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grandfather clause

A clause that exempts certain people or businesses from new limitations or restrictions, thus allowing them to continue doing or benefiting from something as they did before. Originally referred to a clause added to the constitutions of some Southern US states that exempted people with relatives that had voted before 1867 from strict new voting requirements, in effect disproportionately limiting the ability of African Americans to vote. No, I still get to pay the reduced rate, thanks to a grandfather clause in my contract.
See also: grandfather

grandfather in

To exempt certain people or businesses from new limitations or restrictions, thus allowing them to continue doing or benefiting from something as they did before. This can be done through the use of a "grandfather clause." A noun or pronoun can be used between "grandfather" and "in." If they change the pension plan, they better grandfather us in!
See also: grandfather

(a) grandfather clause

a clause in an agreement that protects certain rights granted in the past even when conditions change in the future. The contract contained a grandfather clause that protected my pension payments against claims such as might arise from a future lawsuit.
See also: grandfather

grandfather someone or something in

to protect someone or a right through the use of a grandfather clause. My payments were grandfathered in years ago.
See also: grandfather
References in periodicals archive ?
Finally" officials say, "commenters expressed concern that the provision terminating grandfather status upon any change in issuer gives issuers undue and unfair leverage in negotiating the price of coverage renewals with the sponsors of grandfathered health plans, and that this interferes with the health care cost containment that tends to result from price competition.
He argues that losing grandfathered status would not be that costly for most plans.
That's up to you, but my guess is that the extra amount most companies would pay to maintain their grandfathered status year after year will be more than they would pay by going with one of the new plans.
Employers and other plan sponsors must weigh the design and operation changes required for the grandfathered health plan exemption against the cost of limited flexibility.
Plans can maintain their grandfathered status as long as they do not significantly reduce benefits, raise co-payments or deductibles more than the rate of medical inflation plus 15 percent, switch insurers, add or tighten annual limits, or lower employer contributions by 5 or more percent.
PPACA exempts grandfathered plans from some PPACA coverage requirements.
Often, the trustee of a grandfathered trust is hesitant to make minor or administrative changes to the trust, for fear that such modification may cause the trust to lose its grandfathered status.
If, however, a grandfathered arrangement is "substantially" modified, its protected status is revoked.
In years in which an excess distribution was made, the regulations provided two alternative methods to recover the grandfathered amount--the discretionary method and the attained age method.