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AT&T Members and Retirees Fight to Protect Pensions from Athene Transfer

CWA active members and retirees at AT&T have been taking steps to fight back against a transaction that threatens the retirement security that members have earned through decades of loyal service to the company.

Last year, AT&T entered into an agreement to transfer pension benefits, covering over 96,000 retirees and beneficiaries, to a life insurance company called Athene Holding Ltd. AT&T gained more than $360 million in cost savings from the deal, while retirees lost the protections of federal law and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

AT&T retirees have filed a class action complaint against AT&T, alleging that the company and its advisors breached their fiduciary duty in their selection of Athene. The retirees are asking the court to require AT&T to backstop all the benefits transferred to Athene, ensuring benefits maintain the same guarantees that retirees expected to have through the course of their careers.

“I always believed that when you had a job with the telephone company, you had a job for life,” said CWA Local 4252 President LaNell Piercy, a retiree from Marseilles, Ill. Ms. Piercy retired in 2007 after 31 years of eligible service under the AT&T Pension Benefit Plan. “It took sacrifice and hard work to earn a pension with AT&T, especially for women. As women, we struggled to find safe public transportation to get home at night. For a time, I commuted two hours each way to keep my job and keep vesting in my pension.”

President Claude Cummings Jr. will host a town hall for all AT&T members and retirees on June 5 to share more information on AT&T’s transaction with Athene and the legal complaint. Register at

AT&T Town Hall Call