Plaintiffs Seek Class Action Status for Pension Overstatement Claims Against Northrop Grumman and Hewitt/Alight

An amended complaint filed March 29 in Bafford, et al. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., et al., alleges that Northrop Grumman and its outside administrator, Hewitt Associates LLC (now known as Alight Solutions LLC), violated federal and state law by persistently overstating the pension benefits earned by certain Northrop Grumman employees.

Plaintiffs Stephen Bafford and Evelyn Wilson each worked for Northrop Grumman in the 1980’s and 1990’s, then worked for TRW Corporation, and then returned to Northrop Grumman employment when Northrop Grumman acquired TRW in 2002. For years before each Plaintiff retired from Northrop Grumman, the Defendants provided them with pension benefit statements that showed their pensions being calculated on the basis of their highest three years of pay from their second period of Northrop Grumman employment.

But in early 2017, Defendants notified each Plaintiff that their pensions would be reduced by more than 50 percent because the pensions should have been calculated based on earnings from each Plaintiff’s first period of Northrop Grumman employment. Defendants further demanded repayment of pension amounts already paid to Plaintiffs, including more than $35,000 demanded from Ms. Wilson.

Plaintiffs allege that by misinforming them about their pension benefit amounts, Defendants violated provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and, alternatively, that Hewitt acted negligently in miscalculating the pensions and providing the erroneous pension benefit statements. Plaintiffs allege that the error was systemic, affecting numerous Northrop Grumman employees. Plaintiffs seek certification of a class of current and former Northrop Grumman employees whose benefits under Northrop Grumman’s pension plans were miscalculated.

Renaker Hasselman Scott LLP and Kantor & Kantor, LLP represent the Plaintiffs.

Read the Amended Complaint here.

For questions about the case, please contact Teresa Renaker, teresa@renakerhasselman.com, Elizabeth Hopkins, ehopkins@kantorlaw.net, or Susan Meter, smeter@kantorlaw.net.

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