AARP to appeal retiree health benefits case to
By Susan Kelly
Friday, August 24, 2007
The AARP will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a decision that
validates federal regulations allowing companies to provide
different health benefits to younger retirees and those eligible
The AARP challenged the rules, issued in 2004 by the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), on the grounds that
they violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. The
EEOC regulations said companies could reduce or eliminate health
benefits for retirees eligible for Medicare — that is, those who
are 65 and older — while continuing to offer health benefits for
In June, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in the EEOC’s
favor, and earlier this week it denied the AARP’s petition that
it rehear the case.
On Thursday, the AARP asked the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania to continue its stay on the
EEOC regulations while the association appeals the case to the
U.S. Supreme Court.
“A case with such huge implications for the scope of executive
rule-making power will undoubtedly capture the court’s attention
and is an extremely strong candidate for Supreme Court review,”
the AARP said in its filing.
Employer organizations argue that if companies are not allowed
to reduce benefits once retirees are eligible for Medicare, they
may eliminate retiree health benefits altogether.