Kelly Milligan vs. Merrill Lynch: A Fight for Rights in Deferred Compensation

Milligan, a former broker with over two decades at Merrill Lynch, alleges that the firm illegally withheld $500,000 of his deferred compensation after he left to join an independent broker-dealer. Central to the lawsuit is the argument that Merrill Lynch’s deferred compensation plan should be governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), which includes provisions against such forfeiture. This case highlights a significant tension in the financial sector between employer compensation strategies and the rights of employees under federal law.