Academic journal article Labor Law Journal

From the Editor

Academic journal article Labor Law Journal

From the Editor

Article excerpt

Dear Reader:

Just a cursory review of recent court cases reveals an upsurge in the number of cases involving retirees' attempts to enforce employer promises of lifetime health care benefits. While Congress and the Bush Administration have failed to find a permanent solution to ensure the solvency of the Social security system, and the problem just seems to languish, employers have taken significant steps to shed themselves of liability for pension and health benefits owed retirees.

While many employers have eliminated retiree medical benefits, a number of companies are shifting their liabilities to voluntary employee benefit associations (VEBAs) along with billions of dollars in funding. VEBAs have garnered national headlines in the past several weeks as General Motors, Chrysler, and AK Steel have announced they will transfer their retiree health care liabilities to their employees' unions by using a VEBA. Each of the VEBAs will be operated by the retirees' unions. Unlike the situation at General Motors and Chrysler, AK Steel's VEBA is the result of a lawsuit rather than a collective bargaining agreement. …

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