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Anheuser-Busch sued over retirement benefit calculations

Budweiser is one of Anheuser Busch’s premier brands.

Anheuser-Busch Cos., St. Louis, has been hit with a class-action lawsuit that claims the company used out-of-date mortality rates to calculate employee retirement benefits from the company's defined benefit plan in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on Monday by lead plaintiff and plan participant Michael Duffy, alleges that Anheuser-Busch has been using an outdated mortality table to calculate the mortality rates of participants in its pension plan. As a result, the company has been failing to pay out benefits from its plan in amounts that are actuarially equivalent to a single life annuity, as required by ERISA.

By not offering benefits that are actuarially equivalent to a single life annuity, the suit argues that plan participants aren't receiving all of their vested retirement benefits.

The suit is looking for the defendant to bring the plan into compliance with ERISA, correct and recalculate benefits that have been paid, pay all benefits wrongly withheld, and provide an accounting of all prior benefit payments to determine the proper amounts that should have been paid.

Samantha Roth, a spokeswoman for Anheuser-Busch, said the firm is currently preparing its defense.