of Privacy Practices on its web site had to prominently post the revised notice on its web site by September 23, 2013, and also must provide the revised notice, or information about the revisions and how to obtain the revised notice, in its next annual mailing to individuals covered by the plan. Any other health plan must provide the revised Notice of Privacy Practices to covered individuals within 60 days after September 23, 2013.

October 3, 2013

Employment-Second Circuit Rules That CVS Pharmacist Was Exempt From FLSA Overtime Requirements

In Anani v. CVS RX Services, Inc., Docket No. 11-2359-cv (2nd Cir. 2013), plaintiff Salah Anani ("Anani") was appealing a grant of summary judgment by the district court that Anani, a pharmacist at CVS, is exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (the "Act") because he is a highly-paid employee.

In analyzing the case, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (the "Court") noted that FLSA Section 213(a)(1) provides an exemption from its overtime requirement for any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity. To qualify for this exemption, an employee's work must satisfy both a duties requirement and a salary requirement. Here, Anani conceded that the duties requirement is met. To meet the salary requirement, under FLSA regulations (at 29 C.F.R. § 541.600(a)), the employee must be compensated on a salary basis at a rate of not less than $455 per week. In turn, FLSA regulations (at 29 C.F.R. § 541.602) provide that an employee will be considered to be paid on a "salary basis" if the employee regularly receives each pay period, on a weekly, or less frequent basis, a predetermined amount constituting all or part of the employee's compensation, which amount is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of the work performed. An employee is not paid on a salary basis if deductions from the employee's predetermined compensation are made for absences occasioned by the employer or by the operating requirements of the business.

The Court found that Anani's base salary substantially exceeded $455 per week and there were no impermissible deductions. There is also no dispute that Anani's base weekly salary was guaranteed, to be paid regardless of the number of hours he actually worked in a given forty-four-hour shift. Thus, the salary requirement is met and the exemption applies.

Futhermore, the Court found that-due to additional pay for extra work hours that raised his total annual compensation to over $100,000 and the concession that the duties requirement is met- Anani also met the FLSA overtime exemption for highly compensated employees in the regulations (at 29 C.F.R. § 541.601(a)). This exemption applies to an employee whose total annual compensation is at least $100,000 and who customarily and regularly performs one or more of the exempt duties or responsibilities of an executive, administrative or professional employee.

Based on the above, the Court concluded that Anani was exempt from FLSA overtime requirements, and it upheld the district court's summary judgment.

October 2, 2013

ERISA-Fifth Circuit Rules That Plan Administrator's Denial Of Claim For Death Benefits Must Be Upheld

In Porter v. Lowe's Companies, No. 12-60683 (5th Cir. 2013), plaintiff Josh Porter ("Porter") brought suit against defendant Lowe's Companies ("Lowe's"), to challenge the Plan Administrator's denial of a claim for death benefits under an ERISA Plan. The covered employee had died in an automobile accident on her way to respond to a night alarm at work. The district court granted relief from the Plan Administrator's denial of Porter's claim, and awarded the death benefits to Porter, concluding that the Plan Administrator had abused its discretion.

In analyzing the case, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (the "Court") found that the Plan Administrator was entitled to a review of its decision to deny the claim by a court using the arbitrary and capricious standard, since the ERISA plan granted it the discretion to interpret the plan's meaning and to determine benefit eligibility. Since the Plan Administrator did not insure the plan, there was no conflict of interest. The Plan Administrator's interpretation of the plan, in a manner which denied the claim for the death benefits, was not unreasonable. As such, the Court ruled that the Plan Administrator did not abuse its discretion, so its claim denial must be upheld. Accordingly, the Court reversed the district court's decision, and rendered judgment in favor of Lowe's.

October 1, 2013

Employment-Fifth Circuit Rules That Plaintiff Can Establish An ADA Claim For Failure to Accommodate, Even Though There Is No Nexus Between Denied Accommodation And Job Functions

In Feist v. State of Louisiana, No. 12-31065 (5th Cir. 2013), the plaintiff, Pauline G. Feist ("Feist"), a former assistant attorney general for the Louisiana Department of Justice ("LDOJ"), claims, among other things, that LDOJ discriminated against her in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") by declining to provide a free on-site parking space to accommodate her disability (osteoarthritis of the knee). The district court granted summary judgment against Feist's discrimination claim, holding that she failed to explain how the denial of on-site parking limited her ability to perform the "essential functions" of her job. Feist filed timely appeal, arguing that the ADA does not require a link between a requested accommodation and an essential job function.

In analyzing the case, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (the "Court") said that the sole question on appeal is whether the district court applied the correct legal standard in determining whether Feist's proposed accommodation was reasonable, and thefore an ADA violation occurred when the employer did not honor it. The Court ruled that-to show reasonableness- Feist need not show a nexus between a requested accommodation-the on-site parking-and her ability to handle essential job functions. Accordingly, the Court vacated the district court's summary judgment, and remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings

September 30, 2013

Employee Benefits-IRS Provides Guidance For Making Claims For FICA And Income Tax Refunds Following Windsor

In Notice 2013-61, the Internal Revenue Service (the "IRS") provides guidance for employers and employees to make claims for refund or adjustments of overpayments of Federal Insurance Contributions Act ("FICA") taxes and Federal income tax withholding, with respect to certain benefits provided and remuneration paid to same-sex spouses, following the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor and the holdings of Rev. Rul. 2013-17. Notice 2013-61 is here.

September 27, 2013

Employee Benefits-IRS Provides Guidance On Automatic Contribution Increases

In Retirement News For Employers, August 20, 2013, the IRS provides guidance on automatic contributions increases. Here is what the IRS said:

Your plan can automatically increase salary deferral contributions for participants if it has or adopts an automatic contribution arrangement ("auto enrollment") feature. An automatic contribution increase feature can:
-- periodically increase the amount employees contribute from their wages to the plan, and
--help employees save more for their retirement.

With an automatic contribution arrangement, you can automatically enroll employees in the plan when they meet the plan's eligibility requirements and then deduct salary deferrals from their wages. Employees may, however, elect to contribute at a different rate (including zero).

Timing and amount of automatic contribution increases

You have flexibility over when employees' contributions will automatically increase and by how much, depending on your plan's type of automatic contribution arrangement.
A basic automatic contribution arrangement has the most flexibility because you may structure the contribution increases to occur at any time, in any amount and based on any definition of compensation. However, your plan must state:
 when increases will occur;
 the amount of the increase (may have a cap, for example, a maximum contribution rate of 15%); and
 the definition of compensation the plan will use for the increase.
An eligible automatic contribution arrangement ("EACA") gives you about the same flexibility as a basic automatic contribution arrangement, but:
 you must inform employees of the timing and amount of automatic contribution increases in an annual notice; and
 any contribution increase must meet the uniformity requirement (the increase is the same for all employees, for example, 1%).

Your plan's EACA may allow employees to request a withdrawal of any automatically contributed amount within 90 days of when automatic contributions were first withheld from their wages.

A qualified automatic contribution arrangement ("QACA") has similar notice and uniformity requirements as an EACA, but in addition:
 contribution increases must meet a minimum schedule of automatic contribution default percentages (starting at 3% and increasing by 1% each year until the default percentage is 6%);
 the default percentage cannot be more than 10%; and
 you must make a minimum level of employer contributions each year.

By meeting all QACA requirements, your plan is exempted from the annual actual deferral percentage and actual contribution percentage nondiscrimination testing requirements. Your plan can include an EACA as well as the QACA so that employees can request a withdrawal of any automatically contributed amount within 90 days of when automatic contributions were first withheld from their wages.

Sample amendments

Notice 2009-65 contains two sample amendments you can review and discuss with your benefits advisor to add:
1. a basic automatic contribution arrangement with automatic contribution increases to your 401(k) plan, or
2. an eligible automatic contribution arrangement with automatic increases to your 401(k) plan.

September 26, 2013

Employee Benefits-IRS Provides Guidance On How Self-Employed Individuals Should Calculate Their Own Retirement Plan Contributions and Deductions

In Retirement News For Employers, August 20, 2013, the IRS provides guidance on how self-employed individuals should calculate their own retirement plan contributions and deductions. Here is what the IRS said:

If you are self-employed (a sole proprietor, or a working partner in a partnership or limited liability company), you calculate your self-employment ("SE") tax using the amount of your net earnings from self-employment and following the instructions on Schedule SE, Self-Employment Tax. However, you must make adjustments to your net earnings from self-employment to arrive at your plan compensation, which is the amount you use to determine the plan contribution/deduction for yourself.

Plan compensation

To calculate your plan compensation, you reduce your net earnings from self-employment by:
-- the deductible portion of your SE tax from your Form 1040 return, page 1 (Schedule SE, IRC Sections 401(c)(2) and 164(f)); and
-- the amount of your own (not your employees') retirement plan contribution from your Form 1040 return, page 1, on the line for self-employed SEP, SIMPLE, and qualified plans (IRC Section 401(c)(2)).

You use your plan compensation to calculate the amount of your own contribution/deduction. Note that your plan compensation and the amount of your own plan contribution/deduction depend on each other - to compute one, you need the other (this is a circular calculation). One way to do this is to use a reduced plan contribution rate. You can use the Table and Worksheets for the Self-Employed (Publication 560) to find the reduced plan contribution rate to calculate the plan contribution and deduction for yourself.


Joe, a Schedule C sole proprietor, will have $100,000 net profit on his 2013 Schedule C (after deducting all Schedule C expenses, including a 10% retirement plan contribution made for his common-law employees but not his own contribution). Joe must pay $14,130 in SE taxes. To compute his plan compensation, Joe must subtract from his net profit of $100,000:
-- the IRC Section 164(f) deduction, which in this case is ½ of his SE tax ($14,130 x ½);
-- the amount of contribution for himself to the plan.

To determine the amount of his plan contribution, Joe must use the reduced plan contribution rate (considering the plan contribution rate of 10%) of 9.0909% from the rate table in Pub. 560.

Alternatively, Joe can compute his reduced plan contribution rate by:
1. Taking the plan contribution rate 10%
2 .Dividing the plan contribution rate by 100% + plan contribution rate 10%/110%
3. To get the reduced plan contribution rate 9.0909%.

Joe can now compute his own contribution/deduction amount as follows:
1 .$100,000 Schedule C net profit
2. - $7,065 1/2 SE tax deduction ($14,130 x ½)
3. = $92,935 Net profit reduced by ½ SE tax
4. x 9.0909% Joe's reduced plan contribution rate
5. = $8,449 Joe's allowed contribution and deduction

There is simple way to quickly verify the accuracy of Joe's contribution/deduction amount:
1. $100,000 Joe's Schedule C net profit
2. - $7,065 ½ SE tax deduction
3. - $8,449 Joe's contribution/deduction for himself
4. = $84,486 Amount subject to plan's full rate
5. x 10% Plan's full rate
6 = $8,449 Joe's contribution/deduction for himself
If lines 3 and 6 above match, the contribution/deduction calculation is correct.

Contribution or deduction mistakes

You should amend your Form 1040 tax return and Schedule C if you:
-- deducted your own plan contribution on Schedule C instead of on Form 1040, page 1,
-- made and deducted more than the allowable plan contribution for yourself.

If you contributed more for yourself than your plan terms allowed, you should also correct this plan qualification failure by using the IRS correction programs.

September 25, 2013

Employment-Fifth Circuit Rules That Employer Must Use Fluctuating Workweek Method Of Calculating Overtime Wages

In Ransom v. M. Patel Enterprises, Inc., No. 12-50534 (5th Cir. 2013), after a jury found Abigail F. Ransom and fifteen other executive managers (the "plaintiffs") of Party City, a retail chain, to be misclassified by their employer as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), the plaintiffs became eligible for an award of overtime wages. Because the plaintiffs were paid a weekly salary, the trial court had to compute their hourly rate of pay in order to award overtime damages. Disregarding the so-called "fluctuating workweek" ("FWW") method of determining overtime damages - a method established by precedent and relevant federal regulations as applicable in this case - the district court, presided over by a magistrate judge, instead determined overtime damages by using the magistrate judge's unorthodox preferred methodology. The defendant appeals the calculation method.

In analyzing the case, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (the "Court") ruled that the FWW method, as explained in 29 C.F.R. § 778.114(a), must be used to calculate the overtime wages due, since the employees in this case understood that they were to be paid a fixed salary for the total number of hours they worked each week, even though the number of those hours may fluctuate from week to week. As such, the Court reversed the district court's decision, and remanded the case back to the district court to make a recalculation using the correct method.

September 24, 2013

ERISA-Fifth Circuit Rules That Insurer Was Not Arbitrary or Capricious In Denying Claim For LTD Benefits

In Truitt v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 12-50142 (5th Cir. 2013), the plaintiff, Terri Truitt ("Truitt"), claimed that her lower-back, leg, and foot pain prevented her from working as an attorney. The defendant, Unum Life Insurance Company of America ("Unum"), awarded Truitt long-term disability benefits. Years later, a former companion of Truitt provided Unum with emails indicating that, while claiming to be disabled, Truitt engaged in activities, such as traveling abroad, that were inconsistent with her asserted disability. Based, in part, on these emails, Unum denied Truitt's claims prospectively, and sought more than $1 million in reimbursements for benefits paid. The district court found that there was substantial evidence to support Unum's denial of benefits. Nonetheless, the district court held, among other things, that the denial was procedurally unreasonable, and therefore an abuse of discretion, because Unum did not fulfill its duty to "consider the source" of the emails. Unum appeals.

In analyzing the case, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals (the "Court") said that, in evaluating whether a plan administrator wrongfully has denied benefits under ERISA, this court never has imposed a duty to investigate the source of evidence. Instead, the burden is on the claimant to discredit evidence relied only the plan administrator. Accordingly, the Court ruled that Unum did not act arbitrarily and capriciously in denying claims prospectively. It reversed the district court's decision, and rendered judgment for Unum. The Court further remanded the case back to the district court on Unum's claim of $1 million in reimbursements for amounts previously paid.

September 23, 2013

ERISA-DOL Offers Its Own Guidance On Treatment Of Same-Sex Spouses After Windsor

As a follow up to the IRS guidance on this topic (see my blogs of September 4th and 6th), the Department of Labor (the "DOL") has issued Technical Release No. 2013-04, which provides guidance for employee benefit plans on the definition of "Spouse" and "Marriage" under ERISA and the Supreme Court's Decision in United States v. Windsor. Here are the highlights of what the DOL said:

Introduction. On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled, in United States v. Windsor, that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act ("DOMA") is unconstitutional. Section 3 provides that, in any Federal statute, the term "marriage" means a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and that "spouse" refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.

Guidance. In general, where the Secretary of Labor has authority to issue regulations, rulings, opinions, and exemptions in title I of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code, as well as in the Department's regulations at chapter XXV of Title 29 of the Code of Federal Regulations, the term "spouse" will be read to refer to any individuals who are lawfully married under any state law, including individuals married to a person of the same sex who were legally married in a state that recognizes such marriages, but who are domiciled in a state that does not recognize such marriages. Similarly, the term "marriage" will be read to include a same-sex marriage that is legally recognized as a marriage under any state law.

For purposes of this guidance, the term "state" means any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Wake Island, the Northern Mariana Islands, any other territory or possession of the United States, and any foreign jurisdiction having the legal authority to sanction marriages.

The terms "spouse" and "marriage," however, do not include individuals in a formal relationship recognized by a state that is not denominated a marriage under state law, such as a domestic partnership or a civil union, regardless of whether the individuals who are in these relationships have the same rights and responsibilities as those individuals who are married under state law. The foregoing sentence applies to individuals who are in these relationships with an individual of the opposite sex or same sex.

September 20, 2013

ERISA-Third Circuit Rules That Fidelity Did Not Violate ERISA By Charging A Fee For Reviewing Domestic Relations Orders

In Danza v. Fidelity Management Trust Company, No. 12-3497 (3rd Cir. 2013), the plaintiff, Nicholas Danza ("Danza"), had brought suit on behalf of himself and other similarly situated beneficiaries of employee benefit plans against the defendants, Fidelity Management Trust Company and Fidelity Investments Institutional Operations Company (collectively, "Fidelity"), alleging that they violated various provisions of ERISA by charging plan participants an excessive service fee for reviewing Domestic Relations Orders ("DROs"). The district court had granted Fidelity's motion to dismiss, and Danza appeals.

In this case, Danza was a participant in a 401(k) retirement plan (the "Plan") sponsored by his employer. The employer and Fidelity entered into a Trust Agreement under which Fidelity agreed to provide recordkeeping and administrative services for the Plan, which included the review of DROs for compliance with ERISA and the members' plan. The fees for this review ranged from $300 for a review of a DRO generated on Fidelity's website to $1,800 when plans not on Fidelity's website are involved. When a DRO naming Danza was reviewed by Fidelity, Danza was charged $1,200. This suit ensued.

In analyzing the case, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals (the "Court") noted that Danza asserts that Fidelity violated ERISA by entering into an agreement to charge allegedly excessive fees and for collecting such fees. Thus, the Court said, to determine if Plaintiff properly alleges violations of ERISA, Fidelity's conduct must be examined at two points: when it was negotiating for the fees and when it was collecting the fees.

The potential ERISA violation at the negotiating stage was a breach of fiduciary duty-namely a duty of loyalty to participants- under section 404(a) of ERISA. But at this stage, Fidelity was not a fiduciary of the plan, and thus could not commit a fiduciary breach. The potential ERISA violation as the collection stage is the same-breach of duty of loyalty to participants-but Fidelity did not set the fees it was charging and was merely collecting fees negotiated for at the earlier stage. Thus, Fidelity could not commit a fiduciary breach at this stage either. As such, the Court concluded that Danza's claim under section 404(a) of ERISA fails. Similarly, the Court concluded that Danza's other claims of ERISA violations-such as breach of fiduciary duty by a co-fiduciary under section 405(a) of ERISA, involvement in prohibited transactions in violation of section 406 of ERISA, also fail. As a result, the Court affirmed the district court's motion to dismiss.

September 19, 2013

Employment-Eighth Circuit Holds That Walking Time, Between The Changing Room and The Time Clock, Is Not Compensable Time Under The FLSA

In Adair v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., No. 12-3565 (8th Cir. 2013), the plaintiffs sued their employer, ConAgra Foods, Inc. ("ConAgra"), alleging that ConAgra violated the Fair Labor Standards Act (the "FLSA") by, among other things, failing to compensate them for time spent walking between changing stations where they don and doff their uniforms and the time clock where they punch in and out for the day. The district court denied ConAgra's motion for summary judgment on this walking time, and granted the parties' joint motion to certify the issue for interlocutory appeal. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals (the "Court") granted permission to appeal.

In analyzing the case, the Court noted that, under the FLSA and its regulations, an employee's workday, on which compensable time is based, begins and ends with a "principal activity". The Court further noted the plaintiffs' contention that, even though their time spent changing clothes is not compensable-since its not a custom or practice treated as compensable time under the collective bargaining agreement (see section 203(o) of the FLSA)- it is still a "principal activity" that begins and ends the workday under the FLSA. It follows, they say, that the time walking to and from the clock is part of the workday and workweek that must be compensated.

However, the Court said the FLSA contemplates that a "principal activity" is one which the employee is employed to perform. In this case, the plaintiffs are not employed to perform their changing of clothes. Thus, changing clothes is not a principal activity which can start the workday. It follows, the Court continued, that time spent walking between the clothes-changing stations and the time clock is not part of the workday and workweek for which the employer is liable to pay compensation under the FLSA.

September 18, 2013

ERISA-Ninth Circuit Overturns The Trustees' Interpretation of Plan Language, Which Equated Unskilled Jobs With The Job Of Skilled Mechanic

In Tapley v. Locals 302 and 612 of the International Union of Operating Engineers Employers Construction Industry Retirement Plan, No. 11-35220 (9th Cir. 2013), the plaintiffs were appealing a judgment of the district court, upholding the interpretation of plan language by the Trustees of their pension plan. The Trustees determined that the plaintiffs' respective post-retirement jobs as a traffic flagger and snow plow operator fell into the same "job classification" as their former union jobs as skilled mechanics. On that basis, each plaintiff was precluded from working his job if he wanted to collect retirement benefits. The plaintiffs brought suit against the Trustees under ERISA, alleging that the Trustees' interpretation of the plan language was an abuse of discretion. The district court affirmed the Trustees' interpretation.

In analyzing the case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (the "Court") said that the Trustees' interpretation of the plan is entitled to a deferential review, since the plan gives them broad power to determine eligibility for benefits. However, the Court continued, by construing the plan language to preclude the plaintiffs from retiring to unskilled jobs entailing roadside work, the Trustees effectively re-write the plan to sweep within its ambit an overly broad range of skills. Common sense strongly suggests that a position flagging traffic or plowing snow is not in the same "job classification" as a skilled mechanic repairing heavy equipment utilizing specialized skills acquired over a long career. These two positions have little in common beyond basic skills widely acquired through everyday experiences. The record before us, the Court said, fails to identify a single instance when the Trustees found any overlapping skills or duties that were "material" or "significant," much less essential to the work performed.

The Court said further, that it is not for this Court to proffer a reasonable interpretation of plan language, but instead to identify and reject any interpretation that is arbitrary, misfocused and contrary to the intent of those responsible for its terms. We must do so here. We are unable to see how any sensible application of a skills and duties test to the established facts can support the Trustees' conclusion. The Court concluded by saying that, for the foregoing reasons, the Court reverses the district court' decision (and overturns the Trustees' interpretation of the plan), and returns the matter to the Trustees for reevaluation of the merits in a manner consistent with the Court's opinion.