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APPEALS FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS [Hon. Morris E. Lasker, *fn1 Senior U.S. District Judge]

This case requires us to revisit the criteria that bring an early retirement incentive plan within the coverage of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), codified as amended at 29 U.S.C. �� 1001-1416 and in scattered sections of Title 26. Appellants O’Connor and Horning, retirees of appellee Commonwealth Gas Company (CGC), appeal from an adverse summary judgment in which the district court held that CGC’s 1997 Personnel Reduction Program (PRP), an early retirement incentive, was an ERISA plan that preempted various state law claims. *fn2 We conclude that, because the PRP was little more than a lump-sum severance package, it was not an ERISA-covered plan. Consequently, we reverse and remand so that the district court may consider whether to assert supplemental jurisdiction and address the state claims.

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