If unionized retirees are entitled to retiree health benefits, their contract cannot beat around the bush on the topic; it must be made clear. Or, at a minimum, courts cannot jump to conclusions without a broad-scale examination of the dispute.

That’s the essence of a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruling issued yesterday in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett. The ruling flatly rejects the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit’s opinion that the precedent of a 1983 6th Circuit ruling (UAW v. Yard-Man) requiring that in ambiguous situations, courts should make a presumption of lifetime vesting for health benefits.

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