Retirement Funds Mysteriously Shrank, a Woman Claims
6-5-2015 16:20:00

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) - An 80 percent surprise drop in a woman’s expected retirement funds derailed her plans, she claims in U.S. Northern District Court, San Francisco Division.

     Patricia H. Mintz sued Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc., in its capacity as Plan Administrator and fiduciary of the Kaiser Permanente Salaried Retirement Plan, and Kaiser Permanente Salaried Retirement Plan, alleging violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).
     According to Mintz’s lawsuit, she contributed to Kaiser’s retirement plan during her employment.
     “After leaving employment with Kaiser, plaintiff went into business for herself as a professional health policy consultant. From 2000 to 2012, she diligently generated a network of contacts, building a business that provided her with an annual income averaging between $135,000 and $145,000,” (Pg. 3, No. 7) the complaint states.
     As Mintz approached retirement, she began making inquiries into the status of her account. Each estimate she was given, whether by phone, letter or the plan website, showed she would have at least $800,000, and by some estimates over $1 million, available when she retired at age 63 in November 2014.
     Based on those figures, and in consultation with a professional retirement planner, she gradually reduced her consulting practice by about 90 percent, beginning in 2012, according to the complaint.
     But then, three and a half months before her planned retirement date, as she had many times before, she again logged into the plan website to check her holdings.
     “For the first time, plaintiff was informed that the lump sum value of her pension benefits based upon her retirement date of Nov. 1, 2014 would be only $175,582.94. The amount was a massive reduction to less than 20 percent of the amount plaintiff had been repeatedly promised she would receive. Plaintiff received no explanation regarding the dramatic decrease in the amount of retirement benefits she could expect upon retirement,” (Pg. 7, No. 19) the complaint states.
     About 10 weeks later, the projected amount had gone up to $176,972, still far below what she had expected, according to the complaint.
     “Plaintiff has since attempted to resurrect her former client relationships, and solicit new client relationships, but she has had very little success in doing so. Her annual income from her consulting business has deceased dramatically to approximately $12,000 in anticipation of relying on her pension benefits from Kaiser and she has not been able to restore her prior annual income,” (Pg. 9, No. 23) the complaint states.
     Patricia Mintz seeks injunctive relief, disgorgement of profits, a surcharge for pecuniary injuries, statutory penalties for withholding of documents, attorneys’ fees and costs, pre-judgment interest and post-judgment interest. She is represented by Joseph A. Creitz and Lisa S. Serebin of Creitz & Serebin in San Francisco.