MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. will pay $84 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over changes it made to annuities.
Twenty-nine-thousand former owners of the annuities and 4,000 current holders will be eligible to share in the settlement. Northwestern Mutual spokeswoman Betsy Hoylman said the company decided it was in everyone’s best interest to avoid the continued cost of litigation and the “uncertainty of the legal process.”
The Journal Sentinel says the lawsuit stems from changes the company made to annuities it sold before 1985. The plaintiffs said Northwestern Mutual improperly changed the way it paid the annuity owners without notifying them or getting permission — and that they lost dividend income over the next 20 years.