Lieff Cabraser and co-counsel have filed a class action lawsuit under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) on behalf of NFL players at risk of losing important and vested retirement benefits.
For decades, players have earned protected, vested rights to disability benefits under the Bert Bell/Pete Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan (“Retirement Plan”). But, effective January 1, 2015, the Retirement Plan was amended to transfer its liabilities for certain disability benefits to the NFL Player Disability and Neurocognitive Benefit Plan (“Disability Plan”), which does not contain important protections against reductions.
Players whose benefits were transferred are facing an imminent reduction or elimination of certain key benefits, such as a reduction of total and permanent disability (“T&P”) benefits by the amount of any Social Security disability benefits that a player receives, a drastic reduction in the minimum benefit amount for line-of-duty disability (“LOD”) benefits, and other. The plaintiffs are seeking, for themselves and a class, that the benefits be paid from the Retirement Plan and protected from reduction.