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The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion.

Bauer, Circuit Judge. Robert J. Matzfiled an ERISA action, claimingentitlement to benefits as a result of apartial termination of a retirementbenefit plan. The district court heldthat in determining whether partialtermination occurred: (1) both vested andnon-vested plan participants should becounted, see Matz v. Household Int’l TaxReduction Inv. Plan, 1998 WL 851491, *5(N.D. Ill. Dec. 1, 1998); and (2)multiple plan years could be aggregated,see 1999 WL 754659, *6 (N.D. Ill. Sept.9, 1999). The Plan contested the districtcourt’s decisions on interlocutoryappeal, and in 227 F.3d 971 (7th Cir.2000), we affirmed. The Plan petitionedfor writ of certiorari, which the SupremeCourt granted, thereby vacating andremanding the case to us for furtherconsideration in light of United Statesv. Mead Corp., 121 S. Ct. 2164 (2001). Onremand, we are faced with the question ofto what extent we must defer to theinterpretation of “partial termination”by the IRS found in an amicus brief,which is one of the agencies responsiblefor administering the partial terminationstatute.

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