United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
JAMES P. TEUFEL, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
THE NORTHERN TRUST COMPANY, THE NORTHERN TRUST COMPANY PENSION PLAN, THE NORTHERN TRUST COMPANY EMPLOYEE BENEFIT ADMINISTRATIVE COMMITTEE, KATIE O'NEILL, KIM SOPPI, BOB CHAPELLE, YUAN CHEN, AMYRE COLEMAN, HEATHER HESTON, DAWN ROMEI, MARK SULLIVAN, MARK WELCH, DIANE HUGHES, and CHANDRA WILENSKY, Defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
W. DARRAH United States District Court Judge
March 20, 2016, Plaintiff James P. Teufel filed a Second
Amended Complaint against Defendants The Northern Trust
Company, The Northern Trust Company Pension Plan, The
Northern Trust Company Employee Benefit Administrative
Committee, Katie O'Neill, Kim Soppi, Bob Chapelle, Yuan
Chen, Amyre Coleman, Heather Heston, Dawn Romei, Mark
Sullivan, Mark Welch, Diane Hughes, and Chandra Wilensky,
pursuant to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of
1974 (“ERISA”), as amended, 29 U.S.C.
§§ 1001, et seq., and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act (“ADEA”), 29
U.S.C. §§ 621, et seq., on behalf of
himself and other participants in The Northern Trust Company
Pension Plan. Defendants filed a Motion to Dismiss . For
the reasons set forth below, Defendants' Motion  is
following is taken from Plaintiff's Amended Complaint,
which is assumed to be true for purposes of a motion to
dismiss. See Reger Dev., LLC v. Nat'l City Bank,
592 F.3d 759, 763 (7th Cir. 2010).
resides in Cook County, Illinois. Plaintiff is an employee of
The Northern Trust Company and a participant in The Northern
Trust Company Pension Plan (the “Plan”). (Compl.
¶ 1.) Defendant The Northern Trust Company
(“Northern”) is an Illinois banking corporation
with its principal place of business located in Chicago,
Illinois. Northern is the sponsor of the Plan within the
meaning of ERISA Section 3(16)(B), 29 U.S.C. §
1002(16)(B), the trustee of the Pension Trust, and the
fiduciary of the Plan. (Compl. ¶ 2.) The Plan is a
defined benefit pension plan within the meaning of ERISA.
Defendant The Northern Trust Company Employee Benefit
Administrative Committee (the “Benefit
Committee”) is the named Plan Administrator and named
Plan Fiduciary. Defendants Katie O'Neill, Kim Soppi, Bob
Chapelle, Yuan Chen, Amyre Coleman, Heather Heston, Dawn
Romei, Mark Sullivan, Mark Welch, Diane Hughes, and Chandra
Wilensky (“Committee Members”) are, or were,
members of the Benefit Committee and Plan fiduciaries during
the relevant period. Plaintiff asserts claims under ERISA and
ADEA against Northern, the Plan, the Benefit Committee, and
the Committee Members.
began his employment at Northern on or about March of 1998.
Plaintiff became a participant in the Plan at that time. Over
the course of Plaintiff's employment at Northern, his
average annual compensation increases have exceeded 5.1
percent. Until 2002, the Plan provided defined pension
benefits pursuant to a formula referred to as the
“Traditional Benefit Formula.”
2002, the Plan was amended to add a second formula, the
Pension Equity Plan Benefit Formula (the “PEP
Formula”), in addition to the Traditional Benefit
Formula. Participants who already had an Accrued Benefit were
permitted to choose which formula would apply to them going
forward. Plaintiff chose the Traditional Benefit Formula.
Effective April 1, 2012, Northern further amended the Plan by
providing that no additional Credited Service would be
recognized under the Traditional Formula (“2012
Amendment”). (Dkt. 42 ¶¶ 22-23.) Instead, a
revised PEP Formula applied to all participants for all
periods of service after March 31, 2012.
January 26, 2012, Northern issued a notice of the upcoming
Plan changes to the Plan's participants. The notice
If you are a Pension Plan participant who is currently under
the Traditional Formula, your benefits earned after March 31,
2012 will be calculated under the Pension Equity Plan (PEP)
Formula. This change will not impact benefits earned under
the Traditional Formula through March 31, 2012.
• Credited service and eligible compensation under the
Traditional Formula will be determined as of March 31, 2012.
• This eligible compensation, determined as of March 31,
2012, will be increased at a rate of 1.5% per year for the
time period you continue to earn benefits under the Pension
(Dkt. 42-4 at 1.)
12(b)(6) permits a defendant to move to dismiss a complaint
for “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). To survive a motion to
dismiss, a complaint must allege “enough facts to state
a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570
(2007). “Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause
of action, supported by mere conclusory statements, do not
suffice.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678
(2009) (citing Twombly, 550 U.S. at 555). However,
plaintiffs are not required to “plead the elements of a
cause of action along with facts supporting each
element.” Runnion ex rel. Runnion v. Girl Scouts of
Greater Chicago & Nw. Indiana, 786 F.3d 510, 517
(7th Cir. 2015). Rather, the complaint must provide a
defendant “with ‘fair notice' of the claim
and its basis.” Tamayo v. Blagojevich, 526
F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008) (quoting ...