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A Recent Supreme Court ruling in CNH Industrial N.V. v. Reese exemplifies why carefully reviewing plan documents—like a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or summary plan document (SPD)—is so important.
Employees claimed that the language of the agreement suggested benefits were vested for life, but the CBA itself listed an expiration date.
The court conceded that if the agreement used ambiguous language like “lifetime” or “for life,” that would change the situation. However, including an expiration date and avoiding such language makes it clear that the benefits are limited.
With these case details in mind, carefully review your plan documents, like your SPD or any other documents that discuss health benefits. Make sure the language you use is not ambiguous and clearly lays out your intentions.
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