In an amicus brief filed last week, the ERISA Industry Committee and Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America stated that a court should not rewrite a plan document, or penalize the administrator who follows the plan document, merely because a summary plan description does not disclose wear-away in pension accruals (although it did summarize the basic interaction of the old and new formulas under the plan).  The brief explains that SPDs are intended to describe the key terms of a plan, not the effect of those terms on participant’s varying circumstances.  Furthermore, equitable remedies such as reformation and surcharge are applied only in rare cases that would not include a mere error or omission in an SPD.

Covington & Burling LLP attorneys Eric Bosset, Richard Shea, Robert Newman, and Jason Levy represent the ERISA Industry Committee and the Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America on the amicus brief.