San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



This Article explores the conceptual underpinnings of the law governing health and welfare benefits of retired employees. The author begins by discussing bargaining rights and duties and examining the legal consequences of an employer modification of bargained-for retiree benefits. The author argues that there is no legal prohibition on modification or termination without proof of a contractual commitment that gives the retiree a vested right to benefits. The author concludes that, until Congress changes the law, a presumption against contractual vesting of retiree benefits should be applied and extrinsic evidence should be admitted to rebut this presumption.