Q. What is this lawsuit about?
The lawsuit challenges the way that PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (“PwC”) and the Retirement Benefit Accumulation Plan for Employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (the “Plan” or “RBAP”) (collectively, “Defendants”) calculated the lump sums of approximately 16,000 former PwC employees who cashed out of the Plan during the period March 23, 2000 to August 17, 2006.

The lawsuit alleges that the Defendants failed to calculate the lump sums paid to pre-retirement age participants in accordance with the standards set forth in the federal pension law known as “ERISA” – the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.  This claim brought by Plaintiffs is sometimes called a “whipsaw” claim.  The claim alleges that the Plan projected benefits to normal retirement age using a rate (“projection rate”) that understated the value of future investment experience when it was calculating accrued benefits under the Plan.

PwC strongly denies the Plaintiffs’ allegations and asserts several defenses.

Q. Why did the parties agree to settle?
When you left PwC and cashed out of the RBAP (“R-bap”) Cash Balance Plan, you were paid an amount equal to your account balance.  But the Plaintiffs (Mr. Laurent and Ms. Sharon) argued that a technical requirement in federal law (ERISA) prohibited the Plan from simply paying the account balance.  They argued that, instead, ERISA required PwC to estimate what each Plan participant’s account balance would have been at age 65 had they left their account the Plan, and then pay an amount equal to the “present value” of that projected age-65 balance, using actuarial factors specified by the IRS.

After 18 years of litigation, the District Court in New York (the Honorable J. Paul Oetken) (pronounced “ET-kin”) agreed last year that the law did require this type of calculation, but the Judge did not decide how the Plan should have made the estimate of what each participant’s account balance would have been at age 65, which as you can imagine is a very complicated question that is hard to pin down.  If the case had continued, the next stage of the case would have been for each side (Plaintiffs and PwC) to try to convince the Judge that their proposed estimation method was the best one; and then the side that lost would almost certainly have appealed the Judge’s decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and then the Supreme Court.

It would have taken several more years of litigation before there was any resolution—and there was a significant risk that the Judge (or the appeals court) might very well decide, after all those years, that the estimation method proposed by PwC was the best method, even though it would have resulted in zero additional benefits for you and every other member of the class.  The Plaintiffs decided that rather than take that risk, it was smarter to use an estimation method that the Plaintiffs’ expert pension actuary devised that would pay about 92% of the additional benefits that the actuary projected would have been payable if the case continued for several more years and both the Judge and the appeals courts ultimately sided with Plaintiffs instead of PwC regarding the estimation method—which, again, was by no means guaranteed.  The Plaintiffs—who are former employees like you, whose settlement benefit will be calculated using the same 92% settlement formula as you and everyone else in the class—were very pleased that PwC agreed to the expert’s proposal.

Q. How was my settlement benefit calculated?
Your settlement benefit is based on a mathematical formula that the Plaintiffs’ expert pension actuary devised, which would pay about 92% of the additional benefits that the actuary projected would have been payable to you if the case continued and Plaintiffs ended up winning all of the next several stages of the litigation:  convincing Judge Oetken to side with Plaintiffs instead of PwC regarding the appropriate method for estimating what each Plan participant’s account balance would have been at age 65 had they left their account the Plan; then convincing the Second Circuit Court of Appeals that Judge Oetken had made the right decision; then convincing the Supreme Court that neither Judge Oetken nor the Court of Appeals had misconstrued federal law or Supreme Court guidelines governing ERISA pension cases. .

The settlement benefit formula is set forth in Section 3.C of the Settlement Agreement.  The Plaintiffs’ pension actuary—not PwC—used the formula to calculate your estimated benefit, so you can trust that it is accurate.  The amount reflected in the Notice and Election Form that you received is not the final amount that you will receive, but is an estimate.  The figure will likely change at least a little bit because, for example, there are some members of the class who likely died without a successor—in which case their settlement benefit will be reallocated to the other members of the class, including you, in proportion to the relative size of each person’s settlement amount.  This is all spelled out in Section 3.C and the other sections of the Settlement Agreement that are cross-referenced in Section 3.C.

Q. But specifically, how did you arrive at the number shown on the Notice I received?
That number is an estimate subject to change (see Q&A below for the four ways the number could change).  It was arrived at, in accordance with the terms of the settlement, by

  • Taking the amount that was in your Plan account balance on the date you received your lump sum;
  • Projecting that amount into the future until the date that you attained/will attain age 65, using the 30-year Treasury rate that was in effect during the year you received your payment, plus 1 percentage point (for example, if the Treasury rate was 3%, the projection would be at would be at 4%);
  • Discounting that age 65 amount back to the date you received your lump sum, using the 30-year Treasury rate;
  • Subtracting from this amount (which is the lump sum amount you should have originally been paid, according to the Plaintiffs’ claims in the case) the lump sum amount that you were actually paid; and then bringing the difference (the alleged underpayment) forward with interest until today’s date using the prime interest rate;
  • Reducing that amount on a pro rata basis to cover Court-approved litigation expenses, settlement administration expenses, attorneys’ fees, and service awards for the named Plaintiffs.

Q. Why did I receive the Notice? 
Judge Oetken ordered that you receive notice of the lawsuit and its proposed settlement – and specifically approved the content of the Notice – because you are a member of the Class that the Court certified, originally back in 2014, which is basically defined as all former PwC employees who received a lump sum from the PwC RBAP plan between March 23, 2000 and August 17, 2006.

As a Class member, you have a right to know about the proposed settlement, know about your rights and obligations under it (if it is approved), and know about your right to object to it or aspects of it before it is submitted to the Court for its final approval.  You are also entitled to know, if the Court gives final approval to the settlement, how you would receive your settlement benefit, including the options available to select the form of your settlement benefit.

Q. Why is this case a class action?
Judge Oetken certified the Class because he agreed that this is the type of case in which Plaintiffs were and are claiming everyone was injured by PwC’s alleged violations of ERISA in the same way.  He also recognized that the way to fix the alleged violations, if proven, would be using a method that would apply to everyone in the exact same way—putting aside individual differences in, for example, the amount of Class members’ account balances or the year in which Class members received an original payment.  Judge Oetken also recognized that the case was suitable for treatment as a class action because PwC’s defenses to Plaintiffs’ claims would apply to all Class members in basically the exact same way.

Features like these make the case ideal for class treatment.

Q. Can I opt out of the settlement?
No, the Court determined that this case should be certified as a mandatory, non-opt-out class action.  Judge Oetken agreed with Plaintiffs’ argument that this is the kind of case that is so ideally suited for treatment in an across-the-board fashion that everyone “similarly situated” should have their rights decided, for better or for worse for them, in the same way and at the same time.  So, if the Court approves the settlement, you will be bound by it.  By the same token, you do not need to do anything now to receive your portion of an approved settlement.

Q. Who is in the Class?
Judge Oetken has defined the Class as consisting of certain persons who received lump sum pension payments from the PwC Plan between March 23, 2000 and August 17, 2006.  More formally, the Class is defined as:

All persons (“participants”) who accrued benefits after June 30, 1994 under the Retirement Benefit Accumulation Plan for Employees of Price Waterhouse LLP or the Retirement Benefit Accumulation Plan for Employees of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, who held a Cash Balance Account and received (and/or whose alternate payees or whose beneficiaries or estates received) a lump sum payment under the Plan between March 23, 2000 and August 17, 2006 prior to such participants attaining age 65.

Q. What is the proposed settlement?
The parties have reached an agreement under which all of Plaintiffs’ claims will be dismissed and comprehensive releases of liability provided, in exchange for a total settlement amount of $267 million.  In order to be binding, the settlement agreement must be approved by Judge Oetken as fair, reasonable, adequate, and in the best interests of the Class.

The settlement calls for the distribution of the total settlement amount—minus Court-approved litigation expenses, settlement administration costs, attorneys’ fees, and service award payments to the named plaintiffs—based on the relative alleged underpayments Class members experienced using an assumed projection rate equal to the applicable 30-year Treasury rate plus 1 percentage point to determine what participants should have been originally paid.  This represents the calculation of whipsaw benefits that the Class could have reasonably expected to receive had the litigation continued and Plaintiffs prevailed through final judgment and appeal.  All calculations – of both the estimated settlement benefits (for purposes of notice) and final benefits for purposes of distribution – were and/or will be completed by an ERISA Enrolled Actuary engaged by Plaintiffs’ counsel for these purposes.

Prior to arriving at each Class member’s individual net settlement benefit, the individual gross settlement benefit will be determined based on the difference between the lump sum that should have originally been paid and the account balance lump sum that was originally paid, brought forward with interest.  The individual net settlement benefit will then be determined by applying a factor to the individual gross settlement benefit that represents a pro rata reduction to account for (1) the member’s share of the overall litigation risk (in that the sum of all individual gross settlement benefits under the settlement formula is slightly (i.e., 8%) less than the total alleged benefit underpayments) and (2) all court-approved deductions (i.e., litigation expenses, settlement administration costs, attorneys’ fees, and incentive award payments to the named plaintiffs, if any).  Under the Agreement, in no event will any Class member’s net settlement benefit be less than $100.

Q. What do Class members get in the settlement?
It is currently estimated that the Net Settlement Fund will be approximately $177.3 million.  There are approximately 16,000 members of the Class.  Your individual settlement payment, as well as the settlement payments to each Class member, will not be an average.  Instead, if the settlement is approved by the Court, the amount of each Class member’s settlement payment from the Net Settlement Fund will be based on the relative alleged underpayments Class members experienced, which is a function of several factors including the amount of the Class member’s lump sum distribution(s) and the year in which such distribution(s) were made.

Remember that settlement payment amount on the first page of the Notice that you received is an estimate only.  It is provided for informational purposes only and is subject to change to reflect (a) correction of any errors; (b) discovery of additional data; (c) the amount actually approved by the Court in response to Class Counsel’s request for litigation and settlement administration expenses, attorneys’ fees and service awards for the named Plaintiffs; and (d) any changes in information available or discovered between the time of the estimate and the time of final settlement payment calculations.

Q. How do I tell the Court if I don’t like the proposed settlement?
You can tell the Court you object to the settlement if you do not agree with the proposed settlement, including the method to be used to determine the amount that will be allocated to you under the settlement, or Class Counsel’s request for litigation and settlement administration expenses, attorneys’ fees and service awards for the named Plaintiffs.

To object, you must send the Court no later than December 28, 2022 a notice of your objection along with a written statement that indicates all bases for your objection, documentation in support of your objection, legal authority (if any) supporting your objection, a notice of intention to be heard (if you intend to appear at the final approval hearing on January 27, 2023), and, if you intend to appear, a list of witnesses you may call for live testimony.  If you choose to object, please include your name, address, telephone number, and signature.  Your objection must be sent to the following address:

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
Attn:  Laurent v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. 06-CV-2280
40 Foley Square

New York, NY 10007-1312

Your written objection must also be simultaneously mailed to these lawyers:

Eli Gottesdiener
Gottesdiener Law Firm, PLLC
498 7th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Daniel J. Thomasch Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP 200 Park Avenue New York, NY 10166-0193 DThomasch@gibsondunn.com

Q. What happens if I do nothing in response to the Notice?
If you do nothing and the settlement is approved by the Court, you will receive your net settlement benefit if and when the settlement becomes truly final after the Court holds the final approval hearing and issues a written order finally approving the settlement.

Note, howeverthe parties strongly recommend that you fill out the election form attached to your copy of this notice and return it to the Notice Administrator, because if you neglect to fill out the form in a timely manner you will receive a direct payment of your settlement benefit, net of withheld taxes, when you may have wished to roll the proceeds into an IRA with no withholding for taxes.

Q. How will I receive my share of the settlement? 
If the Court approves the settlement and it becomes final, each individual net settlement benefit will be paid in the form of an additional lump sum and, to the greatest extent possible, as a tax-qualified plan benefit.  Attached to your copy of the notice you received is a form providing you with the option of (i) receiving a check for rolling the payment over to an IRA (with no tax withholding) or (ii) receiving a check payable directly to you net of the Plan’s withholding of federal income taxes (the “Election of Rollover/Direct Payment Form”).

If you are the Class member named on the first page of the Notice that you received, you should elect, by completing Election of Rollover/Direct Payment Form and returning it to the Notice Administrator (at the address below), one of the following rollover/distribution options:

Option 1 – Rollover: A direct rollover of 100% of your settlement benefit to an individual retirement account (“IRA”) that you designate in response to the Notice. If you select this option (which is available only if your final settlement benefit is at least $1,000), a check will be made payable to the qualified plan or IRA that you identify on the attached election form, on your behalf, and sent directly to you. You must then forward the check to the appropriate financial institution holding the IRA.

Option 2 – Direct Payment: A direct payment to you of 100% of your settlement benefit. If you elect this distribution option, the funds, net of the Plan’s withholding for income taxes, will be distributed and sent directly to you.

The Plan will automatically withhold applicable federal, state and local income taxes (including 20% for federal tax purposes) from the payment to each class member unless you elect the rollover option discussed above.  No opinion concerning tax consequences to individual Class members of the settlement payment each will receive is being given or will be given by the Plan, Plan counsel or Class Counsel.  In addition, no representation or warranty regarding such tax consequences are made to you by virtue of the settlement.  Each Class member’s tax obligations are the sole responsibility of the Class member, and you understand that your tax consequences may vary depending upon your particular circumstances.

ATTENTION—DEADLINE FOR MAKING ELECTION: To make a timely election, you must complete the information requested on the Election of Rollover/Direct Payment Form attached to the Notice that you received and return that page to the Notice Administrator by February 18, 2023.  IF YOU DO NOT MAKE A TIMELY ELECTION, you will be deemed to have elected option two (“Direct Payment”) and your settlement benefit (net of the Plan’s withholding for applicable income taxes) will be sent directly to you.

Q. When will I receive my share of the settlement?
The timing of the distribution of the net settlement fund to Class members will depend on when, if approved, the Court’s approval of the settlement becomes truly final under the law.  Should someone file an appeal challenging something about the settlement, a distribution of the settlement proceeds would not occur unless and until such an appeal was resolved and the settlement became final.  If the settlement is approved and becomes final, you should be paid within approximately 90 days after the settlement is final, in the form that you elected in your benefit election form, or in check mailed to your address if you do not return a completed election form.

Q. What if the Class member named on the first page of the Notice is deceased?
If the Class member whose name appears on the first page of the Notice that you received is deceased, the settlement benefit that the Class member would have received under this Settlement will instead be paid to the Class member’s Successor, which is either the Class member’s spouse (if surviving), the Class member’s estate (if still open), or the deceased spouse’s estate (if still open), determined in that order.

The election form attached to the Notice explains what information you should provide if the Class member identified in the Notice is deceased.

If you are the Class member’s surviving spouse, you should follow the same election procedure described above, indicating on the Election of Rollover/Direct Payment Form that you are the surviving spouse of the Class member and that the rollover or direct payment that you elect should be paid in your name.

If you are NOT the Class member’s surviving spouse, you should indicate that fact on the Election of Rollover/Direct Payment Form, indicate whether the Class member’s estate or the deceased spouse’s estate is still open and return the form to the Notice Administrator, who will forward the completed form to the Plan for appropriate action consistent with the settlement terms.

Q. Do I have to provide my social security number on the benefit election form?
It will help confirm that you are paid the amount that is actually owed to you.  But no, you are not required to provide your number if that makes you uncomfortable—and you will still receive your settlement benefit.  If the Plan needs additional information to confirm your identity, someone from the Plan will contact you.

Q. Who represents me in this lawsuit?
Timothy Laurent and Smeeta Sharon brought this case on your behalf.  In its Order of June 2014, their attorney, Eli Gottesdiener of the Gottesdiener Law Firm, PLLC was appointed by the Court as Class Counsel.  If you want to be represented by your own lawyer at this time, you are free to obtain separate counsel at your own expense.

Q. How will Class Counsel be paid?
You will not be directly liable to Class Counsel for attorneys’ fees.  Instead, Class Counsel will seek attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of expenses out of the Total Settlement Amount secured for the Class via the settlement.  The amount Class Counsel receives is decided exclusively by the judge in this case, Judge Oetken.

On December 13, 2022, Class Counsel will file a motion for approval of Class Counsel’s attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses out of the Total Settlement Amount.  You have a right to review Class Counsel’s motion for litigation and settlement administration expenses, attorneys’ fees and service awards for the named Plaintiffsattorneys’, and to object to the amounts requested in that motion.  You can obtain a copy of that motion and supporting documentation either by contacting Class Counsel directly or visiting www.LaurentPensionClassAction.com, where the motion will be posted shortly after it is filed with the Court.

Q. Is it normal for the lawyers to ask the Court for attorney fees in a case like this?
Yes.  Class Counsel have litigated this case on your behalf against PwC since 2004 wholly on a contingency basis—meaning, they have received no compensation for the time or resources they have committed to this case.  It is standard practice in a contingency-fee class action like this for the lawyers—if they end up winning money for the class—to apply to the Court for a share of the recovery, as payment for the lawyers’ work and success for the class.

This is one of the largest and most complicated pension class action cases ever prosecuted in the U.S., and it took more than 18 years of hard-fought litigation with PwC and its top tier lawyers, who spared no expense in fighting this case every step of the way—including at the Supreme Court.  Because the class representatives, Mr. Laurent and Ms. Sharon, knew at the beginning of the case that it was going to be very expensive and risky to fight PwC in a high-stakes case like this, the arrangement that they made with the class lawyers was that the lawyers would use their own money and resources to litigate the case—with no payment by Mr. Laurent, Ms. Sharon, or any other member of the class—in exchange for a promise that if (and only if) the class’s lawyers won additional benefits for the class, the lawyers’ fee would be a share of the recovery.  Basically, the lawyers agreed to take a big gamble:  spend hundreds of thousands of dollars of their own money and time fighting PwC in court—and if they lost the case, get zero reimbursement or payment—but if they won, they would get a share of the amount won as their payment.

This payment “only-if-they-win” arrangement is very typical in these types of high-risk cases.

The win-win aspect of the arrangement is why Mr. Laurent and Ms. Sharon chose to structure the deal the way that they did:  they wanted the lawyers to aim for the largest recovery possible by providing an incentive that the more the lawyers won for the class, the larger their fee would be.  It’s just like the 6% commission that real estate brokers get:  the higher the sales price, the larger the commission—a win-win for the seller and the broker.  (And if there is no sale, the broker does not get paid at all—just as here, if the class’s lawyers had lost, you and every other member of the class would have owed nothing, and the lawyers would have spent 18 years of time and expenses with zero payment.)

Q Why should I have to pay for the lawyers – shouldn’t PwC pay if they did wrong?
The lawyers will be paid from the pot of money that PwC has agreed to pay to settle the case.  So in reality, PwC is paying the lawyers—the attorneys' fees are coming out PwC’s pockets.

From a technical legal standpoint, courts deem the mechanics to be that the Defendant (in this case PwC) pays the settlement money into a pot called a “common fund”—and then the lawyers are paid out of the fund, not directly by PwC.  But as a practical matter, it is PwC’s money that is paying the lawyers.

Q. Can you give me more details as to what exactly do Plaintiffs allege Defendants did wrong and the history of the lawsuit?
Plaintiffs’ main contentions in the lawsuit are that Defendants violated the law’s minimum lump sum payment (or “whipsaw”) requirements by failing to pay lump sums at least equal to the present value of participants’ projected account balances as of their normal retirement age (age 65).  Plaintiffs’ contentions here are that PwC violated the law’s whipsaw requirements by employing two distinct contrivances, either one of which if upheld as valid would have precluded any recovery for the Class.

First, Plaintiffs challenged the validity of the Plan’s definition of Normal Retirement Age as equal to the date the Plan participants completed five years of service regardless of their age—a Plan term that, if found lawful under ERISA § 3(24), would have disposed of Plaintiffs’ claims because whipsaw projections are only required when lump sums were distributed before the attainment of normal retirement age.

Second, the Plan projected the future value of participants’ accounts at retirement age using the 30-year Treasury rate, even though the Plan offered a broad menu of stock and bond investments that historically produced a higher rate of return.

Although the current lawsuit was filed in the Southern District of New York in March 2006, the history of this dispute dates back further still, with an initial suit filed by Plaintiff Laurent in Illinois in 2004 and a second suit filed in the District of Columbia in 2005, both of which, after some discovery, were dismissed without prejudice before the case was filed in New York.

From 2006 until 2015, the bulk of the litigation concerned the validity of the Plan’s definition of Normal Retirement Age.  In response to Plaintiffs’ filing of the Second Amended Complaint in 2012, PwC filed a motion for judgment in its favor on the grounds that the Plan’s “five years of service” Normal Retirement Age was valid as a matter of law.  The District Court denied that motion, but certified its Order for interlocutory review by the Court of Appeals.

While the interlocutory appeal was pending, in June 2014 the District Court certified a class consisting of Participants and their Beneficiaries who elected to take a lump-sum distribution of their benefits under the Plan between March 23, 2000, and August 17, 2006.

In July 2015, the Second Circuit affirmed the District Court’s determination that the Plan’s “five years of service” Normal Retirement Age was unlawful.  Laurent v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 794 F.3d 272 (2d Cir. 2015).  After a period of discovery, PwC moved for judgment on the pleadings on the grounds that the whipsaw relief Plaintiffs seek is not authorized by ERISA § 502(a).  Shortly thereafter, Plaintiffs moved for summary judgment seeking judicial imposition of a replacement projection rate for the Plan and recalculation of Plaintiffs’ lump-sum benefits using that rate.

In July 2017, the District Court denied Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and granted PwC’s motion for judgment on the pleadings, dismissing the case with prejudice.  Laurent v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 2017 WL 3142067, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. July 24, 2017).

In December 2019, the Second Circuit concluded that the Second Amended Complaint stated a claim for relief.  Laurent v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 945 F.3d 739 (2d Cir. 2019).  The Second Circuit vacated the District Court Judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings consistent with its Opinion.  The Second Circuit stated that “the nature of any reformation and consequent relief to which Plaintiffs may be entitled, whether on their motion for summary judgment or otherwise, [are] questions to be resolved by the district court in the first instance.”

When PwC petitioned for certiorari, the Supreme Court asked the U.S. Solicitor General’s office for its view.  After the Solicitor General recommended that the Court deny review because, among other reasons, the case was not yet ripe for review, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in June 2021.

Following issuance of the Supreme Court’s and Second Circuit’s mandates, in September 2021 the District Court granted Plaintiffs partial summary judgment that the Plan’s stated projection rate was unlawful under ERISA, but the Court declined to grant judgment regarding the appropriate remedy, if any.  Laurent v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, 565 F.Supp.3d 543 (S.D.N.Y. 2021).  PwC filed a timely motion for reconsideration and proposed that if Defendants’ motion were denied, the case should proceed to trial.  That motion remained sub judice until such time as the parties notified the Court of an agreement in principle to resolve the case, after previous unsuccessful attempts over the years to negotiate a resolution of their dispute.

That agreement was reached in August 2022.  After additional negotiations over the concrete terms of the agreement and working with their actuaries and experts to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the participant benefit calculations data needed to implement it, on September 15, 2022 the Class Action Settlement Agreement was fully memorialized and signed and on September 19, 2022 was submitted to the District Court to consider on Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Approval.  That motion explains in detail why Plaintiffs and Class Counsel believe that the proposed settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate and in the best interests of Class Members.

In his Order of October 31, 2022 Granting Preliminary Approval of Class Action Settlement and Notice to the Class, Judge Oetken granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement and authorized Mailed Notice to be sent to members of the Class and Publication Notice to be published in USA Today.  He has scheduled a final approval hearing for January 27, 2023 at 12:30 p.m.

Q. When and where will the Court approve the settlement?
The Court will decide whether to give final approval to the settlement at a what is known as a “fairness hearing” to be held at 12:30 p.m. on January 27, 2023 at the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY 10007-1312.At the fairness hearing, the Court will consider whether the settlement is fair, reasonable, and adequate.  If there are objections from Class members, the judge will consider all of them.  At or after the hearing, the Court will decide whether to approve the settlement and, if so, also rule on Class Counsel’s request for litigation and settlement administration expenses, attorneys’ fees and service awards for the named Plaintiffsdecide.

Q. Do I have to attend the fairness hearing?
No, but you are invited to attend (at your own expense).

Q. May I speak at the fairness hearing?
Yes, but only if you file a written objection

Q. How do I get more information?
More detailed information about the lawsuit and proposed settlement, including the key pleadings and filings of the parties, the orders and rulings entered by the Court, and the Settlement Agreement, may be obtained (1) at the following website, www.LaurentPensionClassAction.com; (2) by requesting them directly from Class Counsel (see Items 8 and 10 above); (3) at the Office of the Clerk, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, 40 Foley Square, New York, NY 10007-1312, during regular business hours; or (4) by registering and paying a modest fee to the PACER service, www.pacer.psc.uscourts.gov, which permits inspection of the papers filed in the case online