A U.S. District Court judge in Maryland ruled that cash balance plans are not inherently age discriminatory. Judge Catherine C. Blake, who threw out a lawsuit filed by Dan Tootle against Annapolis, Md.-based Arinc Inc. ruled that cash balance plans should be treated as defined contribution plans, in which accrued retirement benefits are based on the hypothetical account value, and not like defined benefit plans in which the benefit is based on the value of a retirement age annuity. "Applying the ERISA provisions designed for traditional defined benefit plans to cash balance plans could lead to illogical results," the judge said. Ms. Blake also threw out the lawsuit because Mr. Tootle received more money for his accrued benefits under the cash balance plan upon termination in March 2002 than if had he stayed in the defined benefit plan. Dave Erculiani, director of pension management at Arinc, did not return calls by press time seeking comment.