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Closing A Business Unit Creates An Opportunity To Recover Unfunded Pension Costs


Although the Government has never contested that contractors with underfunded pension plans are entitled under CAS 413 to claim a lump sum adjustment for underfunded pension costs in connection with a segment closing, both the Defense Department and the Justice Department have asserted that a contractors' right to recover such costs may be limited by the standard Limitation of Costs clause, by standard contract release of claims language, and by regulatory provisions that require that pension plan contributions be made in the same year that the contractor claims pension costs. In a decision issued on July 5, 2005, in General Motors Corp. v. United States, the Court of Federal Claims rejected all of those Government arguments, only agreeing with the Government that GM will be required at some point to make contributions to its plan in an amount at least equal to the reimbursement it receives from the Government, and leaving open the possibility that contributions already made to the plan by GM since the segment closing will satisfy that requirement.

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