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Tyler v. Bank One Corp.

February 22, 2006

EULA B. TYLER, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BANK ONE CORPORATION AND BANK ONE CORPORATION PERSONAL PENSION ACCOUNT PLAN, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Amy J. St. Eve, District Court Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Eula B. Tyler filed a suit against Defendants Bank One Corporation ("Bank One") and Bank One Corporation Personal Pension Account Plan (the "Plan") pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. §1132(a)(1)(B). Plaintiff seeks to recover additional benefits allegedly due to her under the Plan. Defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment on the claims that Plaintiff has brought on her own behalf and on behalf of the certified class. For the reasons that follow, the Court grants Defendants' motion.

BACKGROUND

I. The Parties

Plaintiff is a former employee of Bank One. (R. 78-1; Defs.' Rule 56.1 Stmt. of Mat. Facts ("Defs.' SMF") at ¶ 3.) Bank One, a Delaware Corporation with its headquarters in Chicago, was a bank holding company. (Id. at ¶ 4.) The Plan is an employee pension benefit plan within the meaning of 29 U.S.C §1002(2). (Id. at ¶ 5.)

II. Plaintiff's Employment with Bank One and Predecessors to Bank One

In 1971, Plaintiff began working at NBD Bancorp, Inc. ("NBD"). (Id. at ¶ 9.) While an employee at NBD, she participated in the NBD Bancorp, Inc., Retirement Plan (the "NBD Plan"). (Id. at ¶ 10.) In 1995 or 1996, NBD merged with First Chicago Corporation ("First Chicago NBD Corporation"), and the NBD Plan merged with the First Chicago Corporation Pension Plan to become the First Chicago NBD Corporation Personal Pension Account Plan (the "First Chicago NBD Plan"). (R.84-1; Pl.'s Resp. to Defs.' SMF and Stmt. of Add'l Mat. Facts ("Pl.'s SMF") at ¶ 11.) Plaintiff was a participant in the First Chicago NBD Plan. (R. 78-1; Defs.' SMF at ¶ 12.) In 1998, the First Chicago NBD Corporation merged with Banc One Corporation to become Bank One, and the First Chicago NBD Plan merged into the Banc One Corporation Cash Balance Pension Plan to become the Plan. (Id. at ¶ 13.) Plaintiff participated in the Plan until her employment terminated on November 30, 2001. (Id. at ¶ 17.) Plaintiff was forty-nine years old when she left Bank One, and had accrued over thirty years of service. (R. 84-1; Pl.'s SMF at ¶ 44.)

III. The Plan

The Plan contains, among other things, a "grandfathered" provision that provides certain former NBD employees with the greater of the benefits provided under §5 of the Plan or Supplement B. (R. 78-1; Defs.' SMF at ¶ 14, Ex. 1 at §5.3, T000082-83.) Supplement B describes the benefits that would have been available to former NBD employees had the NBD Plan still been in existence. (Id. at ¶ 15, T000131.) The parties agree that Plaintiff was entitled to the benefits set forth in Supplement B because those benefits were greater than the benefits provided under §5 of the Plan. (Id. at ¶ 19); (R. 84-1; Pl.'s SMF at ¶ 19.)

Plaintiff chose to take her benefits under the Plan in a lump sum, rather than an annuity.

(R. 78-1; Defs.' SMF at ¶ 18.) Section 1.7 of Supplement B defines the "Lump Sum Value of the NBD Benefit" as: equal to the greater of (a) or (b) below, plus (c) and (d).

(a) The actuarial present value of the Gross Retirement Allowance (as defined in Section 2, below) unreduced for Early Retirement, if applicable, minus the Offset Allowance (as defined in Section 2, below) reduced in accordance with Supplement C for retirements prior to the Social Security Normal Retirement Ages payable as a deferred life annuity to commence when the Member reaches age 60 or an immediate annuity when the Member is age 60 or older.

(b) The actuarial present value of the Minimum Benefit (as defined in Section 2, below) unreduced for Early Retirement, if applicable, payable as a deferred life annuity to commence when the Member reaches age 60 or an immediate annuity when the Member is age 60 or older.

(c) If the Member is under age 62 on his date of retirement, the actuarial present value of the Offset Allowance reduced in accordance with Supplement C and payable as a ...


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