Verizon retirees are suing to block the company from selling their pensions to the Prudential Insurance Co.
Verizon wants to sell 41,000 pension plans – worth a total of $7.5 billion – to Prudential, which would turn them into annuities that the retirees' lawyers say won't have the same protection that the pensions had.
If the sale is approved, it will close next month. The nonprofit Association of BellTel Retirees filed its suit in a Dallas-based federal court.
“On behalf of 41,000 Verizon retirees scattered across the country, who are being given no choice, no voice and no protection in the transfer of their pension assets, we are calling upon the company to reverse this action and halt this predatory business transaction that will impact many retired Americans, who labored a lifetime to fund their earned pension benefits," Retiress association president C. William Jones said in a news release.
A Verizon lawyer told the Wall Street Journal that the lawsuit has no merit and that Prudential has years and years or experience offering group-annuity benefits.